How do I activate Google Voice on my Android phone?

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a free calling and voicemail service from Google that provides users with a phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail (1). Once set up, Google Voice can route calls to any phone, even landlines. It also transcribes voicemail messages and delivers them via text or email (2).

Some key features of Google Voice include:

  • Free calling within the US and Canada
  • Voicemail transcription and delivery
  • Text messaging
  • Call screening and blocking
  • Conference calling
  • Call recording
  • Online management of settings

Google Voice provides an alternative phone number that’s linked to an existing mobile or landline number. It gives users enhanced calling features and control over how they receive calls and messages. Google Voice is available on iOS, Android, and the web (3).




Benefits of Google Voice

Google Voice provides several useful features and benefits, including:

  • Get a free phone number – Google Voice provides you with a free phone number that can be used to make and receive calls and texts. This number works independently from your regular cell phone number.
  • Voicemail – Google Voice transcribes voicemails and delivers them to your inbox, allowing you to easily access and manage your messages.
  • Call screening – Google Voice can screen incoming calls and provide you with a transcript, giving you the option to pick up, reject the call, or have Google Assistant respond with your pre-recorded message.
  • Blocking – Easily block unwanted callers right from the Google Voice app. You can also report spam callers to help improve the service.

With its call management features and ability to get a free additional phone number, Google Voice enhances basic calling capabilities for Android users.

Requirements to use Google Voice

There are a few key requirements in order to use Google Voice on an Android phone:

First, you need a Gmail account. This is because Google Voice is a service from Google, so you sign in using your Google/Gmail credentials. You cannot use Google Voice without a Gmail account.

Second, you need an Android phone. Google Voice works on Android smartphones and tablets, but does not have an iPhone app. So make sure you have an Android device to use Google Voice.

Finally, you need to download and install the Google Voice app from the Play Store. This app allows you to configure your Google Voice number and make calls. Without the app, you cannot use Google Voice on your Android device.

Download and install Google Voice app

To get started with Google Voice, you’ll first need to download the Google Voice app from the Google Play store. You can find the official Google Voice app by searching for “Google Voice” in the Play Store app on your Android device or by clicking on this link from your mobile browser: Google Voice on Google Play.

Once you’ve located the Google Voice app, tap on the “Install” button to download and install it on your device. The app is free to download and use.

Open the Google Voice app

After downloading and installing the Google Voice app, you will need to open it to proceed with setting up your account. Here are the steps to open the Google Voice app on your Android device:

The Google Voice app icon looks like a white speech bubble on a blue background with “GV” inside. To locate it, swipe up from the bottom of your home screen to view all your apps. You can also swipe left or right on this screen to see other pages of apps if it is not immediately visible (source).

Once you have located the Google Voice app icon, simply tap on it to launch the app. The app will open, showing the Google Voice logo on a white background.

You are now ready to sign into your Google account and continue the setup process within the app.

Sign in with your Google account

To start using Google Voice, you first need to sign in with your Google account. This is typically your Gmail address and password. According to Google’s support article, you need to “Enter your Google Account information” to sign in.

On your Android phone, launch the Google Voice app and tap on Sign In. Enter your full Gmail address and password on the sign in screen. This allows Google Voice to connect to your Google account and existing contacts.

Signing in with your Google account is required to activate Google Voice and begin using it to make calls, send texts, and check voicemail. Your Gmail credentials allow Google Voice to sync everything and provide you with a unified messaging experience across your devices.

Accept the Google Voice agreement

The next step to setting up Google Voice is to review and accept the terms of service. These terms outline the rules and policies for using Google Voice, including how Google may use your data. It’s important to thoroughly read through the terms to ensure you understand and agree to Google’s conditions for using the service.

To proceed with the setup process, you must check the box indicating you agree to the Google Voice terms of service. Declining the terms will prevent you from moving forward. Once you accept, you can continue with choosing your Google Voice number and customizing your settings.

Accepting the terms is required to use Google Voice. So take a moment to review the policies around privacy, data usage, and any restrictions that may apply. This ensures you are fully informed before signing up.

Choose a Google Voice Number

Once you open the Google Voice app and sign in to your Google account, you will be prompted to choose a Google Voice number. You can either port your existing mobile number to Google Voice, or pick an available number from the list.

To pick an available number, Google Voice will first ask you to enter your city or area code. This helps populate a list of available local numbers to choose from. Scroll through the list to preview the available numbers, and select one you like.

According to this tutorial, when picking a Google Voice number, you may want to choose one with an easy to remember pattern or number combination.

Once you’ve selected an available number from the list, Google Voice will immediately assign it to your account. The number will now work with the Google Voice service.

Configure your settings

One of the most useful features of Google Voice is the ability to customize notification and call forwarding options. After installing the app, open Settings to configure notifications and call forwarding.

For notifications, you can choose to receive alerts for missed calls, voicemails, and text messages. Enable the notification options you want under Notifications in Settings. This allows you to get notifications even when the Google Voice app is closed.

Call forwarding is configured under Phones in Settings. You can set your Google Voice number to ring multiple phones simultaneously. For example, enable call forwarding to ring both your mobile phone and landline when someone calls your Google Voice number. You can also configure it to only ring certain phones at certain times.

Additionally, call screening can be enabled under Settings > Calls. This allows you to screen calls and only answer if you want to talk to the caller. Callers are asked to state their name and you will see a transcription.

Make sure to spend time customizing notifications and call forwarding in Google Voice’s Settings. This allows you to optimize call and message alerts to best fit your needs (Source).

Make your first call

Once you have set up your Google Voice account and chosen your Google Voice phone number, you are ready to start making calls directly from the Google Voice app on your Android phone.

To make your first call:

  1. Open the Google Voice app.
  2. Tap on the phone icon at the bottom.
  3. This will open the dial pad. Enter the phone number you want to call.
  4. Tap the green call button to start the call.
  5. The call will now connect using your Google Voice number.

You can also initiate calls by tapping on the contacts tab and selecting a contact to call.

The Google Voice app allows you to make unlimited calls within the US and Canada for free. International calls may incur a per-minute fee. Check the Google Voice pricing page for details.

Making calls directly from the Google Voice app provides the full functionality of your Google Voice number on your Android device.

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