Q: What is the differences between your app and the official Google Voice app? Why do I need Google Voice Callback?
A: As its name implies, my app uses callback mechanism, which means it intercepts your outgoing calls, and then it asks Google Voice to call you back so that when you pick up the incoming call from your Google Voice number, you are connected to your original outgoing number. That means you actually never call out; you answer a call from your Google Voice number.
The official Google Voice app, in contrast, calls out, which means it dials another number instead of your original number (some number from the 416 area code) then transfer you to your original number on their (Google's) end. That means you are virtually dialing a number that does not even exist on your phone book.
Is the difference significant? If you want some form of free call, then it is. See questions/answers below.
Q: Does Google Voice Callback give me free calls?
Q: Does calling using Google Voice Callback cost in my phone bill?
A: Yes, unless you have special setup as answered below. But of course, it won't cost any more than you dial out from your phone with the old fashioned way.
Q: But why does your app advertise that it gives free calls?
A: No it does not advertise as such. Yes free call is possible, but my app does not magically give you free call - you need other ingredient(s). There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!
Q: Then how can I get free calls?
A: There is two ways that Google Voice Callback can help you get free calls. 1) Through your cell phone carrier; 2) through internet via Voice-Over-IP (VOIP). Both requires that you have a Google Voice account, of course. Let me walk through the two options quickly:
- Through your cell phone carrier: WARNING: it's YOUR responsibility to check with the conditions and terms of your cell phone carrier whether this method is legitimate. I do not recommended nor sponsor this method; I simply state the possibility. I bear no responsibility if you break the terms and conditions with your cell phone carrier. To get free call, you need a plan such as MyFaves from T-Mobile, which gives you unlimited call to a fixed number of individuals (your family, friends, etc.) By adding your Google Voice number as one of those unlimited calling numbers, you appear to be talking to your Google Voice number all the time from your cell phone carrier's perspective, no matter what number you originally called out. Hence the "free" calls.
- Through VOIP: this is more complicated, but it can be truly free (if you have internet connection already). See here for more details.
A: You need to use filter rules.
Q: How do I use Google Voice Callback only during the day on weekdays (because my cell phone plan has free night and weekend, etc.)? A: Have a look at the setting called "Quiet Hours".
Q: How do I use Google Voice Callback only on 3G/wifi/2G/whatever?
Q: How do I use disable/enable callback during two sets of times (i.e. Quiet Hour does not do exactly what I wanted)?
A: Unfortunately, you need an external app that does scheduling: Locale or Tasker. Google Voice Callback v0.5 or above has a plugin for Locale or Tasker, so you need to setup a profile in either of those apps, and let that app toggle the settings for you.
Q: Does Google Voice Callback work in country X (where X is not US or Canada)?
A: I'm afraid not. Google Voice Callback only works where Google Voice itself works. You can still take advantage of free internet VOIP calls to US numbers from anywhere in the world, but you cannot use Google Voice Callback to call a local number without paying or have Google Voice callback to your local phone.
Q: Why does it stuck at the "Waiting for callback" screen?
Q: Why do I not receive the callback?
A: If you have successfully received a callback call before, and you haven't change the settings or your cell phone number, it could be a temporary problem with Google Voice. Try making the call again. If multiple tries all fail, go to www.google.com/voice on your computer and make a call there. If that doesn't work either, then Google Voice is down temporarily for you, and there is nothing you or I can do beside waiting for Google Voice to work again. If you have never made a call with Google Voice Callback before, and you are stuck on the "Waiting for callback" screen, you likely have some incorrect settings. In particular, make sure that the number you selected as callback number is available to receive an incoming call. For example, if you choose your home number as callback number and you are at work, obviously you will never receive the callback.
Q: Why does it take so long to register callback? Plzzzz fix it!!!
A: Google Voice Callback needs to login to Google Voice, and then register with Google Voice to request callback to your callback number. Both login step and the request step are relatively quick (and if you make call often enough the login result is cached across calls). Once the callback is registered, it's all up to Google and your cell phone network's latency to decide when you will receive the callback. There is nothing I can do to shorten that time! Usually if you are using VOIP, the callback is close to instantaneous; if you use your regular cell phone for callback, you do need to wait a little bit. You probably already noticed that if you call someone standing right next to you, his/her phone does not ring immediately; this is the similar delay you experience when waiting for the callback!
Q: Auto-answer does not seem to work for me?
A: First of all, auto-answer works for the default Phone app on Android. (For auto-answer in third party apps such as Sipdroid, CSipSimple, etc., you have to configure that in with that app, not with Google Voice Callback). If you have Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), you are somewhat out of luck. Auto-answer for Android 2.2 or below relies on internal API within Android, but access to that API is closed for non-system apps on Android 2.3. There is a fallback mechanism that basically fakes button presses to answer the incoming callback call, but it is not very reliable, as far as I know.
Q: My question is not answered above? A: No problem! Post a comment below, or email me (my email can be found on the app's description page on the Android Market).