Make Free WiFi Calls From Android Phone Or Tablet With Groove IP

by Harold Williams on
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The quest for making free calls over WiFi with an Android device is not a new topic, but if you’ve gone down this road you’re probably familiar with apps like sipdroid or csipsimple. If those two names are familiar then you also know you had to deal with Google Voice Callback, pbxes, or SIP accounts and possibly some other forwarding trickery to get the app to work. It’s possible that you’ve even tried to set these apps up and failed after not understanding exactly what needed to be done. Enter GrooVe IP, where all you need is a Google Voice account to get started. If you like simple and something that just “works” and works well, hit up the break for more.

GrooVe IP works similar to making calls from Gmail by connecting directly to Google Voice to make and receive calls. This means that all you’ll need to use the app is a Google Voice account that is linked to a Gmail account and you’re good to go. After installing GrooVe IP, you’ll simply need to login with your Google Voice credentials. You’ll also need to go into your Google Voice settings and check off forwarding to Google Chat. Doesn’t get much easier than that right? It’s recommended that you sign out of Google Chat  or Google Talk while using the app, but leaving Google Talk signed in on my Android device never posed any issues. I also have my Google Voice number forwarded to other places besides Google Chat and this posed no issues when receiving a call.

You’ll have the choice of either using GrooVe IP’s dialer or your native dialer to place calls. When using your own dialer, you’ll be prompted to use GrooVe IP or the mobile network itself. Personally, I prefer the look of the native dialer and there didn’t seem to be any loss of functionality by doing so. Incoming calls however will use GooVe IPs system, but there is nothing wrong with that system as everything from the dial pad to options like Mute and Blutooth worked as expected.

At home my 3G service is a bit shaky, so I am going to sick to WiFI call quality for review purposes. A feature that I found very useful was that if 3G calling is turned off within the app (which it is by default), GrooVe IP only connects when WiFi is connected. Since I have no cell service in my home, if already running in the background, GrooVe IP connects and logs in once a WiFi signal is connected. You can also set a preference for your native dialer to always use GrooVe IP to place a call if you are connected to WiFi. The call quality was absolutely fantastic, and to take my own word for it, I placed calls to myself on another line to be able to hear the call quality first hand. I also made a large number of phone calls to others well over 45min in length without any dropped calls or voice transmission issues. In the audio settings you’ll find plenty of options for echo cancellation, microphone gain, ringtones to use for contacts. There is also a troubleshooting section you’ll find more options to tweak any issues you may have using a tablet to place calls or to keep the screen on during a call.

A last huge positive for this app is that the developer is very active in both communication and app fixes. Also note that since GrooVe IP is connecting directly to Google’s servers, both incoming and outgoing calls will use your GV number.

So, if you’re looking for a solid WiFi calling solution and want to just log in and call, then this is the app for you. It’s available in the market here or by the QR code below for a one time fee of $4.99. This should be worth every penny for someone short on minutes or that doesn’t have solid cell service while out and about or at home. Don’t forget that a SIP solution can be a huge pain for people to figure out and configure. Be sure to let us know what you think.

[via android market]

» See more articles by Harold Williams


Categorized as Android Applications, Android Software, Previews, Reviews, Unique

  • http://www.arkandroid.com Ed Caggiani

    Wow, this is SO worth the $5! Thanks for posting this! I can now make calls on my wi-fi Xoom! My Google Voice is finally useful! :-)

  • http://www.talkandroid.com Harold Williams

    Absolutely $5 well spent esp for the easy setup and usage.

  • Johnnyhell

    Nice bro, love the pic, and the fact that you decided to post a call to Mesa!
    Good work H!

  • Bobby Stevens

    I purchased Groove IP and it works indoors using my Clear hot spot, but sometimes people can not hear me so clear, but I hear them crystal clear, but when I’m in the car with my Clear hot spot using wifi the sound is garble. Sometimes people do not hear me at all and hang up, so I am forced to use a normal phone carrier, pity as Groove IP sounded real good reading about it.

    • http://www.talkandroid.com Harold Williams

      @Bobby – Don’t give up. If you have any problems the developers are SUPER responsive and will absolutely help you troubleshoot any issues you are having.

  • ricardo alonzo

    hey i have groove ip on my Motorola droid a855. groove ip works amazing from my home wifi network through uverse, but im having difficulties connecting to my mobile wifi through my Clear mobile hot spot. It says i need to check that the Google settings and the Groove IP are not blocked by my Clear firewall. I turned off my clear firewall already but still no success. Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Ric

  • http://traduction4londres.multiply.com/journal/item/1/1 Elliott Claypool

    The buyer is not a moron; she’s your wife.

