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Koush Gets Google Voice Working Through Any SMS App on Cyanogenmod, Available for Download

google voice android

Google Voice, while an amazing concept and at times brilliant product, has been neglected by Google for the last couple of years and is for the most part incredibly frustrating to use these days. It still doesn’t do MMS, but maybe more importantly, users have been forced to use the painfully buggy and slow Google Voice app for texting rather than some of the more popular SMS apps available. Thanks to Koush, that second issue may have been fixed. 

In a G+ post two days ago, Koush (of ClockworkMod, Helium, and trolling fame) mentioned that he has found a way to get Google Voice SMS working through not only the stock SMS app on Android, but also any third party app that does text messaging. Yesterday morning, he then released the first build of the concept for users to try out.

This is essentially what it does:

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.

As of now, this is a feature that only CyanogenMod ROM is capable of producing, so you have to be running CM in order to test it (July 1 and later build). Obviously, you’ll need Google Voice installed as well. Once you have those two requirements taken care of, hit up the instructions at his G+ to dive in.

How awesome is this?

Update:  He already pushed out a beta 2. Instructions here.

Via:  +Koush [2]

Cheers Peter!

  • Andy McDearmon

    But the stock SMS app doesn’t work on tablets, right? So this will really only be beneficial on phones until Google comes up with a more elegant solution, if they ever decide to do anything with GV again…

  • DanSan

    this is how google hangouts should have been! hate to say it but more like imessage. completely dropped the ball on “unified” messaging app

    • d-rock

      I think google is still working on expanding Hangouts…but yes…should have been like that from the get go.

  • Wao. This is good, it can make me feel more comfortable in a number of issues related to their work. Hopefully it will be handy as possible.

  • Nicolas Pipitone

    I’m confused as to how this is different than it currently works. When someone texts me via my Google Voice number it shows up in my GoSms as a thread. The name is prefaced by a number but still has the contact name. When I reply to this thread in GoSms it then responds to the person from my Google Voice number. Just trying to clarify. Thanks.

  • Taylor Abrahamson

    I’m pretty sure I’ve been sending and receiving messages in my CM stock messenger app that go out and come in through google voice for months now??

    When I get a text message in google voice, It shows up in my stock messenger. I can then reply with stock messenger, and the other person gets the message. I can then open up google voice and see the messages I sent out and received with my stock messenger.

  • Colin Zack

    Can someone explain to me how to do this? I’ve grabbed a cyanogen mod nightly, but it looks like I need the PushSMS Middleware patches and I don’t know where to get those .

    He also says to push the apk to system app… how do I do that?

  • Anon

    As much as I love Google Android, Voice is just one example of many services that Google has started, and never finished. They create a service, get it 60-80% right, and then let bugs, issues, or needed features go by, and the service rots on the vine when they find an “Oooh, shiny!” new concept.

    I’d love to see Google make follow-through its mission when it comes to the next five-year plan. As for Voice, again, love the concept –but no MMS makes it a partial solution.

    • Anon

      This also makes it difficult for me to rely on any one Google app/service; I’m always concerned that two years later, they’ll cancel it.

      • Brian Barcus

        That seems like a self-defeating approach to services. You’ve missed out on the benefits of those services for the years they are supported. May as well get the value while it is there but always be flexible enough to change to a better (or still active) product when necessary.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Google NEEDS to take left/right swipe down on the notification bar from CM. Good stuff.

  • JP

    I am VERY surprised you people haven’t posted about the various SMS apps that work just fine with Google Voice. I use Ninja SMS and it works perfectly and provides an excellent pop-up UI. Yes the Google Voice app sucks but as advanced users it’s up to us to find a work-around and there are plenty to choose from.
    Ranting about how crappy the app is when it is clear that Google doesn’t care anymore is not at all productive.

    • Nathaniel_Graham

      You would still be charged for those text messages through Ninja SMS though. I don’t have an SMS plan and I use GV exclusively, saves me $20 every month.

