One issue that has plagued many Google Voice users since the dawn of time (or at least since GV became a thing) is how not good the app itself is. Those who use GV as their primary phone number are stuck using the app for things like sending/receiving SMS messages, and up until now, there was absolutely no alternative.

Today, however, Koush Dutta has announced Google Voice SMS integration in CM10.1 with not only the stock messaging app, but also any third party application you may use (GoSMS, Handcent, etc.). This is a pretty big deal to anyone who uses both Google Voice and CM, but may also be incentive for GV users who are tired of the terrible app to give the latest CM10.1 builds a shot.

The process seems to be pretty straightforward – here are Dutta's instructions on how to get it working, directly from his Google+ page:

This comes with no support, and is nowhere near complete.

0) Google Voice must be installed with notifications enabled (for now).
1) Install a recent +CyanogenMod nightly. July 1st or later. You need the SMS middleware patches I put in for PushSMS. (see Gerrit)
2) Push this apk to /system/app: http://download.clockworkmod.com/test/babel-signed.apk adb install will not work. The app requires system/signature permissions.
4) Start Babel, choose your Google Voice account. Authorize it.
6) Click the "Accessibility service" button, and it will direct you to settings. Enable "Babel".
No, Babel is not the final name.

How it works:

The app will sync your existing Google Voice messages into your messaging store. New Google SMS will be received as if it were a normal SMS.

When you send a message out from your messaging app, it goes out via Google Voice.

And that's basically it. Dutta notes that this implementation is still in the early stages of development, so you may run into some snags here or there. For Voice users, however, the fact that it's being done at all is impressive.

Koush Dutta (G+)

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • ProductFRED

    That's awesome, although in my experience it (using Voice) isn't worth the trouble unless you travel a lot outside of the country or want to manage a lot of phones under one number. No MMS (easy to live without admittedly, since I mostly use Whatsapp), and you need a decent data signal to text or initiate a call from a new number (messages tend to get stuck sending when there's a weak signal). The only other group of people I'd recommend this for is those on shady prepaid carriers that can close your account for anything (Straight Talk).

    • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

      The API can be applied to anything, including Whatsapp (if the endpoints are matched, a la the same guesswork with Voice).

      You could then send Whatsapp messages via Go SMS if you wanted (without them even knowing)

      • Marc

        Awesome! Unified texting would be real nice. That was the point why I got interested in the hangouts rumors back than! :)

        • Justin W

          My hope is Google includes an API that other messaging apps can plug into, just like this, into Hangouts. And please, for the love of Android, get rid of the stock messaging app, and include that in Hangouts as well.

          • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

            But I am afraid that no service will plug into hangouts by theirselves...

        • Freak4Dell

          This still wouldn't be true unified texting, but it's a step forward.

  • Metroview

    Just installed and set it up on nightly Paranoid Android. According to the changelog, you need July 4th or later as it has:

    242a705 Add SMS Middleware layer

    • suprah

      they just changed it in their manifest today

  • JensAstrup

    Does this mean we can receive MMS via Google Voice now or does this handle SMS exclusively?

    • CaliLove310

      I've been able to receive MMS on Google Voice for a a couple years now on T-Mobile. They get sent to your e-mail though, not to the Voice app.

      • JensAstrup

        That happened for me a few times, but it doesn't seem to always work :/

        • andy_o

          Only works when the sender is on Sprint IIRC.

  • madtroll

    at least one advantage of having sprint, my number has always been integrated with my phone.

    Too bad their cell coverage sucks.

    And for those knocking g.voice. I was skeptical at first but being able to check and send your text from a computer and even receive and place calls through your computer is extremely nice.

    • Sasquatch4ever

      That's the advantage of having Verizon: we can send/receive texts from the Web with no hacks.

      • ProductFRED

        Sprint integration isn't a hack; it's officially supported by Google and Sprint.

        • squiddy20

          And has been that way for at least 2 years, if I'm not mistaken.

    • Eric Mendes

      I'd like to add that Google Voice is amazing when abroad. I send messages and check messages online and its like I'm in states. Not to mention I can make calls over Wifi for free! Can't wait until GVoice is integrated into the new Hangouts.

    • Harriet J. Hernandez

      as Gloria replied I am surprised that any body can get paid $9492 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this page w­w­w.C­a­n9­9.c­o­m

    • TJ (Thomas) Biddle

      I like GV - Just wish it supported MMS (Sprint *kinda* works - in the sense that when you receive a picture message it will email you - But all others just die silently).

  • Scott

    Will this wok with MMS though?

    • Raymond Berger

      Probably not since the MMS feature isn't fully working on Google's end.

      • CaliLove310

        I've been able to receive MMS on Google Voice for a a couple years now on T-Mobile. They get sent to your e-mail though, not to the Voice app

        • Raymond Berger

          I've had some MMS come through to my email but it seems to be that I can only get them from certain providers.

        • dogulas

          Do you for sure get every MMS? Mine seems to be hit or miss.

    • Randy Strye

      The mms will be sent through your carrier

  • Egnimatic_Foolishness

    I never really understood why people use the Google Voice App. I've always had mine setup to send me notifications through my stock messaging.

    initially you will get a text from a strange number, but just save it under the right contacts name and it's pretty seamless from that point forward.

    Not saying that this is not a good update, but I feel sorry for anybody who has been using the Google Voice App this whole time

    • Justin W

      By doing messaging this way, you'll get charged per text message. If you use the G Voice app only (no forwarding texts to your phone number), then you won't be charged for text messages because it's all sent through data.