    • Kma

      wtf

  • Glenn

    I love the grooveIP. In my house, it works better than my regular phone connection inside my house since I have spotty connection. However, I must have missed a setting. When I receive a phone call, it calls both the mobile line and the groove ip. Can I turn off the mobile line when my google voice is called?

    • http://www.talkandroid.com Harold Williams

      @Glenn – Have my google voice set up to forward to chat and my mobile line. The chat line will ring first and then go to the cell number if i decline or not pick up. That might be a Google Vocie setting

  • Jeff

    I just paid $5 for this app and it was well worth it. I can now actually use my cell at home over Wifi. Well worth it!! It may take a little playing with and fine tuning the settings if you have an echo like I did, but the settings and this page clearly explain everything. GREAT APP !!!

  • Leit

    Yes! Thanks… Google Voice on the Xoom finally has a voice!

  • http://bwengr.com Brandon Lee

    Just bought this so I can push my Business Ooma Voice number to my Google Voice so while in Southeast Asia, I can receive and make calls overseas back to the States for free. Now not all of my clients have to know that I am out of the country on vacation. $5 well spent.

  • Teenak76

    I have a Toshiba thrive Droid tablet, will this grooveip work on that?

    • Hello

      Yep but I decided to take it a abit further. I have a telus mobility number that I will be porting to dell voice. Cost 25$ for porting which is no big deal. For calls outside of my local area regarding out going calls only, I use Talkatone or Grooveip (whichever works best in the wifi environment I’m currently in. So in theory I have a totally free system at my disposal. Using toshiba thrive wifi only.

  • Anuradha Shastry

    Hi all, appreciate if someone could throw some light on my situation. I have a google voice number set us while living in the US. set up the account etc by validating through SIP etc. My daughter is in school in the US and i have been using Talkatone with my GV to speak with her. After 6+ months of this, today i am suddenly unable to dial/call using Talkatone. trying to troubleshoot that. but in the offchance it will not resolve i am looking for options. 

    I am out of the US now and the free call over wifi/free app was good. But have heard good reviews for grooveIP. Please let me know if this would work for me and I will be happy to buy for $5.

    also, was looking at the Voice setting on my google account and i am confused (i have read reams and reams on this :(

    All help appreciated. thanks, a

  • Anuradha Shastry

    Just realized that i am using talkatone/GV on ipad. so this will not work :(

  • smiley

    thanks its perfect

  • Guest

    Why can’t you make text calls, text messages on GorroveIP.  What should I use to make free text messages via google phone number using a android phone for free, instead of just free phone voice calls

    • Burgsprinta

      Just use the Google voice app for texts. Its what I use on my galaxy player.

      • Lusay Alumino

        That won’t work, because you must have a carrier account in order to use Google Voice. With Groove one doesn’t need to have cell service to use the calling with Google Voice. I wish Groove would just add the Texting feature to this app then it would be PERFECT!

        • Phil

          You do NOT need a carrier account for Google Voice. I have an old phone I let my 8-year old use for games, and setup google voice and google talk/chat on it so he can text his friends who have cellphones. You can even download anything from the market. Only thing you cant do is make calls, and GrooveIP is the solution

  • sighhhh

    I’m in canada, will I be able to do this for my soon to be galaxy s2? Google voice is basically just the thing you press on gmail chat right? sorry I’m a noob when it comes to these things! >__<

    • elizabeth benson

      Yes, you can use it with your samsung galaxy s2.  I am with tmobile and i just used it today, and spoke for about a half hour and it was crystal clear.  just use your google email account with this app, and then go to google/voice and on the right side you will see a little wheel or cog, click on that, and type your cell phone number in for the number you want calls to be forwarded to.  so it will be route all calls from your google voice to your cell, using your wifi connection.  no minutes used.  providing you are using wifi.

  • sighhhh

    also, is there a difference between google voice and google talk? 

    • Ray Walz

      Google Talk is Google’s online chatting with text/audio/video
      Google Voice gives you a free phone number, which you can use from your computer and/or phone

  • Very Picky

    I bought GrooVe IP so I could use it on my android tablet. The problem I had was I already had an phone number to attach to it that I use on my cellular. I used the dial my cell number from my tablet and the call came through fine but when I tried to test the incoming call from my cell phone to my tablet the voicemail would pick up. So I took the app off because I could not get help for that situation. I wouldn’t mind rebuying the app for my tablet but I need it to work. Voice works fine on my phone.

