Longtime Google Voice users have had but one dream, total integration with the operating system. We've seen a few bits and pieces roll out from time to time, like support for automatic calling through your Google Voice number and having voicemail directly accessible in the stock dialer. But one feature continues to evade us: sending and receiving SMS messages through Voice with 3rd-party apps. CyanogenMod and Koushik Dutta (Koush) have officially broken that barrier with Voice Plus.

2013-07-23 04.56.102013-07-23 04.56.24

Announced earlier this month, support for the feature was made possible on CyanogenMod nightlies from July 1st and later, but still required a manual setup process. However, the necessary changes have been merged into the codebase and Voice Plus is shipping with nightlies built on July 22nd and after. The Google Voice app is still required and it must be signed into an account, but activation is as simple as opening the Voice+ app (first screenshot) and picking which account you would like to route your messages through. Once configured, any texting app on your device will use the chosen Google Voice account transparently.

Of course, this will do nothing to solve the lack of MMS support in Google Voice, nor does it "unify" our messaging platform as we had hoped, but Hangouts may still deliver on these in the future. In the meantime, CyanogenMod users can now use the texting app of their choice for a more streamlined Google Voice experience.

CyanogenMod Post (Google+)

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • cabbiebot

    What a great feature for us Voice users. I had to jump back to a Sense ROM on my Evo LTE because CM was acting too buggy but this will make me consider going back. I wonder what would happen, though, if tomorrow rolled Voice SMS into Hangouts (pipe dream, I know). I suppose one would just disable Voice+.

  • Stephen

    so, would I be able to send texts through my regular phone number on wifi through google voice with this? For instance, will I be able to send texts from my verizon number through google voice if I have no service, but I have wifi?

    • s_bomb

      I don't think carrier-based messaging is considered third-party?

      • Stephen

        I suppose I read the post incorrectly. I figured I would ask anyway :p

        • s_bomb

          I wouldn't say that you read it incorrectly, it's just there is no specific mention of what third-party messaging apps it works with. I know the major messaging apps, but I am sure there are way more options than I am aware of. I am sure enough people will ask for them to put out an FAQ or some other answer, it's still very early ;)

    • Aleem Qureshi

      So far with my experience using VoicePlus (formerly Babel) it only allows you to send from google voice at present but will allow you to recieve from carrier sms. using the built in SMS app you can send any where and the idea is that the way this works any sms app can be used. if you want to send a message via your carrier you have to disable Voiceplus, i accomplish this easily by adding a shortcut to my navring (you can use pie, navbar, AOKP ribbons, etc) to open the app and enable/disable on the fly. Trying to send through a Google voice number while on Wifi will work (im presently out of the country using my google voice number over wifi with no issue) but to send through your Verizon number specifically you would require service

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Aleem has it right. Voice+ is just about letting you use the Google Voice SMS features without having to use the interface of the Google Voice app. If you turn on Voice+, all of the text messages sent from your phone will come from your Google Voice number instead of your carrier number.

      This does allow you to send messages when all you have is Wi-Fi, and it would also allow you to send messages from devices without a cell connection (like a tablet). But all of those messages will come from your GV number.

      • Stephen

        hmm, thank you for the help. To be honest, I want something similar to iMessage. As much as i HATE apple, I like how people can "text" without any service, across all of their devices. I guess it's the same thing as google voice, but it would be nice to be able to use my carrier number.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          In a way, things aren't too far off. Since GV already works on Android phones and tablets, and can be accessed on through the web or 3rd party apps on other mobile OSs and regular computers, it has most of the basic capability. Of course, you have to go the extra mile and port your phone number to Google Voice if you want to achieve consistency.

          If the rumored (or wished for) merger of Hangouts and GV happens, then it will give us everything iMessage has without being limited to a specific platform. Plus, it has several other built-in features like video chat. We are probably close to the ideal solution, but it's not in our hands yet.

          • Stephen

            Thanks for the clarification! I can say that I rarely don't have service with verizon, but having an iMessage equivalent would be really nice. :D

  • Filippo Corti

    Doesnt work in countries where google voice is not available right? :(

  • hasan

    I don't understand why after so many years Voice is still US only.