  • Destroythanet

    I ported my phone number to Google Voice over a year ago and it’s worked out really well. The only thing preventing me from being totally happy with it is the lack of MMS capabilities. Other than that, GV has been great for me.

    • Chris Hannan

      I switched to Verizon two years ago next month because it was the last day they offered unlimited data. I already pay $76.16 a month (taxes and fees). I’m not paying another $20 for texting, so I’ve been using GV since I switched.

      Not really sure what’s wrong with the app. It’s not beautiful but it’s not ugly either. It works perfectly fine for me. A few times I’ve had issues where texts would take a minute to send, but since it automatically keeps trying to send texts that fail, I don’t have to worry about it. It’s worth saving $20/month and being able to text on all of my devices and any other device with a web browser, even though it doesn’t have MMS.

      • Nathaniel_Graham

        I’m in the same boat as you (on Verizon with unlimited data and no SMS plan) but my issue with the GV app is that it makes multiple conversation threads for the same contact. It’s annoying and makes everything look messy.

        • Chris Hannan

          tbh I like that. It only does that when you haven’t been texting for a while, so it’s assuming you’re picking up on a new conversation. The reason I like it, though, is that it makes searching for something easier. Since my threads are almost always under 100 texts, when I search for something, it brings up a thread that’s relatively small that doesn’t require a lot of scrolling through to find what I want.

  • SMD

    “I tank dat google boys has token and bill napalm work. Hits translation napalm seemed two comb out making eddie cents.”

    The above sentence is what I would assume Google Voice would translate for me if I left a voice message describing the fact that it almost NEVER works well. Not sure what the hype is for this app. If it worked well or even close to well, okay but 9 out of 10 times, it gets about 20% of any voicemail accurately translated. Plus, I found it buggy and inconsistent. Fail.

  • Total_telecom

    Version 0.3.4 works great, same outbound dialer number so you can exploit friends and family, text has no delays. Mms, ehhh who cares, use kik like everyone else

  • Ken


  • Eric Hare

    Google Voice is quite possibly the most disappointing “What-Could-Have-Been” product in Google’s repertoire. It is both incredibly useful, and still painfully underdeveloped and at times just flat broken. I’ll never understand how Google choices what software to abandon (Reader, Voice) and what to promote (G+).

    With that said, this is awesome news. Great job, CM team.

    • zurginator

      It simply comes down to money.

      Also the carriers probably put up some stiff opposition to it.

      • Eric Hare

        I hear you in terms of Google Voice. But Reader? It seems to be it was an incredibly good way of honing in on exactly what sites I read, what I’m interested in, etc. They could build a really strong targeted advertising profile just from what I subscribe to and what I click on in Reader. Seems like that should pay off the cost, somehow.

        EDIT: Sorry, this is getting a little off the topic of Google Voice. Like you said, it’s almost too good to be true and i’m sure they’re having to eat the cost somewhere. I wonder how many people would pay for GV if it were offered as a small subscription service?

        • JakeZachariah

          i would. it is a useful service when the carriers refuse to offer phone blocking services as included in their service agreements — i’d rather give google the money to clone a phone number for the bonus features it has currently and would pay more for advanced features…

        • zurginator

          While all the reader alternatives popped up, I wonder how many will stick around once they figure out the user count. It might just not have been worth the effort to Google.

          As for voice, I don’t use it because the app sucks, and I’ve heard my service (T-mob prepaid) doesn’t play nice (read: at all). If true, this rules out probably close to 70% of the Nexus community (which would be the biggest supporters).

          • Marc Duckett

            Feedly has 12 million unique users now. That is 12 million of the world’s best educated, most influential and (probably) wealthiest internet users. Strange Google should choose to ignore such a juicy segment.

          • TheMan876

            i.e. people that dont click on ads

          • zurginator

            You mean all the people who run ad blockers? Yeah I’m sure Google gets a ton of revenue from them.

            Collecting information on people costs Google money. If those people aren’t using ads, that’s wasted money.

          • raarness

            I have used T-mobile prepaid for a year now with Google voice and have had no issues..with both the galaxy nexus and nexus 4. Not sure where you got the info about it not playing nice. It works perfect for me!