  • Brett2014

    What about the apps that come with tablets that support calls? Take the latest sexiest Samsung P6810 7.7 inch tablet. One version supports calls and appears identical to my Galaxy SII softwarewise. I got the WiFi model, not the 3G one, and bought a WiFi modem which talks to the 3G network. Can I “simply get” the dialler software and make it emulate a handset?

    No biggie if I cant as the modem is for being away from my WiFi home modem. Still, it would seem all the hardware is there and would be nice to have. Any ideas?

  • Oliviamcneal1

    I can’t make calls and can u txt with it too?

  • JOSEJUAN00

    CAN YOU CALL TO MEXICO?

    • http://twitter.com/CowonS9 Chibi

      Yes you can make calls to Mexico, however your Google Voice account MUST have funds to be able to do so. Si puedes hacer llamadas a Mexico, pero tu cuenta de Google Voice debe de tener fondos para poder hacer llamadas internacionales.

  • G Trieste

    Well this solution COULD save me $30 or more per month.
    The way I usually work these things, is when I am at home, I have my cellphone calls forwarded to my landline at the house. The problem is, the sneaky cellphone company STILL charges me for minutes that were forwarded from the cellphone #, even though there was no air time. So I usually rack up 1400 minutes on my plan even though most it is not used on my cellphone.
    A better way to do this, would be to port my cellphone # to the landline, and have it forwarded when I am not home to my cellphone.

    • Chucklou73

      Look into Vonage it has symo ringing.. It works great. MagicJack would be better for cost but you have to manually forward each time you leave the landline.

  • Kayla

    Does anyone know if this will work on my Droid Incredible (NOT the new version)?

    • Bike

      Works great on my Droid Incredible, Perfect !!!

  • Erod909

    Can you call to mobile number in mexico??

    • Klind2013

      Yes but international calling through google poses a fee. You will have to purchase credits to make an international call. Visit google voice website for more information.

      • Tante Emma

        yes there’s a charge, which is VERY reasonable, plus keep in mind that you won’t have to pay for minutes.Which is exactly where the cellphone providers usually double charge you in minutes AND int. calling minutes …….AND monthly subscription fee.
        GrooVeIP is one-time $5 + a few cents per minute for international calls via GV, everything else is FREE as in GRATIS. :)
        AAAAWEsome!!

  • CLARIOS007

    This is a Great app Love it!! I Set up and old Android phone as my house phone… Free you can’t beet that!!!

  • Rayden21

    can you call internationally?

    • http://twitter.com/CowonS9 Chibi

      Yes you are able to make international calls, your Google Voice account MUST have funds to be able to do so.

  • Guest

    > so I am going to sick to WiFI call quality

    Sick?   Please hire at least 1 proofreader.

    • Tante Emma

      well – YOU are hired – for FREE…. smart@$$

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Dennis/100000847047838 Chuck Dennis

     you said “sick to WiFI”  ….lol….Freudian Slip, WiFi is “sick” sometimes, it drops my calls, lilited distance, voice echos…just sounds sick sometimes.

    • http://profiles.google.com/r3dlined Harold Williams

      WiFi is def “sick” lol esp when I try to steal people’s WiFi and I get mad when they don’t pay their bills =/

  • Mascitalianhere

    Is this set up compatible with Nokia N900 and the Linux OS?

  • Amybucks2002

    Doesn’t work. Which I’m not sure is due to a faulty app, or the fact that we have satellite internet. Call was choppy, incoming call didn’t even come through :(

  • cantpaymybillrightnow

    This works.. my service is interupted and im currently in between jobs so i will be w/out phone for another 2 weeks.  This worked perfectly. Funny thing is I thought i didnt set up my Google voice correctly because i never chose to forward calls to any number.  I Dont even know if im using the new google number assigned to me, will find out soon.

  • David

    Because I am with T-Mo USA I have wifi-calling on my Android device.   It’s free, (goes against your minutes) even when calling from overseas.  In other words, it’s the same as calling locally from your cell.  However, if I understand GrooVe IP correctly, does using mean I could — theoretically — have a phone + wifi at home and be able to make calls without having to have a conventional cell phone service at all?

    • Glenn

      Theory is sound, but foiled by reality.  Call forwarding requires a valid phone number at each end.  So far no one has seen fit to write an app that will forward voice calls between a phone and an IP address.

