Well look at what we have here: a Google-branded SIM card. Could this be a foreshadowing of a future Google cellular service? The card is said to have come from Spain, where it is being tested by engineers with the Nexus S. Another picture has surfaced showing ‘Google_Es’ identified as the carrier with the SIM inserted.
It has long been rumored that Google would expand into the realm of cellular networking, even if only as an MVNO, meaning it would provide mobile services, though not actually own a licensed frequency. Could this be what we are seeing the early signs of now? The questions continue to mount from here: Will the possible Google service be limited only to Europe? Would it feature the seemingly perfect ‘Google Voice’ moniker? Is this all just wishful thinking?
Hit the break to peek at that carrier identity screenshot.
Google voice is currently being tested outside of the U.S. preparing for an international launch. During the European Pirate Summit in Germany, Jens Redmer, Google’s European Director of Business Dev., told entrepreneurs that Google is “taking concrete action” on bringing their telephony service to Europe. He continued by using the phrase ‘dog fooding’ as way to describe the internal testing that is now taking place in Europe.
Redmer was unable to disclose an exact launch date as Google doesn’t pre-announce their products. It was also noted that a launch will require engineers to port the service in order for it to work outside of the U.S., but more importantly, there will be legislative hurdles to pass.
Google Voice is a popular U.S. telephony service that allows you to have a single phone number for all your phones, no matter your whereabouts. It appears that without a release date, the service is already operational in Europe and will only be a matter of time before an official announcement is made.
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.
An update to Google Voice is now available in the market taking it up to version 0.4.2.34. There looks to be just minor updates and bug fixes here, but I swear the opening speed of this app on my Droid X is way faster now. Here’s what’s been updated:
- Does not require data connectivity for making calls to numbers you previously called
- Warns you when there is no data connectivity before you compose/send text messages
- Fix for bug that required you to click the voicemail play button twice
- Fix for notifications delays for SMS and voicemails
At the time of writing this, the update doesn’t seem to show up on the Android Market’s web site. You can try to update from our handy apps database here or just check for an update on your cell. The update showed up for me just a few minutes ago.
Want to change you number but thought you couldn’t on Google Voice? Hold the phone, GV allows you to change you number at no cost, while also allowing you to keep your old one for $20. Things have changed since way back in the early Google Voice Beta stages where they assigned a number for you, and we welcome it!
When you grab a new number and keep the old, calls and texts will go to both, but will only show the replacement number for any outgoing calls or texts, so it may be best to alert your contact list of the number change, even if you’re keeping the old one. Find out more here at the Google Voice Blog.
Sprint will be launching Google Voice to all Sprint customers who use Google Voice, allowing users to port their Sprint mobile number as their Google Voice service without any additional fees or penalties. The flyer making its way around the web right now shows it’s going to be available on April 26th.
They’ve been testing this service for some time now, and according to those who got a chance to test it, it’s working pretty fine. If you get a chance, sign it up and let us know how it is!
We have heard several rumors that the service is already live and Sprint customers are able to take advantage of this service now. If you are a Sprint customer, let us know if you can get your Google Voice number ported vefore April 26th in the comments below. Why wait!
All of you Sprint customers itching for that new Google Voice integration will be happy to know that the service has entered beta status. Android Central received word from a few of the beta testers today who supplied a bit of information about the incoming service. Apparently, you’ll have two options: either using your Sprint number for your Google Voice, or using your Google Voice number for your Sprint number. Both solutions offer their own caveats based on what you want to use it for. Obviously, if you would rather keep your Sprint and Google numbers separate instead of merging, you can do that as well.
Like all betas, this one does come with a few things that haven’t been ironed out quite yet, most noticeably a lack of Sprint support. Customer service calls will go through Google’s own support instead of Sprint’s Customer Service. Considering this a beta test for what is mostly Google’s service, this is probably not a bad thing.
Check out the full e-mail message after the break.
In all the hubbub that surrounded the recent announcement that Sprint would be getting the Nexus S 4G is another important — heck, I think more important — announcement…that Google Voice would become integrated into all Sprint phones, not just the Nexus S 4G. This is pretty big news, as now all Sprint customers will gain access to Google Voice’s awesome feature set.