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Google Voice Update Fixes Bugs, Makes Reference to Making Calls Without Data (Updated)

So Google Voice received a pretty solid bug fixing update (UI enhancements too) this morning that improves notifications, eliminates that obnoxious need to press play twice in voicemails, and now warns you when you have no data connectivity.  It also mentions something about making calls without a data connection, but as far as we know, GV doesn’t make calls over data or does it?  We are officially confused.  Text messages are sent through data which is why they are not counted against your text plan, but phone calls are handled differently, aren’t they?  Hopefully this gets explained in a blog post some time today.

Reader Christiaan offers a solid explanation of this “no data” calling:

I’m pretty sure what they mean is that if you’ve called a phone number through Google Voice before, then your phone will remember what GV number to call to connect to.  The way it’s worked in the past is that every time you call a number through GV, your phone sends a data request to Google telling them the number you want to call, and Google sends back a number for your phone to actually call (a patch number).  Once your phone calls that patch number, Google’s servers then connect your through them to the actual number you want to call.

This new update will remember what the patch number is for each real number, so you won’t have to have data for previously called numbers.

Update:  The folks over at Android Police discovered that this version has basically been built for Honeycomb.  It may not say that it has full support in the market listing, nor can you load it directly from the market, but once you side load it onto a tablet you will see what we mean.  Tablet UI and a sweet new widget included.  

 

(Click images for larger versions)

Market Link | APK for sideloading to tablets

Cheers 0mie and Josh!

  • Ted

    I accepted the google voice update on my Droid Pro using version 2.2.1, but now the phone doesnt ring and callers go directly to the google voice mail.  When I deactivate google voice on the phone, it rings.  I have checked all my settings and everything seems to be correct.

    Any advice out there?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dusthead Jason Allen Morris

    yup, nothing new here folks…continue to use FlexDialer and such on your Friends and Family plan.  move along.

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  • Luckorduck

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

    It would be nice if they made it so the UI isn’t so… cluttered… and ugly…

  • jav

    All of you posting about tablets? Have you tried side-loading the new market APK? I believe that this is actually the first version that offers Honeycomb support. Previously, when I side-loaded the Google Voice apk, it looked just like the phone UI, but bigger. Now, it actually sports Honeycomb specific UI when installed on a tablet as well a new sweet looking Honeycomb widget

  • http://twitter.com/willyBbridge a.d.AM

    whats the build # of the new updated version.  i havent seen an update and my build # is 0.4.2.30   We also need Honeycomb support, you dont need a 3g signal for the f*cking app to be useful.  Im hoping with ICS Google gets it together and has ALL/EVERY SINGLE app updated the day of launch, Im even talking about Sky Maps, Body, Voice, Talk, Mail!  ALL THAT SHIT!!  

  • Pete

    Does anyone currently use Google Voice as a voicemail-only replacement on Verizon?  I had been using it for quite awhile and loved it until about 4 months ago.  I kept getting occasional voicemails that were blank – they’d be a minute long, 3 minutes, 30 seconds, all over the place.  But just dead air in the message and no transcription.  I would also occasionally get some messages where I could actually hear something on the other end, but it sounded like someone had reached my voicemail but was waiting for the indicator to leave the message or something.  But the blank voicemails really worried me – especially after reverse looking up one of the numbers and finding it was from a job recruiter.

    I did some searching and it sounded like a couple years ago this was reported on the GV forums, specifically for Verizon in some cases, but never resolved.  I ended up disabling it and going back to the crappy Verizon voicemail which I hate.  I’ve even considered paying for their stupid voicemail.  I’d really like to go back to GV but am hesitant…is anyone else out there actively using it without problems?  FWIW I’m on an OG Droid on Verizon, too.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been using Google Voice for voicemail for a long time (even before I had a smart phone).  I’ve never had the problems you describe.  Obviously, others have experienced those problems, but I have not.  I have been on Verizon the entire time as well.

      Good luck.

    • LionStone

      I also have been using GV voicemail exclusively for some time now and I haven’t had any problem that you describe. I’m also on Verizon…TB.

  • katie

    wait so this means i can add the patch number to my friends and family list?

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      perhaps. if that is how it works, then there is no reason you couldn’t. however, keep in mind that every contact gets a different patch number, so you are still only limited to 5 or 10 or how many ever people you can add to your list. this is not like the old google voice free calling hack.

    • Rich

      I think there’s different patch numbers each call though.  At least that’s what it appears to show on my phone.