          • Brian Barcus

            Call forwarding is not supported on T-Mobile pre-paid. That means you cannot get calls to your TMO number to go to Google Voice voice mail. If you only give out your GV number this isn’t a huge problem but that TMO number will get out if you have to make a call when data services aren’t working and people will save that number and use it to return calls or send text messages. Then Google Voice is out of the loop.

          • atcchris

            Correct about conditional call forwarding on T-mobile. The problem is really not a problem at all if you DO only give out your Google Voice number. I do not experience any issues of Google Voice being out of the loop at all. When people call my GV number, my phone rings. If I’m in Data Coverage or not. If I text or call someone out of data coverage, they see my GV number only, and only respond to my GV number. Also, I have been sending and receiving text messages from the stock messaging app for a long time without needing root or anything. There’s a setting that you set in the GV voice app (before you leave an area where you know you have data) that allows it.

            What it DOES do is cause each person you text with from the stock app to be applied a different phone number by GV. This needs to be added to that persons contact list. It is a PITA, I completely agree. It sucks. I will probably move to CM just so I can use the stock app and not have to deal with all that number stuff. However, it is not unusable and once you set it up it is all pretty straightforward. I also had T-mobile deactivate voicemail to my T-mo number, to avoid EVER having calls picked up by that. If someone were to call my T-mo number ever, it would just ring forever if I didn’t answer it (i think, never tried, because in over a year, no one has called it).

            The brilliant thing is that I can switch service providers between T-mobile and an ATT MVNO on a month to month basis and be continually given different actual phone numbers, but never miss anything because GV is my “real” phone number and it’s the only one anyone has and/or needs. My t-mobile bill just happens to be 30 dollars a month, so I have kept that one going for over a year, even though some months I use a Net10 ATT sim because of low T-mobile signal to where I travel to.

            This solution is optimal and perfect for me, but I can’t recommend it for everyone and you have to plan ahead and know what you’re doing.

          • Brian Barcus

            I wasn’t sure if the virtual number assigned by Google Voice was always the same for each SMS contact so I had begun experimenting with it. Glad to have confirmation that putting those in the contact list works. Most of my messaging is via Hangouts so updating my contacts for a few SMS users is easy.

    • Ken

      Google listen…

  • Jon Edge

    I hope this method gets broken out of CM. Would be great as just a stand-alone download for anyone.

    • Nathaniel_Graham

      I can confirm this works on Paranoid Android 3.65. Using this hack on my Nexus 7 with the Sliding Messenger app.

  • dsass600

    Google, your app is bad, and you should feel bad.

  • Michael Ta

    and how long did it take google to implement this?! we don’t know because it’s not AVAILABLE!

    Google needs to hire the entire Cyanogenmod team. Just saying.

    • Michael Quinlan

      For unknown reasons, Google has severely neglected Google Voice. I care very little about the lack of MMS, but the Android app and its half-assed attempt at threading are a PITA. If Google were inclined to address these issues they would have done so years ago. Hiring the Cyanogenmod team would only serve to stifle the teams creativity and freedom to address the issues that Google has a history of ignoring.

      • They are merging it with Hangouts. Google Voice will be the next in the Google Grave. But with Hangouts, there will be MMS support, that has long been lacking and the app is great, IMO.

        • really? you like not knowing when people are online, away, or have put up do not disturb? the design is great, the execution is terrible.

          • Ed Cerqueira

            Personally I don’t really need to no peoples “status”. I see hangouts as a SMS replacement plus. When sending people an SMS you never know what their “status” is just like in hangouts. You will however be able to see the last message that they saw, when they are typing, be able to easily create a group chat (of course group chats could use a few more administrative features imo), and with one click you can be video chatting with up to 9 other people. That’s pretty damn good in my book. I honestly believe that the days of “satus’s” are behind us, at least it is way behind me ever since I stopped using AIM. Of course this is just my opinion but I think this is how Google is thinking as well and I personally love the direction they are moving in and can’t wait for the next major update with new features I’ve been hoping for.

