How do I get an iPhone, T-Mobile and Google Voice to play nicely?
February 15, 2011 1:08 PM   Subscribe

I've got a T-Mobile prepaid account on a jailbroken 1st generation iPhone and I'm using Google Voice. Is there any way to get my voicemail to work the way I want it to?

Right now, when people call my T-Mobile number, T-Mobile picks up the call and the red VM indicator on the iPhone shows that I have a message waiting. All good. When someone calls my Google Voice number, it's going through to Google VM. I then get a text saying I have a VM and have to call GV. What I'd iike is all voice mail to go to one place and to have the red icon let me know when I have VM waiting.

I figured the easiest thing to do was have all calls picked up by T-Mobile so I called customer service and told them to reduce the amount of time before T-Mobile VM picks up to 10 seconds (Google VM apparently picks up at 25 seconds). I spent 40 minutes on the phone with them and even though they changed my settings as I asked, nothing was changed when we tested it. That is,incoming calls to my GV number still rang for 25 seconds and went straight to my Google Voicemail. The T-Mobile rep finally gave up and said she didn't understand why the change wasn't working.

So I then thought that I'd figure out a way for all calls to go to Google Voicemail. But now I read that the red voicemail indicator on the iPhone is not supported by Google Voice. So other than the initial text, I'd have no way of knowing if I have voice messages waiting if I funnel all mail through GV.

I see a setting on Google to de-activate Google Voicemail but unfortunately, that doesn't work with T-Mobile prepaid.

I'm assuming there is no way to make this work the way I want it but maybe I'm missing something. Any ideas?
posted by gfrobe to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Have you tried getting the Google Voice app? It does show the indicator when I have voicemail messages, texts, etc.

I think it's less complicated than you suspect... Have you tried deactivating Google Voicemail on the phone settings page? Pardon if that's what you tried already, I wasn't sure from what you wrote.
posted by polexa at 2:46 PM on February 15, 2011

Oh -- also, stop giving out your T-Mobile number. I think it's less confusing if you just receive and make all calls through your Google Voice number.

I have (had?) it set up somehow also when people called my "real" number that after a certain number of rings, it forwards to my Google Voice voicemail. That way, you don't have voicemail in two different places.
posted by polexa at 2:47 PM on February 15, 2011

Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I don't have a data plan so the Google Voice app won't work for me. Also, I've never given out my T mobile number to anyone but that's the number that comes up on people's phone when I call them so they tend to call me back on it.
And deactivating GV Mail doesn't work on T-Mobile prepaid.
posted by gfrobe at 3:35 PM on February 15, 2011

gfrobe: "... Also, I've never given out my T mobile number to anyone but that's the number that comes up on people's phone when I call them so they tend to call me back on it."

When someone calls you or texts you at your GVoice number, when you get the incoming call or text on your cell phone, it will have a different number than the persons telephone number. Save that number in your cell phone, call and/or text them back using that number, it will show up on their end that you are calling from your GVoice number even though you are calling from your cell.

I know that won't solve all your problems but it's a start.......
posted by dancestoblue at 9:44 PM on February 15, 2011

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