How To: Ditch The Texting Plan And Use Google Voice For Free Texts

Texting plans, to use an old-school phrase, are highway robbery. Carriers charge $10 to $20 a month for data that gets sent in garbage packets and requires almost no resources–nobody should be paying this much for 160 character messages. Luckily, if you have a data plan on your Android device you can use Google Voice to send unlimited texts for free, from your phone or from Voice’s PC browser interface. Here’s how do to it!
1. Sign up for a Google Voice account and number
First, we need to get a Google Voice number. Sign up at google.com/voice for an account, and once you’re all logged in click at the Get a Gooogle Number button in the sidebar.

Fill out the application for a number by first searching for a number by area code, then telling Google Voice what number to link your new number to. Give Voice your existing cell phone number, and then verify you own it by text message or automatic call. Once you’re all signed up for your new number, make a note of it and then head on over to your Android device to set it up.

2. Link your new Google Voice number to your Android device.

By hooking up your new Google Voice number to your Android phone, you’ll be able to access your Google Voice voice messages as well as any text messages people send to your new number. You’ll also be able to send texts from this new number as well, so make sure to tell your friends to add the second number to their phones for you!

First, download the Google Voice application from the Android Market (it’s just called “Voice”). After you load it up, it will ask you to sign in to a Google account–make sure to use the same account you signed up for the number with in step 1.

Second, let Google Voice know when you’d like to use your new number to make calls. As you’re still getting this all set up, select “Only use Google Voice for International Calls” right now.

Finally, configure your voicemail to work with Google Voice. This will allow your callers to leave a message with Voice instead of Verizon, and you’ll be able to check them online (super handy). Follow the prompts that the Voice app gives you, you’ll have to make a call and type in a confirmation code to make the switch over to Google Voice for your voicemail. You’ll still be able to check your Verizon voicemail as you did before, but new messages will come to the Voice account.

3. Set Google Voice as the default app for Texting

Finally, we’ll need to make sure that your phone defaults to using Google Voice for texting. Go to the Settings menu, select Applications, and then Manage Applications. Find “Messaging,” (or the name of any alternative texting app you’ve been using until this point) and then select “Clear Defaults” to clear any defaults that may have been set.

The next time you go to send a text, select Google Voice from the list of apps to use, and check the box to save your settings. Then you’ll be set up to use Voice for texting, for free! Make sure to change any shortcuts you may have on your homescreen, and once you let all your friends know your new number, call your provider and cancel that texting plan! You can save $15 a month just with this little tip.

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  • http://no-substitute.com Kim Nilsson

    Still a US-only service :-(

  • Brant Power

    I keep things clean solely for the fact I can find them faster. Especially when using multi OS. When holding onto large image files one couldn’t possibly remember exactly where that file was or the file name for that matter. Having a system to rate and tag files is critical in my field of work. The trick is to have just enough sub folders to contain your content into a relative space and location. The rest should be keywords to improve item look ups and rating to help sort out what is really important and what’s just there. This could be applied to any type of content.
    It maybe over the boarder for some but I have a naming convention for every type of file or content I encounter. So that way when I look up something I know what category it’s in then all I have to do is search for a suffix.

  • Brant Power

    I keep things clean solely for the fact I can find them faster. Especially when using multi OS. When holding onto large image files one couldn’t possibly remember exactly where that file was or the file name for that matter. Having a system to rate and tag files is critical in my field of work. The trick is to have just enough sub folders to contain your content into a relative space and location. The rest should be keywords to improve item look ups and rating to help sort out what is really important and what’s just there. This could be applied to any type of content.

    It maybe over the boarder for some but I have a naming convention for every type of file or content I encounter. So that way when I look up something I know what category it’s in then all I have to do is search for a suffix.

  • Anonymous

    The act of organizing and maintaining my files keeps me in touch with the information I acquire. Although I depend heavily on my computer’s search function, I would quickly lose touch with what I have if it weren’t for my folder and subfolder system.
    Great topic!

  • Anonymous

    The act of organizing and maintaining my files keeps me in touch with the information I acquire. Although I depend heavily on my computer’s search function, I would quickly lose touch with what I have if it weren’t for my folder and subfolder system.

    Great topic!

  • Anonymous

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/SHOPid

  • Craig DeForest

    Nice, Dad. You’re of course right that organization “pops out” of filing, while it doesn’t from search. But I’m increasingly leaning toward relational databases rather than the hierarchical one of folders. For example, I organize my collection of research papers in Mekentosj Papers, which is more like iTunes than like the file system that I used to use. Sure, you can flip through hierarchically — but you can also invert that hierarchy (e.g. searching for stuff by year, then author vs. author then year), which you can’t do with a hierarchical database.
    So I, too, stand by my belief that hierarchical databases (file systems) are of fading relevance — but I stand corrected on the importance of organization itself!

  • Craig DeForest

    Nice, Dad. You’re of course right that organization “pops out” of filing, while it doesn’t from search. But I’m increasingly leaning toward relational databases rather than the hierarchical one of folders. For example, I organize my collection of research papers in Mekentosj Papers, which is more like iTunes than like the file system that I used to use. Sure, you can flip through hierarchically — but you can also invert that hierarchy (e.g. searching for stuff by year, then author vs. author then year), which you can’t do with a hierarchical database.

    So I, too, stand by my belief that hierarchical databases (file systems) are of fading relevance — but I stand corrected on the importance of organization itself!

  • Craig DeForest

    Nice, Dad. You’re of course right that organization “pops out” of filing, while it doesn’t from search. But I’m increasingly leaning toward relational databases rather than the hierarchical one of folders. For example, I organize my collection of research papers in Mekentosj Papers, which is more like iTunes than like the file system that I used to use. Sure, you can flip through hierarchically — but you can also invert that hierarchy (e.g. searching for stuff by year, then author vs. author then year), which you can’t do with a hierarchical database.

    So I, too, stand by my belief that hierarchical databases (file systems) are of fading relevance — but I stand corrected on the importance of organization itself!