I have a good friend that lives in the foothills of Denver and the T-Mobile service there is pretty spotty. In many small towns out west you will find dead spots or no service at all, but more than likely you can find a free WIFI spot. Well, thanks to my friend he has came up with a solution for those with spotty coverage.
Hotspot + Android Smartphone + a free market app, Sipdroid=Free VOIP phone service. What makes Sipdroid the app of choice is its nearly seamless integration into an Android device. When Sipdroid is activated it uses the phone’s dialer and contact list just like a regular Edge or 3G call does. Below you will find his instructions to get started with VOIP on your Android phone. Hope you enjoy!!!!
Setup is straight forward but has some prerequisites:
– An iGoogle account for your browser (I use Google Chrome but it is not mandatory)
– An email account (a Gmail account is free and makes integration simple)
– The Google Voice gadget installed in iGoogle
– A Google Voice phone number
– Google Voice installed on your device
– Sipdroid installed from the Market
Here is the How To:
1. Install an iGoogle account into your browser of choice on your PC / MAC. (He uses the Google Chrome browser on Ubuntu but has tested this under Windows also.) Using GC makes integration of iGoogle, Google Voice, and other Google gadgets easier. To get and setup an iGoogle account, go to http://google.com/ig. This will allow you to create a page for your browser that is customizable and will ultimately contain your Google Voice Account and its settings
2. After the iGoogle page is loaded, setup your customizable iGoogle account by signing in and either creating a new account by following the prompts, or if you are a Google gadget user, sign in.
3. After creating your iGoogle Home page, go to Settings, iGoogle Settings. Do a Search for Gadgets, Google Voice. Select the GV gadget by Nichols Wilde and install. Later on you can play with other authors gadgets if you want.
4. Navigate back to the iGoogle Home page and you’ll see a new gadget, Google Voice. The new GV account needs to be verified before you can use it. Follow the prompts. An email will be sent to the address you registered with creating the iGoogle account. You need to answer it before GV is activated.
5. Once GV is live, you’ll be prompted to select a GV phone number. Follow the prompts.
6. You can add phone numbers to which you can forward the new GV phone number to but this is not necessary to use VOIP
You are now ready to work on the Android phone side of the VOIP installation.
8. Install Sipdroid from the Market on your device.
9. When you run the Sipdroid app for the first time, you’ll see a touch button at the bottom of the screen. This will setup Sipdroid, a background service at a site pbxes.org (a free virtual pbx site), and activate the VOIP service. I love virtual pbx. You be prompted to enter your Google Account User ID and Password. This info is used to create an account at pbxes.org. This service does background/transparent call management.
10. Sipdroid will auto activate when you turn on wifi and stays active until you disconnect from wifi. There will be a new icon (Round icon which should be green when connected) in the notification area of your device showing if you are connected to the VOIP service.
11. Go back into iGoogle, Settings, Google Voice Settings, and be sure that the Google Chat check box is checked. This is the conduit for VOIP to function.
12. With wifi on and the Sipdroid notification green, place a test call from your device and to your GV phone number from another phone.
13. Lastly, you’ll need to set up a voicemail path so that GV will record missed calls if Sipdroid is off or if you do not have an active wifi connection. GV can also send you an email or text message if you cannot be reached. Go to the GV section of iGoogle to review your options. It is self-explanatory.
14. Go to the pbxes.org website and login using the UID and PW you used during Sipdroid initialization. Navigate to Extensions, Sipdroid <some number>. Scroll down to the Call Forwarding Section and enter your GV phone number in two places, If Unavailable and If Busy. This number needs to be entered in this format +1NNNNNNNNN. The plus sign is necessary. This creates a loopback that forwards missed calls into GV. If you have setup email and/or text notifications in GV, you’ll get a transcript of the the voicemail if the person that called left a message.
There you go the instructions on how to get free VOIP calling on your Android Device. We hope you enjoy!!!! Special thanks to my friend for all his hard work on this and giving me the ability to share it with all you Android users.