How to Use Google Voice with 3rd Party Messaging Apps

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Google Voice, launched back in 2013, has been slowly transforming the telecom service industry, at first in the USA, now in many other countries across the globe. People signed up by hundreds, and the project has never looked back ever since. Apart from extremely low costs, (it’s free in the USA and very cheap elsewhere) Google added a few more useful services to keep users happy. Let us look at some of them.

The single number policy

Google lets you link all your different phone numbers- mobile, home, work- with your Google Voice account. When someone dials your google voice number, all the linked numbers will start ringing. If you want, you can specify which phone you’d like to ring, based on the caller or time of the day.

Improved voicemails

With a few modifications, Google has tried to integrate voicemail with email. All voicemails are converted to text with a speech recognition software, and notifications are sent to the Gmail inbox. This also means that now you can share voicemails through your Gmail account.

SMS Forwarding

Unlike regular old SMS Forwarding, this feature lets you receive text messages in your Gmail account, reply to them in Gmail itself, which is then transformed into a text message and sent to the recipient’s number. Wow!

Call Blocking and Screening

Block unwanted numbers right from the main screen.  Also, if you have enabled call screening, you can first reroute the caller to voicemail, and then decide whether to take the call after listening to their message.

Personalized Greetings

You can set up different voicemail greetings for different contacts or groups.

Okay, so these were some of the excellent features offered by Google Voice to get you interested. To know more, click on this link.

Despite all this awesomeness, there has been one particular area in which Google Voice has done poorly- integration with other Google and 3rd party services. The iOS app came in much later than expected (though one can’t blame Google completely for it), and there has been a lot of confusion while trying to integrate it with Google Talk, Hangouts, Google Dialler etc etc. Seriously, by now you’d expect Android to ask you to link your Google Voice number during initial set up. Though some progress has been made, users still want a particular feature: to be able to send messages from Google voice number with their favorite messaging apps. So developers rolled their sleeves and cracked their knuckles and started looking for a solution. In this post, we will discuss one such method, developed by XDA member BehindTheMath.

Prerequisites

This method will only work on a rooted phone with Xposed framework installed. Nougat devices are not supported as Xposed for Nougat is still in the making. The method will not work with Voice App versions above 0.4.7.10. If you have already updated your app, you will have to uninstall it and sideload an older version.

Method

  1. In your phone, open Settings-> Security. Enable Unknown Sources.
  2. Download and install the app from the provided link.
  3. Xposed will automatically detect the app and will push a notification.
  4. Select Activate and Reboot.
  5. Open the app, select the Google account you want to use.
  6. In the pop-up message, grant permission to the app to use your account.
  7. Reboot your device once more.

That’s all. Now you should be able to send and receive Google Voice text messages with your regular SMS app. To deactivate or uninstall the module, head over to the Xposed Installer app-> Modules. Reboot after deactivating to see changes.

Here is a list of some known issues:

  • The app may crash every once in a while. Rebooting may fix the issue.
  • Emojis might cause the app to crash.
  • MMS is not supported.
  • There may be duplicate messages or wrong time stamps.