      • ant

        you can use your google voice number it is a valid number i use my phone without cell service with google voice + groove ip.

  • Brian_korb4

    If I travel overseas and connect via WiFi, will calls using Google Voice (US #) back to the US still be free?

    • Timtora

      yes. I tried from India

  • Hello

    I have a telus mobility number (which is not on contract) that I will be porting to dell voice. Cost 25$ for porting which is no big deal. Also verified that my number could be ported without any hassle. For calls outside of my local area regarding out going calls only, I use Talkatone or Grooveip (whichever works best in the wifi environment I’m currently in) . So in theory I have a totally free system at my disposal. For texting , I plan on using text+ app which is also free. I call this the recipe for a 440$ savings per year for anyone who is tired of paying for cell service that don’t relying it either.

    Using toshiba thrive wifi only.

  • Aymanzoro2012

    wooooow

  • Otpsprotection

    Alex

  • Ramesh yankati

    Wowo…now making call is so easy….Great 

  • http://www.mitprof.com/ John Ernest

    So this means you have to make sure that you are connected to the internet before you can make a call right? Well that’s one problem, but in this age almost everyone who has an Android phone already applied for a wireless internet service. So, you wouldn’t have to worry about connectivity anymore.

  • Cemeka2

    I purchased Grooveip and it installed ok. Setup was easy and fast and it works as developer stated. Few things I noticed was
    1. When someone calls me on my GV number, my phone rings but GrooveIP app does not open so that I can answer. If have navigate to all-apps then press GrooveeIP ti open it then answer.
    It is important that GrooveIP recognizes incoming calls.
    2. GrooveIP does not do anything when a text message is sent to my google voice (GV) number. Can it support texting?
    3. Also, call incoming calls does not show the caller name, only the number. It will be nice to show caller name.

    Other than above, app is very good.

    Thanks.

    • Neppah5

      @Cemeka, and how much do you want to pay for all this! The gaul of some people. It is FREE PEOPLE!

  • Pc360solutions1220

    I just downloaded and installed this on my Asus tablet and signed in with my Google voice credentials and it works no problem! The real kicker here is that I do not currently have a cell phone and I don’t have but my free google voice number without any other number tied to the account and it still works! hopefully this method holds me over until the HTC Evo 4G LTE is released here in the states. Stupid Apple…YAY GrooVe IP! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/BooBooKittayFawk Jacqui Ballinger

    I JUST downloaded this for my Huawei M860 and it works *flawlessly*!!! Sooooo happy with it and ive only been using it for about 4 minutes.. This is definately the real thing… Who would pass up the concept for UNLIMITED TXT/CALLS FOR FREE!! Just try it, and you’ll stick to it.. thats my word of guarantee!!

  • Beavis

    Can I use Groove ip with my cell number instead of a GV number? And not use my minutes

  • Neppah5

    Thank you!! wonderful!

  • Jducky11

    How the hell does this wrk bcs its tell in me 4.99 I thought it ran off wifi

    • http://twitter.com/CowonS9 Chibi

      There is a free version (With ads) and a paid version (No Ads + Extra features)

  • http://smartphonecity.in/ Smartphonecity

    Nice

  • http://twitter.com/eonicman eonicman

    How is this any different from Talkatone which is available on both of the popular platforms?  Calls are received and sent using the googletalk protocol via the user’s gmail account.  That sounds very similar as long as Google is continuing to provide free calls through the US and Canada through gmail.

    • Carpetman

      When I try to call a # it flashes the contact and that”s all, what is wrong?

  • Jbatista

    What about when you make calls out of the country via WIFI. Is there any charge (sprint user)
    Thanks a lot

    • Eric

      You will need to add credit to your Google voice account. Good thing is that it is pretty cheap. I just used this application in Thailand and Cambodia and it worked great for my needs. I ended up using under $1 for all my calls. Way cheaper than most other options.

  • Bjs_2000

    is this voip or can you call any number

    • ant

      both

  • Yesitschris Cc

    I tried to get Google voice and it said it wasn’t available for mobile devices. Do I get it on the home computer first and then download the Google groove IP? Or am I out of luck? Because it says I have to have the Google voice to have this right?

    • dude

      Yes you will need to use a computer first to set up your google account with google voice. From what I have been led to believe, this cannot be done from the phone itself.