    • Perv Bear

      And why year after year they offering free us calls. Are they trying to figure out how to kill it? I hope not I need my Google voice only number I use would be lost without.

    • ins0mn1a

      i guess there are several reasons, for example:

      1) g-voice needs to be integrated with the local telephone system. so this is not just a tech project, it can also be a regulatory / political challenge.

      2) google kind of didn't focus much energy on voice for the last couple of years.

      3) in the US the mobile calls are charged to both parties in a conversation (you pay equally both to place and to receive a call, with a neat side-effect that calling cell phones from a land line is the same price like calling another land line, namely really cheap), while in most of the rest of the world the caller pays everything. the advantage of the US approach is, if both parties are paying their part, it's easy to put some service in between them (e.g. g-voice). but how do you (for example) redirect calls to cell phones if any call to a cell phone has a (relatively) hefty price? so this service can not be free, a user would have to put money on their g-voice account in order to have their calls redirected. this is one of the rare properties of US telecommunications that actually favors innovation.

    • rosamondnecipoglu321

      my Aunty Bailey just got a twelve month old Nissan Murano
      CrossCabriolet SUV by working part-time off of a laptop... you can try here

  • hp420

    This does solve one serious issue with GV users have been complaining about for years....conversation sorting! When messages are viewed/sent through a 3rd party app, they stay sorted just like they should be. If you open google voice you will notice they are still all jumbled up and make absolutely no sense.

    • Justin W

      Yeah, I don't understand how it's so difficult to keep conversations together. They do it with the SMS app. Hopefully they get Voice merged with Hangouts soon. Maybe they'll announce something tomorrow? =) Wishful thinking, I'm sure.

    • Pyrotek85

      You would think it'd be an easy fix too, or don't they want to promote the use of Google Voice?

  • DanSan

    so let me try to get this straight.

    This just allows apps like handcent, chomp, gosms to send Google Voice messages instead of opening up GV. If i open up GoSMS and go to text a friend does it send it through GV or carrier based text. How does it decide who to send through GV or through carrier also how does it show who is a GV contact and whos a phone contact?. Also when it sends via GV i assume it uses your GV number instead of your carrier number correct?

    • Mr. Mark

      i assume it will send all texts through GV instead of through the carrier. if it sends through GV, then it will use your GV number instead since it's going through GV. doesn't make much sense to have a GV number if it's not going to use it.

    • Lucas Laws

      It seems like it routes everything through GV. If you want granular control of carrier SMS or GV, go use Fusion Messenger. I'm seriously baffled as to how it never gets a mention in articles such as these.

      • Michael Miller

        It's a complete godsend for those of us that have old crappy Android phones like the Nexus S 4g. We can now use the hangouts dialer for calls, and the default messenger app for texts (via google voice number).

        When you're on Wifi (when am I not on wifi?) I could almost use it as my only phone. :D

  • http://www.impulsivestudios.com/ Justin Myers

    FINALLY I can use my GV number with Facebook. It supports Short Code SMS!!

    • http://www.impulsivestudios.com/ Justin Myers

      From the voice.google.com. Works perfectly!

    • Wyatt Neal

      Does it? I thought that was a server side prevention, not the client. I haven't been able to do that in the web app / api before, but if it's working, I need to get back to coding.

      • http://www.impulsivestudios.com/ Justin Myers

        It does. I have both Twitter and Facebook linked now. Here is the proof. I sent from the new app and:

        • Wyatt Neal

          Fricken ssuuuuweeeeetttt

  • Rick Fisher

    not quite figuring it out on my nexus 4. Got the 7/23 nightly and it's there, and when I enabled it I began seeing some recent conversations from Voice appear in messaging, which was pretty neat, but after about an hour now it appears to have only brought in a couple conversations, and when I get texts I don't receive notification. Should I enable or disable sms notifications on voice? messaging? I'm still trying to play around with it, but waiting on people to text me. I sent some succesfully, but some replies never came through to messages, only voice, and I'm still trying to figure it out.

