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Setting Up Google Voice on your iPhone

Google Voice has finally found a way to workaround Apple’s kibosh on Google Voice’s free voice calls, SMS and free voicemail transcription by offering a brand new Google Voice web app. If you’ve already got your Google Voice account and you’re ready to leave AT&T in the dust by transforming your iPhone into a full-fledged Google phone, you can do so with these steps:

Start by replacing your old iPhone dialer with a Google Voice icon. You can do so by pulling up and hitting the + button and choosing “Add to Home Screen.” From there, press and hold the icon until it starts wiggling and then move it to the bottom bar. Feel free to kick the old iPhone dialer to the curb in the process.


Click + to add to your home screen.

iPhone dialer out, Google Voice in

iPhone dialer out, Google Voice in

Getting your Google Voice to forward to your iPhone is pretty straightforward. From Google Voice, hit “Settings” or touch the wrench icon. Choose “Phones” and choose to forward your calls to your cell.

Forward your Google Voice to your cell phone

Forward your Google Voice to your cell phone

You can also choose to forward your SMS messages send to your Google Voice number to your email.

Using Both your AT&T Number and your Google Voice Number with your iPhone

But if you’re like me, you’d like to still use your normal AT&T number but still get the perks of Google Voice’s free voicemail transcription. For my current setup, I have my “work” number, which is really just my Google Voice number and my real number with AT&T. Both ring my iPhone and both forward to my Google Voice inbox if I don’t answer.

To achieve this, I had to input some AT&T forwarding rules into my iPhone. To do this, let’s say that my Google Voice number is (012)-345-6789. To set up the various rules, you have to dial some numbers DIRECTLY on your iPhone. Here’s what to do:

Forward All Calls to Google Voice:

Punch in: *21*[your Google Voice number]**11#

So, for my case, I punched in *21*0123456789**11#.

Punch in the code EXACTLY and hit CALL.

Punch in the code EXACTLY and hit CALL.

Your screen should darken and then let you know that the rule has been updated. If it doesn’t, you must’ve missed a star or a pound. Do it again.

This screen will show up if you punch the code in correctly.

This screen will show up if you punch the code in correctly. Obviously, it doesn't work for me because I punched in a fake number.

As you can see from the picture, it didn’t work for me because I punched in a fake number. But that’s the screen you should see.

With this code, every single call to your AT&T number will be forwarded to Google Voice.

To cancel this temporarily, punch in: #21*11#

To re-establish your forwarding rule, punch in: *21*11#

To permanently cancel the forwarding rule, punch in: ##21*11#

To see what your current forwarding rule is, punch in: *#21*11#

Forward Busy Calls to Google Voice

Of course, you still want to be able to get calls on your iPhone (otherwise callers will be consigned to an endless loop when calling either number). So, instead of forwarding all calls, you might want to just forward it whenever you don’t answer.

To forward calls to Google voice when the line is busy, punch in: *67*[your Google Voice number]*11#

For me, that’s *67*0123456789*11#

To temporarily cancel, punch in: #67*11#
To re-establish, punch in:  *67*11#
To permanently cancel, use: ##67*11#
To check your current rule, use: *#67*11#

Forward Calls to Google Voice if No Answer

To forward to your Google Voicemail if there’s no answer (i.e. your phone rings and you don’t pick up), use: *61*[your Google Voice number]*11*15#

Note: You can swap out the 15 in this code right before the pound to however many seconds you want your phone to wait before forwarding the call. 15 seconds is sufficient, as it’ll kick your call to Google Voice before your normal voicemail kicks in.

To cancel temporary, call: #61*11#
To restore your forwarding rule, call:  *61*11#
To permanently cancel forwarding if no answer, call: ##61*11#
To see your current rule, call: *#61*11#

If Unreachable:

Lastly, there’s a rule for when you are otherwise unreachable (i.e. no service, phone is off). For that, call: *62*[your Google Voice number]*11#
And to cancel temporarily: #62*11#
To re-establish: *62*11#
To cancel forever: ##62*11#
To check status: *#62*11#

There you have it. For me, I did all of the above except “Forward All” and it works fine for me.

And there you have it. Your iPhone is now setup to send and receive calls and voicemails.

If you’ve done the same with your Palm phone, we’d really like to hear about how you did it. Let us know in the comments.

Related posts:

  1. Google Voice: Free Calls, SMS, Visual Voicemail on iPhone and Palm
  2. Google States That Apple Rejected the Google Voice iPhone Application
  3. Google Voice Tests Number Porting, for a Price
  4. Record Your Calls for Free Using Google Voice
  5. Google Voice to be installed on their iPhone
  6. The New Droid 2 Launches With Google Voice Actions
  7. iPhone and Android: How to Use Google’s “Near Me Now”
  8. iTokk Communications, Click to Call Buttons = Voice to Web
  9. Google Quick Search Box: 20 Cool Things You Didn’t Know Your Android Phone Could Do
  10. Apple Removes All Google Branding from Its iPhone OS 4 Search

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