Google voice questions

Is Google Voice/ Hangouts/ Hangouts dialer, still the way to go? Google keeps rolling out new apps. I can't keep up.
Is there any way to avoid paying $20 to port a number to google voice?

I swear by Hangouts / Google Voice. I use the Google Voice service, but I don't use the Google Voice app, except on the desktop in very specific circumstances.

Porting a number to Google Voice may create issues if, when signing up for other services, such other services require a "real" phone number, and categorizes your Google Voice number as not a "real" number.

An example of such a service is, ironically, Google Voice. Signing up for Google Voice requires a real phone number. Recently, when signing up an account for my son, I used 3 FreedomPop LTE SIM numbers, 1 FreedomPop Sprint CDMA number, & 1 TextNow number. Google Voice indicated that it cannot use any of those to set up Google Voice. Using a Sprint 1-year-unlimited-free number worked, however. I interpret the foregoing to mean that those are not "real" numbers - numbers associated with a landline originally or with a real cellphone service originally.

The Google Voice number itself maybe categorized as not a "real" number.

There may be examples of other services with such requirements.

I ported my number to Google voice a long while ago.. you have to pay the $20

Google voice app added the dialer. Looks like Hangouts going different direction

I use Google Voice only-- no Hangouts. My main use is simply to pick which phone line I'm currently using without anyone else having to know which number I'm currently carrying.
GV alone still relies on your plan's voice minutes, and basically just "spoofs" your GV number to replace the device phone #. If you set it up to do so, texting uses small amounts of data, but not your plan's text allowance.

Like lexusl21, I believe there is no way to avoid the $20 charge if you wish to port an existing number to Google Voice. You can choose to get a new number for GV at no charge, though. (You can pick from a list of available numbers in your area.)

Just wondering... for those of us who are "tech immigrants", still learning to "speak tech", are there any good sites or resources for a Google Voice/Hangouts tutorial, including what features are included and step-by-step instructions for how to set everything up (Rosetta Stone, Google Voice for Dummies, etc...)?

There are numerous GV tutorial sights, including Google's own information sites, one of which is linked below. You can just Google "How tos" about GV and be supplied with all you need to know. Or you can buy the "Dummy" book (just kidding on that one).

Thanks for the tip! I ordered the book, too. Looking forward to broadening my tech- and phone-related horizons.

The Google (company) tutorials are pretty good, with one glaring issue-- old articles tend to remain available without any notice that features have changed, and that some of the info is no longer applicable. I managed to confuse myself pretty seriously when I was first using GV because of this.

The one thing I dislike about Google voice is that some settings are much easier to use on Google legacy webpage

Indeed. Such as blocking & unblocking numbers.

LOL It is impossible to port my number to Gvoice because tmobile has no service in my area so GV can not verify my number, which is precisely why I wish to port my number to google voice!!!!

Long story. I had a legacy tmobile paygo number since 2008 .
At my last posting, our straight talk home phone (unlimited talk $15/per month great reception on vtech handheld for hard of hearing) had no signal. No service on my tracfone 1200/1200/1200 either. Tracfone verizon didn't work on Bluegrass cellular verizon towers.
I switched our legacy tmobile to an unlimited talk with 2gb data($10/ month add on to our kids plan.)

New posting. No tmobile service. Straight talk home phone works again. Tracfone works again. I'd like to drop the tmobile $10/month plan we have got from the kids, but how do I keep the tmobile number I've had since 2008.? I thought that Google voice would be ideal, but since I have no tmobile service in this area google voice can't send the code to confirm my number, to continue with the port.

@als---Would it be possible to port your T mobile number to ST home phone , where you would lose your current ST #, and then port the 2008 # to GV (which would temporarily end the ST account, and which you could reactivate with a new # once the port out to GV has finished. If you timed it right before you next ST monthly billing, less money would be at stake. Of course this depends on how important it is to keep your current ST #, and it assumes you could port your T mobile number to ST home phone without T mobile having reception in your area. Hope that makes sense.

als, does either Sprint or AT&T have coverage in your area?
I can think of a route for either of those possibilities.......
The AT&T route would require that you're not particularly attached to your Tracfone #, and that your device currently on T-Mo is unlocked for general GSM use.
The Sprint route would need a sprint-network MVNO device not currently active.

Or, NumberBarn might allow you to "park" the 2008 # for $5 porting fee and $2/mo until you find a way to move it. I've never used it, but it looks like NumberBarn also enables call forwarding from that parked # to a working $6/mo

Caveat: I don't have any experience with porting a number out from NumberBarn later, either. It's possible, but possibly not with GoogleVoice unless the call forwarding feature lets you read the verification text on another device..........

Oh-- just a thought-- does your T-Mobile line have call-forwarding, that might allow the Google text to forward to the Tracfone or StraightTalk for verification? This would only work if T-Mo call-forwarding happens before the last hop to your non-receptive device......

Are you able to use DIGITS?

Here's another guide to Google Voice that I used:

als, the "temporary SIM" line you suggested to joseph in the other thread is a route to move your number to GV--I've never seen another carrier that requires verification through a working phone for the porting process

If you have Sprint coverage, and an available device (maybe an old RingPlus phone?), you could jump on the Tello free month promo, and port the 2008 number there. Assuming it's stackable with the referral reward, you could also get 10 Tello Dollars that could be used to switch to PayGo in the second month & thereafter. (Non-expiring credit as long as you send a text or make a call every 60 days.) (There are some Tello referral codes in the Referral Code thread here.) Once on a functional line, you should be able to port onward to Google Voice.

If you have AT&T coverage & your current T-Mo phone is GSM-unlocked, the H20 prepaid SIM would do the trick-- I see now that porting is allowed (and cheaper.)

Doing a multi-step port through your Tracfone line would work, too, but you would lose the current Tracfone #. (Port the 2008 number to Tracfone, then to GV. Get a new number from Tracfone.)

WOW thanks for all the great suggestions.
This evening, I'll try to see if I can get tmobile wifi calling working first.
Then i'll keep working through the other great suggestions, one by one, including figuring out far I have to drive to get t mobile service.
One way or the other this will work.
, I'll post what worked or come back for more suggestions,
Thanks again for all the great support.

Thanks for all your great support and suggestions.
I kept getting caught up in an endless loop of having to receive text confirmations from t mobile, to sign up for digits or wifi calling.
Great ideas, I couldn't make them work. Just like porting to google voice involved text confirmations to my non service area t mobile number.
I called up tello, and they initiated a port for me Sunday evening and I woke up this morning to Success! my long held tello paygo credit now sports my important old tmobile phone number

Glad you could find a way to move that number, als!
That chain of catch-22's must have been very frustrating to go through.

Remember you need to have a billable event every 60 days to maintain the Tello PayGo balance. I think you can load the Tello app and make a short outgoing VoIP (over WiFI) call to use a minute or 2.

(edit: oops--- make that 90 days. Thanks peterquinn and PA345NH)

Regarding "billable event every 60 days" ---
Did Tello change their rules again? It used to be activity at least once in 180 days to keep Paygo active, and then they changed it to 90 days IIRC. Is it 60 days now? I have a Tello Paygo, guess I should scramble to keep it alive!