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How To Use Google Voice With Android Tablets And Media Players

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I’ve had a Google Voice number for years and I use it on my smartphones, landline and work phones so I only have to give out one number yet get calls wherever I am. Recently, I installed Google Voice on my Android tablet so I could answer text messages or listen to voicemails without having to turn on my phone.

Even though my tablet doesn’t have a number and can’t make calls (without help), it’s still a useful platform for Google Voice. Same with Android media players like the Samsung Galaxy Player. In fact, with Google Voice you can turn a non-phone device into a free texting paradise for a kid or teen.

You can even use your Android device to initiate calls with Google Voice on your smartphone or landline. And if you have a service like Line2 that allows you to make calls with a non-phone device over Wi-Fi, you can use these steps to make calls using your Google Voice Number.

Set Up Google Voice

Step 1: Sign up for Google Voice. If you aren’t already using GV, sign in to your Google account then go to google.com/voice to get started.

Google Voice 101: How To Sign Up For Google Voice

Since tablets and media players don’t have numbers, you can just enter your cell phone or landline as your first forwarding number.

Step 2: Connect this Google account to your device. If it’s the same account you used to first set up the device, move on to the next step. If you need to add another account, go to Settings > Accounts > Add Account.

Step 3: Install the Google Voice app. You can find in the Google Play Store.

If your device doesn’t have the official market you can use this Chrome extension to download any Android app to your computer, then sideload it to your device.

Google Voice Setup

Step 4: Set up the app. When you open it for the first time it will walk you through the necessary steps. Choose the account associated with Google Voice on the second screen.

Google Voice Setup Choose Account

Since you’re not setting up a phone there are fewer steps than a normal Google Voice installation. The app will start syncing your Inbox right away.

Google Voice Setup Final

Make Google Voice Calls

Step 1: On Android 4.0 devices, tap the phone icon in the upper right corner of most GV screens to initiate Click-to-Call. On other devices, tap Menu > Click-to-Call.

Google Voice Click to Call icon

Step 2: Type in the number to call or type letters to do an instant search for an existing contact.

Google Voice Click to Call

Step 3: Choose which phone to use for the call. Tap the arrow to show a list of all your GV numbers. Then Tap Connect.

Google Voice Click To Call Choose Number

Step 4: The phone you chose will ring. When you pick it up you’ll hear a ringtone as Google Voice connects you with whoever you’re calling.

Google Voice Click to Call Final

For more tips and tricks for using Google Voice on any device, check out our Google Voice University posts.

K. T. is a lover of technology, gadgets, and all things geek. She has the enviable job of playing with evaluating mobile tech and apps all day. Follow K. T. on Twitter @KTBradford, on Google+ and Tumblr or email her via her website, KTBradford.com.

8 Comments

  1. rainman5

    04/12/2012 at 6:29 am

    I’ve been using google voice for some time, just for voicemail and texting, I kept my old number. I’ve really appreciated the service, and its nice to use it online or on my tablet as KT describes. Lately, though, I’ve been very disappointed. I have had several messages that show up hours or even, in a couple of cases, a full day late. In some cases there is a delay on voicemail, but the main problem has been texts. I’m about to stop using it if I can’t find a solution. Has anyone heard if this is a widespread problem or is it just something about my hardware/setup?

    • rmgomez44Roberto

      09/23/2012 at 2:37 am

      Hi, I think that your problem must be related with your hardware. I Use it on daily basis for work, ans the voice mail w/transcription and text msg are really fast. I’m using a laptop.

  2. Karen

    10/24/2012 at 7:20 am

    I am trying to send a text to a five digit number instead of a phone number and it errors. The radio station said to text to the five digit number. HELP

  3. Yesenia Honeydew

    11/30/2012 at 11:58 am

    I really dont get what is the point of using this for a tablet if it will call your own phone and then connect you to someone elses phone. Wouldnt it be the same thing to just use your own phone to call the person, only with less steps.. Is there something Im missing here? I actually want to just use my tablet because I lost my phone, is this possible?? Please help.. This would be great.

    Thanks.. (:

    • steve

      01/02/2013 at 4:32 pm

      yep! just stupid!! Read my comments below.

    • mike

      03/04/2013 at 12:16 pm

      if you want to make phone calls from your tablet using Google voice, you need to install either Talkatone or GrooVe IP to do what you want.

  4. steve

    01/02/2013 at 4:30 pm

    My granddaughter has an Ipod, she can use it google voice as a phone on her device, but google won’t let us make outgoing calls directly from android? silly !

  5. Pingback: Did Google Update Google Voice in Preparation for Babel Unified Messaging?

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