    • daniel sutton

      enable notifications on both. i'd set the ringtone for voice to none though

    • Texas Saluki

      anyone know how to turn this integration off? I don't get notifications correctly anymore and seems like a great idea but not really 100% yet... ah found it in Voice+

  • grendude

    Can someone help me. I have gv installed and working, but voice+ only shows disable [no other account]. I had the same problem with beta 3 but beta 2 and beta 1 showed my gmail / gvoice accounts. Any ideas? Anyone else having this issue?

    btw: I found out that gvoice doesn't show up if you don't have google voice installed [I uninstalled / reinstalled gvoice].

  • Michael Pahl

    The July 21st nightly broke my Razr Maxx HD . . fixed though in 22nd

    • Pyrotek85

      I've had a bad nightly or two lately myself, but that's the risk involved. Easy enough to fix if you keep a stable build handy. Even if you can't boot properly it's simple enough to flash in recovery mode and get up and running in a few minutes.

      • Michael Pahl

        oh yeah without a doubt. simple fix and part of what i signed up for when i unlocked my moto bootloader

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Hmm, that's actually why we held back on posting this until today. The nightly from the 22nd hung on the bootscreen for my Tab 10.1 and Nexus 7, and I knew of it freezing on an SGS2 and a One X. I waited forever to get it on my N4, but it never went up (probably a failed build). It seemed safer to wait a day so as not to send tons of people rushing for potentially broken builds.

  • Mystery Man

    Do this with Hangouts and i'll care more

  • atlouiedog

    For reasons that I won't bore this comment thread with, I was going to install CM on my device in 2 weeks. Now I'm thinking that tonight's the night.

  • Zak Taccardi

    When texting using an SMS application through your google voice number, does this require data to be enabled?

    • CoreRooted

      Considering that GV is a data-only app, I can safely say yes.

      • Zak Taccardi

        do you know this for a fact, or are you just assuming?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          Google Voice requires an internet connection, but it doesn't matter if it comes from WiFi or cellular data. I see how his response could be read in a way that implies it requires cellular data, but I don't think that's what he meant.

          One of the tests I ran was to send a message from my Nexus 4 without the SIM card in it and only connected through WiFi (that's actually when I took the screenshots).

          • Zak Taccardi

            I was actually curious if you could text when you have no internet access when WiFi and cellular data are disabled, in order to save battery

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            Oh, so connected over cellular voice, but with cell data turned off. You would only be able to text from your regular phone number, it wouldn't be through Google Voice.

            ...Unless you're on Sprint and have merged GV and your Sprint number, in which case, it might work. I'm not really sure about the technical details of this one, so you'd have to just test it if you're on Sprint.

          • CoreRooted

            Yeah. Sorry about that. I should have been clearer. Thanks Cody.

  • RoachForLife

    Just tried this. Unless Im doing something wrong it makes ALL my outgoing text msgs come from my GV#. I was hoping it would respond based on the number it was sent to. IE if someone texted my normal #, it would send out of my normal #, and if they texted my GV# it would send via that #. Guess not. I dont use GV texting enough to find this worth while but maybe others will

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      In a manner of speaking, this is all-or-nothing. However, you could make the Voice+ application easily accessible, like putting a shortcut in SwipePad, and switch back and forth pretty easily. It's definitely not a solution for everybody, but the idea was to make it transparent and usable on all 3rd-party texting apps, none of which would know how to take advantage of that feature. This would be a pretty cool feature to add in the future.

    • Jason Smith

      This app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dreambig.stockmmswithgv will do routing based on which number it came in but does not yet support third party apps.

  • David Fleck

    Isn't this the same thing I already do with my GVoice and Sprint integration?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Yup, Sprint users already have something like this if they merged their regular number with GV.

      • David Fleck

        Ok, I thought so but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. This will be great when I finally ditch Sprint and move to ATT.

        • Zak Taccardi

          why would you move to AT&T when t-mobile has dual band hspa+ for a lot cheaper?

  • Danny Blaney

    it works with the stock android mms app as well. not just third party apps.

  • Tyson White

    I deleted this app because it made my phone painfully sluggish (CM11 on Droid Razr). I had to first use AppMover because this app was a system app that couldn't be deleted.

    While the GV app has a lot to be desired, I don't think the default messaging app will allow you to do things like archive messages which will get done on the server upon sync.