  • Anonymous

    The upgrade to make calls without data if you already called the number before with Google Voice was a good upgrade. I hope they give mms support next.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshinMinn Josh

    The thing that GV needs most in the app is the ability to manage the numbers that the GV# dials. It is irritating that you have to go into the web browser to access that function. Why not make it part of the app?

    • Anonymous

      Why, gvMyNumber makes it dial your GV# instead of some stupid number that keeps changing.
      http://code.google.com/p/gvmynumber/downloads/list

      • AJ

        I have to 2nd this. I’m using GVMyNumber and LOVE it. It dials your own GV# then uses an option (#2) to dial another #, so you add your own GV# to your unlimited calling list and then let GVMyNumber do all the work.  It takes a few seconds longer to dial but well worth not using any minutes or trying to keep track of patch #’s from GV.

        The latest upgrade from GV caused GVMyNumber to stop working but I just uninstalled the GVMynumber and reinstalled and it works again.  Only a minor inconvenience for a FREE APP…This app isn’t available in the market but is direct from their website.

  • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

    Does anyone else find it a little ironic that the Google Voice app requires the permission from Android to “send SMS through Google Voice”?

  • Anonymous

    What they also need to update is their voicemail translation.  Unless of course you are looking for a good laugh…

  • Daniel

    I’m still rocking the old google voice version 13 with my friends and family plan to get unlimited calls. I’m never upgrading it!

    • Wood

      Ditto! Good ol” Google Voice Version 0.3.4 (#13)

      • http://twitter.com/Chasemanhattan3 Chase Chick

        GV Number Number app in the market should work with the newest Google Voices.  Then you can upgrade.  Takes a couple extra seconds for it to go through its process, but worth it I think.

        • Daniel

          There is no reason for me to upgrade. Everything works fine plus unlimited anytime calls.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dusthead Jason Allen Morris

            i’ve kept the 0.3.4 install file on my card for a while now – figuring i would go back if i needed to.  i’ve just used FlexDialer and the newest GV.  does that version update the number it calls every few months like it used to?

  • Booboolala2000

    Hoping this speeds up the process when making calls over GV. The notifications were getting ridiculous in the delay time.

  • Anonymous

    GV is almost worthless now that it uses minutes like any other call. Might as well just use the phone’s dialer and keep it simple.

    • http://twitter.com/MrTissues Jack

      Google Voice does use the phone’s dialer

      • Anonymous

        True. What I meant was its better to just dial direct w/o GV – there’s no savings anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/Chasemanhattan3 Chase Chick

    Does the app GV My Number still work with the newest google voice???

  • RMark

    Google Voice works on the Xoom just fine, minus calling from it.

  • RMark

    Google Voice works on the Xoom just fine, minus calling from it.

    • RMark

      Just side load it.

  • Interstellarmind

    perhaps this is in prep of allowing google voice to be able to make phone calls using data on tablets?

    only reason holding me back from buying and using tablets: ability to make calls.

    • Stevo592

      I’ve been making calls on my transformer for a while now with groove ip

      • Interstellarmind

        receiving them, too??

  • Anonymous

    when I was in Canada and shut off my data, I couldn’t make calls using google voice, and since I had my phone set to make all international (i.e. Canada) call using google voice I had quite a problem, hopefully the update will help with that. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/robaymett Rob Aymett

      Setting your phone to “make all international calls with Google Voice” means that calls to countries outside of your home country use your Google Voice number and thus you are charged for a domestic call.

      Turning off data means that the phone can’t connect to Google’s servers to route your call via a Google number

      Two unrelated things, but either way, you are using it wrong…

  • Stevo592

    still no honeycomb love :(

    • Anonymous

      i’m waiting on this as well, i remember when the xoom was first released, google said they are working on a HC version of GV, but its been months and nothing yet. I’d like to get an official app instead of using the hacked GV from XDA. I understand we cant make voice calls from a wifi only tablet but atleast seeing and sending texts would be nice.

  • Poedroiduser

    I prefer they fix the “bug” where I am being charged minutes off my voice plan this month for Google Voice call that I haven’t been before! Cost me $150 in overage fees for the first time EVER!

    • http://profiles.google.com/robaymett Rob Aymett

      Google Voice has ALWAYS used your minutes…

      • Poedroiduser

        No it hasn’t, changed sometime in Late June or July. Never have gone over my minutes, and in August I am 300 minutes over after 15 days and all my GV calls are NOW costing me minutes.

        • Anonymous

          No, GV has always used your mins.  It’s just a normal call routed through Google first.  It’s not over data.

        • Anonymous

          You have to go back to Google Voice version 0.3.4 (#13). Then you can make free calls with Google Voice as long as you have your Google Voice number in you fave 5 or calling circle you get free calls to. If you keep the current version of Google Voice you need to use an app called GVoice callback to make free calls. It will treat all outgoing calls as incoming calls.