  • http://profiles.google.com/r3dlined Harold Williams

    No love for the Mesa Boogie call huh? lol

  • Mayank

    Does it works with HCL ME U1. If not then what will be the use of purchasing it? Please answer this query.

  • kmary

    Google voice isn’t working on my android phone what sshould I do ?

  • Crazy Freak

    Do you have to have a phone service plan to use this. I know google voice you have to. i was told its free calling on wifi but i didnt know you have to have another number for it to send the call to

  • kashi

    How to call at mobile num??

  • Susan

    This is not a free feature as you must pay to download the full app. In addition, you have to pay to make calls internationally. I was about to download the app when I notice the cost (reasonably cheap), but at the same time I would still have to pay to make calls outside the US, Belize to be exact. BTW, I have an unlimited plan w/Tmobile and I have a google talk & voice account. Not beneficial for international calls.

  • PiNCHE bEbA

    dis is wack -_- it kept dropping ma calls ughhh

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikamellomish Michelle Marie Moreno

    So can I use this if my service is currently off?

  • dmack

    Maybe someone can help. I am from the US and have a google number. I live in Norway. I use my google voice all the time to call around the states, for free. That is a great feature, but I am tethered to my PC when I do it. I want to use GrooveIP or Talkatone or what ever I can find to make calls from my Android tablet to: 1. Make calls to and from US just like the PC and 2. To local phones in Norway over wifi. Any ideas?

    • GTFOBigGovt

      Assuming that there are no limitations on the app for your physical location being Norway….(but you could ask the app developer via the Play store…)

      I just used it from my tablet – you’d be fine on your US calls just like from your PC…but can’t say what the implications of international calls are.

      Your US calls look local to GV but your tablet is USING GV for all calls so perhaps your Norway calls may appear International. Try it you have nothing to lose. Except $5.00 for the app.

      There is a free version of GrooVeIP (“lite”) but I don’t know about it and always go wth the paid ones when it’s something I really want to work.

  • devin

    I love you

  • GTFOBigGovt

    This app is fantastic, I put it on my Galaxy tablet so now it’s a [free] phone as long as I am on wfi or normal cell range.

    You better believe I’m dumping this expensive voice plan and potentially my whole phone if this works out – or just switching to a cheap prepay with 10.00 minute plan. My landline distance is paid for by my company or I’d get rid of that, too and just use my tablet on my home wifi for long distance voice calls.. WERQ!

  • z

    This works great. What if I go on vacation like to Barbados or something and take my tablet.. can i use it when out of the country to make phone calls to my contacts in the states?

  • Jim

    testing it out on 2 Straight Talk phones now… not too bad… so far working good.

  • LRH

    “You’ll also need to go into your Google Voice settings and check off forwarding to Google Chat.” How, oh HOW, do you DO that? I have looked absolutely EVERYWHERE in Voice settings and for the love of peat I can’t find this setting ANYWHERE? How??

  • Steven

    All calls to US and Canadian numbers, regardless of your location, is free. Calls to international numbers require you to have a balance in your Google Voice account. With the proliferation of low-cost unlimited calling plans, this solution would only be useful if calls to Canada are not included in your calling plan. Or, if you do not have a stable cellular signal at the current location. Also, if you need another line or business purposes.

  • Mystery6869

    does Groove IP ( (or any other) work on an Android that doesn’t have provider service, as in I can’t make or receive calls, sms or mms messages but I still get email, etc becaudse of WiFi??

    • Marcos Diaz

      Yes you have to have a gmail account and google voice set up on your computer first(Desktop Laptop Tablet). Once signed in to your gmail account set up google voice by doing a web search and just follow the instructions to go to the page as there is nothing to install as long as you are signed in to your gmail account, then at the beginning of the setup process when you are on the google voice page you will get two set up options ” I want a new number ” ~ or ” I want to use my mobile number ” Since most will use this because they have no service provider like me then you choose ” I want a new number ” then it will give the option of entering a number to call you on for verification then just put in a home phone or any phone where you can answer it. after you put in the number you want google voice to use to call you, it will give you a verification code, for example my code was the number
      ” 40 ” then google will call you and you enter the code given. You then have to install google voice on your android and install groove ip, through Wi-Fi. You will have to open google voice once on your wifi and “TRY” to go through the setup process but it wont work, it just needs to access the Wi-Fi one time, as you are already setup through your computer,..at least it did in my Samsung Galaxy S3, then close google voice open groove ip and dial numbers, everything should work fine. This is for people like me whose cell phone bills got too costly and they shut off your service. Hope this helps.