          • Kimm Ryland

            like Marie replied I didn’t know that a person able to get paid $8661 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this website w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

          • Inquizitor

            So because it’s a replacement for SMS, it should have the same crappy limitations SMS has? Facebook Messenger has long-form message threading, large group support and integration with SMS, and you can still see when a friend is online, idle, or mobile. Because that information can only help you. It’s not innovative or a different direction to remove this, it’s just limiting. Why would someone bother sending a video chat request or including a friend in a group chat if it’s clear the person is offline? What if I have a question and I can ask several different friends for the same information? Should I just send out a blast hangout to five people, or five separate messages, and wait like an idiot to hear back? I’d rather just message one person who I know is available to respond.

            The fact that Hangouts crippled this part of the service is ass-backwards and infuriating. It’s why I refuse to ‘upgrade’ on Gmail.

          • Ed Cerqueira

            Like I said it’s just my opinion. As we move on more and more people are constantly connected with their smartphones. When I look at Facebook messenger seeing someone as online or mobile really doesn’t make a difference to me. In my experience it usually means the same thing. If you are on the desktop version of Hangouts you can see if someone is On the computer and if they are not then they are most likely just mobile.

            If you have to ask a question to five people then yes you can either go individually or make a group chat. What other choice would you have? If they are able to they will respond to right away, otherwise they will respond when they get a chance. What difference does it really matter if they are online or not.

            SMS integration is one feature I hope that thing bring to Hangouts but the lack of it won’t keep me from using Hangouts at the moment.

            Again everyone is entitled to their own opinion however this is the path that Google chose and they’re not going to go back just because some people don’t like it. I personally love the way they are going and I see it as the future of messaging.

            If you really need the Online and Offline feature then like yo said, just use Facebook. However I honestly don’t really see the difference of Online vs Mobile vs Offline. It all really boils down to one thing to most people, either on their computer or on their smartphone.

          • Inquizitor

            Most people like knowing if they can have a conversation right away with somebody. Facebook offers that. Hangouts needlessly complicates things, and they don’t have the luxury to do so because they don’t have the dedicated userbase. People will either stick to talk for as long as they can, or they’ll use Facebook, SMS, or an easier replacement. This kind of hybrid just makes it needlessly tougher to have conversations with people. I see that you clearly don’t care about status, but most people wouldn’t want to bother sending a message if someone won’t see it right away. I would call Hangouts a flop, but like most other services Google will likely forget about it in a month or two and move on to the next shiny thing that grabs their interest. Nothing will change or improve in Hangouts for at least another 2-3 years, except for possibly voice call support and or SMS/Google Voice support. No fixing the crappy, complicated UI or the buggy apps. No extra pushes or marketing. That’s the Google way.

          • Ed Cerqueira

            I still don’t see you’re Facbook argument honestly. It is just about the same usability as Hangouts does in terms of seeing “availability”. People are either “online” or mobile, just like they are in Hangouts where online is indicated by a green line under their profile picture.

            SMS and Google Voice support are coming according to Google, hopefully sooner rather than later but they are working to squash already present bugs before rushing to push out any new features.

            I also highly doubt that this will be another shortly abandoned project especially since it is a stock app on android. And 2-3 years for any kind of updates? I hope you don’t seriously believe that. They had to rebuild this app from the ground up and this is only the beginning of what Google has to offer.

            I’m not trying to say that Hangouts doesn’t have any bugs or couldn’t use any work. It definitely can but it’s just the beginning for this app.

          • Inquizitor

            I use facebook because it’s a similarly-styled chat service that is just as popular, if not more so, than Hangouts. You could substitute in WhatsApp or other apps, if you want. I’m not totally familiar with them, but I know they’re insanely popular, especially WhatsApp, overseas.