      • Anonymous

        Not if you have a calling circle / fave 5 of numbers you can call without the calls going against your minutes. People where putting the Google Voice number in their free circle.

    • Christopher Heuer

      To use Google Voice without using minutes on your phone, you’ll have to use Gmail or a minute-less landline.

  • Nathan Zufelt

     The huge delay with VM notifications is what made me disable it.  I’ll give it another go to see if that has really improved.

    • http://twitter.com/KansasJayhawker Jonathan Reid

      That’s interesting because my VM notifications are always instant. I’ve only been using Voice since July thought, so give it another try.

    • Anonymous

      Are you using the app for Android?  It has push now so you get notifications instantly.  Or, you can have them texted to you.  That’s how I’ve always gotten my notifications and it’s always been instantly for me.

    • Anonymous

      Looks like there was a problem with notifications and it has been fixed.  http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/08/31/google-voice-for-android-finally-updated-with-fixes-for-self-pausing-play-button-and-delayed-notifications/

  • http://www.christiaanconover.com/ Christiaan Conover

    I’m pretty sure what they mean is that if you’ve called a phone number through Google Voice before, then your phone will remember what GV number to call to connect to.  The way it’s worked in the past is that every time you call a number through GV, your phone sends a data request to Google telling them the number you want to call, and Google sends back a number for your phone to actually call (a patch number).  Once your phone calls that patch number, Google’s servers then connect your through them to the actual number you want to call.

    This new update will remember what the patch number is for each real number, so you won’t have to have data for previously called numbers.

    • Mark Lewis

      Excellent explanation.

    • Unvincible

      This is exactly what I was thinking too.

    • Anonymous

      hi, does this mean each number you call potentially has a different patch number?
      at a very simplistic level, i thought how GV works is when you make a call, it dials the GV patch number, and the GV server is actually calling the recipient (but telling them it came from your GV number). Are you saying that this patch number differs for each recipient phone number or is it by geographical zones or something?

      • Anonymous

        Each number you call has it’s own number.  Makes you wonder how many numbers Google has.  If you call that number yourself or text it, it’s forwarded to the intended recipient.  That’s how I texted with Google voice before I had a smartphone.

      • http://www.christiaanconover.com/ Christiaan Conover

        You’re correct about how it works, but every number does have its own patch number.  Google recognizes the number you’re calling from, and matches that with the patch number you’re calling to know who to then patch you through to.

        For people with feature phones/phones that don’t have full GV support this is really handy, because then you can put the patch number in as the one to call people at, thereby making sure you’re calling through GV anyway.  I used to do that before I got an Android phone.

    • Sven

      I think the GV mobile app already remembers these dialing numbers for contacts you’ve called through GV mobile at least once. I am able to make calls with my GV number all the time (but only to contacts I’ve called before), and I don’t even have a data plan. My guess then is that this change would make it so that GV doesn’t need data at all when calling, even if calling someone for the first time.

    • Rachel Phillips

      This is the explanation I was looking for because I want my GV number to show up not my cell number.  But now for implementation, do I have GV make all calls?  I’m assuming it will use normal minutes on my phone but will my friends & family numbers still count as unlimited or does using GV to make calls change that somehow?  Thanks in advance!

      • Guest

        Unfortunately, GV calls do count against your minutes.  Since the phone carrier only sees the GV access number and not the number you’re actually trying to reach, it won’t register those calls as friends & family. The only way to do that is to add the GV access numbers as Friends & Family numbers instead of the actual phone numbers for those people.  Then you can call with GV and still get the Friends & Family benefit.

      • http://www.christiaanconover.com/ Christiaan Conover

        Unfortunately, GV calls do count against your minutes.  Since the phone carrier only sees the GV access number and not the number you’re actually trying to reach, it won’t register those calls as friends & family. The only way to do that is to add the GV access numbers as Friends & Family numbers instead of the actual phone numbers for those people.  Then you can call with GV and still get the Friends & Family benefit.

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    What Google Voice needs is a UI update

    • http://profiles.google.com/robaymett Rob Aymett

      Did you even install the update? It got one…

      • Anonymous

        It definitely did, looks nice too.

    • http://twitter.com/victorstuber Victor Stuber

      they actually did update the UI in this update…

    • Mmmmmvags

      YES!   How about letting us delete all.. I hate having to manually delete 20 VMs.. Or maybe Im just dumb and cant find the select all button. 

  • Anonymous

    GV needs data to setup the call.  Do data signal = no call outbound on GV number.