      And, I hate the random numbers GVoice assigns to my contacts, which is why I stopped using the forward to the phone number part.

      • Egnimatic_Foolishness

        Forgot about getting changed for Text messages. (Prepaid FTW)

        • Justin W

          I'm also on prepaid for the moment, but when I wasn't, I was able to completely dump my texting plan in favor of free messages via Voice.

    • dogulas

      How do you do that?

      • Egnimatic_Foolishness

        Google Voice App
        Sync and notifications
        Select receive messages via the messaging app

        Google will assign a phone number to everyone Evi texts you. Just save that Number to the correct contact and you're good to go

    • Eric Mendes

      +1 I do this. Kinda janky, but works perfect. I just save under the contact with the number name as: "GVoice", so I know down the line. I've had unlimited texting for years, so no worries on the per text charge.

  • probbiethe1

    Sending and receiving Google Voice messages with the stock messaging app has been around for awhile now. I have been doing it for several months. The link below has a list of a couple apps that will do this for you. They are not free but you can use it on any rom or version of Android. https://play.google.com/store/search?q=gv+integration&c=apps

    • Randy Strye

      Messaging + Google Voice and Google Voice Messaging both have MMS issues and Google Voice SMS Integration doesn't work on jellybean
      So far, MMS works fine on koush's solution. the only issue is that you get double notifications because you need to leave GV notifications on for this to work.

  • Gavin

    "up until now, there was absolutely no alternative"

    Uh, what? I've been using this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ianmcdowell.googlevoicemessaging

  • daniel sutton

    there seems to be a lag from when the voice app receives the message to when the messaging app is updated. promising. made me jump off of stock onto it. babel ought to remain the name as google have abandoned it haha

  • Randy Strye

    At home, I have zero service so I am relegated to using Google voice to text. I also use mms pretty regularly when I'm not at home, so having one app to have everything in one thread is fantastic.
    The other apps mentioned all have MMS issues. (trust me, I've bought them all)
    My ultimate dream, however, is to have an app that allows me to text over wifi using my carrier phone number

    • dogulas

      And receive MMS. That is one thing that is super annoying about google voice since people still send MMS these days. Have you found a workaround to be able to receive MMS when it is sent to your google voice number?

      • Eric Mendes

        Sadly no workaround available. I've been using GVoice since it launched and its been the one dream feature. I can live with the ugly app. But, it's sooo frustrating to hear people say.. "You never replied to my mms?!" and I have to explain how they cant send it to the number they know and love. I wish there would at least be a notification letting me know. The only beauty comes when someone from Sprint sends an MMS. It'll direct to your gmail. I'm assuming its a carrier issue, or Google would have implemented it a while ago.

        • Andrew Brown

          I actually got it to direct my MMS to my GMail once while I was on T-Mobile. I never got it to work after that though...

          • Eric Mendes

            Are you sure you had it to work from everyone? I researched it pretty well and people who had reported to have it working.. was only receiving them from Sprint customers.

          • Andrew Brown

            No i meant I got it one time from one person. They were on ATT and I was on T-Mobile.

  • Daniel Harris

    When are they going to fix the rebooting issue while tethering?

  • Michael

    I tried this on my Nexus 7 3G running PA 3.65 (July 5th). Everything works, EXCEPT, because I have to enable Google Voice notifications, i receive both Google Voice and Messaging notification for the same new incoming text. Anyone know how to stop Google Voice from showing in the notification? I thought Babel would intercept Google Voice notification..

    • Random Guy

      Babel plays off of the accessibility service and the notification sent. Since you're on Jellybean, you can disable a notification by going into app settings, finding the app and disabling them. Unfortunately, since messages are still received via the Google Voice app, and they are pushed to messaging once the notification is received, you'll never see any text messages you get.

      • Michael

        I have tried disabling Google Voice notification under the app settings -- both from within the app, and under general android Settings. This stopped both Google Voice and Messaging app from displaying notification for new incoming text messages. "Babel" is still in early stages, I guess. The posting does say "Google Voice must be installed with notifications enabled (for now"

        • Random Guy

          Speaking of Babel still being in it's early stages, there's a new version out. Supposedly it kills the duplicate notifications. Check it out.


          • Michael

            Thanks! I just tried it out. Unfortunately, it didn't solve the duplicate notification issue. Then again, I am running PA 3.65, as opposed to CM nightly. I guess I'll just have to keep waiting for further updates.

  • Staviean Swanson

    Does anybody know how to get this working with the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (p5110/WiFi Only) version? I would love to stop using the GV app.

  • jmlares

    My phone doesn't have the latest CM changes, so have to wait to try this out. :(

  • http://wwww.minecraftchannel.net/ Minecraft

    Wow, this information surprise me with what can be done. I think next time I will use it and hope it do not blame me down.

  • jurrabi

    I think I sent my last sms about 3 years ago, so I don't really appreciate any efforts going in that direction...

    As a only CM user I would prefer better headset support for calls (volume is stuck to max in may HTC One X) or Real time app permissions control (in the line of LBE)...

    But I guess there's still a fair amount of sms users so, good for them.

  • http://epicenter.gregscher.com GregS

    App won't install on rooted S4 when run from /system/app and latest nightly. Any thoughts?

  • Siddharth Bhargava

    I am getting an error: "Unfortunately, Babel has stopped."
    How do I fix this? Thanks!