            The thing is, the argument furthered by you and others against status is that “people are always connected these days”. That’s far from true. Even if people have an internet connection most of the time, they’re still busy. People are in school, or at work, or sleeping or eating or watching a movie or have no signal or wifi or they’re on vacation and have no data abroad, etc. Life happens. Other services have more information, like telling someone if they’re mobile how long ago they were active, or displaying no icon if they’re actually offline. Hangouts either shows a little green bar (which doesn’t even appear in the mobile app, I believe) or nothing at all. In talk, there was also a little dot next to the name to indicate status in the chat box itself, but that appears to be completely gone in favor of a 2-pixel-thick green line underneath the title bar. Pretty tough for me to see, at least, though that may be because I have a high-density display. The binary nature of the statuses in hangouts makes the service not at all useful. I have to switch to facebook to see if someone’s actually online, and since I’m already there I figure “what the hell” and just use that service instead. I’m sure I’m not the only one to whom this scenario regularly applies. Google loses us as users, and that adds up.

            Glad to see calling was added today, though. I doubt they’re make the next jump to SMS in the next year, but if they do I’ll be ecstatic. I don’t hate Google or the concept of hangouts, I love both and hope they provide something more useful to me. I tend to always hope for the best, expect the worst.

          • Ed Cerqueira

            Well hopefully Google will integrate SMS with Hangouts and will make it the default SMS application for android. That would greatly boost the user base of Hangouts similar to how iMessage has become so popular for IOS users.

            Facebooks only real “advantage” is being able to see how long ago they were at their desktop, though I honestly still believe that it is nearly irrelevant. If someone is going to be on Vacation or something they will most likely post it to some kind of social website, its not like you can post a status in Facebook Messenger.

            The fact the calling was added recently just shows that Google is actually actively working on giving Hangouts more features.

          • Well I never used Talk anyway. I have always used Voice. So, I guess we are coming from two different aspects. I completely understand where you are coming from though. It just doesn’t bother me. You can put up a snooze for your notifications, like do not disturb. Another thing I guess I am confused about is the people icons. When they are not transparent at all, does that not mean they are online? When they are semi-transparent, they are not. Am I wrong in saying that?

          • Ed Cerqueira

            From my understanding, in the Android app if you are chatting with someone a transparent icon means they are not viewing the current chat while a “full” icon means they are. On the Desktop Chrome extension you will see a green line under the icon of anyone who is also currently on their desktop. That’s everything that I know about the icons at least.

          • Inquizitor

            If they made the green line more visible, especially in the actual chat box, and added a differentiater between idle and offline I’d be satisfied. Without these small additions, it’s too much of a crap shoot to bother using.

          • Ed Cerqueira

            The green line seems pretty visible to be, I just wish they would bring it to the mobile apps as well. The only thing with idle and offline how I think Google thinks, me as well, is that there really is not more idle or offline because almost everyone is typically always connected. Could it be useful in some situations, sure but I think Google wants to stick with the always connected mentality with Hangouts.

          • Inquizitor

            That thinking works in theory but fails in real life. People go offline a lot for various reasons. Sometimes the app isn’t active in the background/they don’t have push notifications, they don’t have reception, etc. People are not actuall “always connected” today. It makes little sense to remove something that can be easily implemented and helps people just because of some idealistic Tomorrowland mentality. It was a useful thing that should not have been removed.

            Your/Google’s argument is “people don’t need it, so it doesn’t belong.” My argument is “people may one day not need it, but a lot still do and there’s no net benefit to its absence.”

      • piwifaquzehy

        мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

        The above sentence is what I would assume Google Voice would
        translate for me if I left a voice message describing the fact that it
        almost NEVER works well. Not sure what the hype is for this app. If it
        worked well or even close to well, okay but 9 out of 10 times, it gets
        about 20% of any voicemail accurately translated. Plus, I found it buggy
        and inconsistent. Fail.

    • Muttley

      “Google needs to hire the entire Cyanogenmod team”

      Samsung beat them to it.

    • DroidFTW

      While the Cyanogenmod team is very talented there are already hundreds of people who work for Google who are either just as talented or way more talented. This feature is not being pushed out by Google not because they cannot do it on a technical level but because they can’t or won’t do it on a business or legal level.