What is google voice anymore?
December 5, 2017 1:32 PM   Subscribe

My apartment call box currently rings my google voice number when people buzz me. I would very much like that number to ring my boyfriend's cell phone at the same time. It seems like Google has retired that feature. Can I still do it somehow, whether with google or with another service? Bonus points if it can ring an amazon echo or google home or something, too.

Right now, I can go into the legacy google voice settings and I can SEE groups but, as far as I can tell, I can't make them or add people anymore. Also, I can't add his number as one of mine anyways because he has his own google voice account (and he uses it for voicemail and ideally he'd like to keep it that way). If it matters, he's currently on at&t and I'm on t-mobile, both in the US.

I'm perfectly happy to change the number on the call box or port my number to a different service, that's no problem. I'd happily pay a few dollars a month for a service that could help me but likely not more.
posted by mosst to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have exactly that setup and have for 5+ years. When I go to voice.google.com/settings, I see my google voice number plus two numbers under “linked numbers” and there’s a plus sign to add another.
posted by OrangeVelour at 2:11 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

The problem with adding your bf's # to the GV # is, as you pointed out, he already is using his phone for his own GV number. Try as I might, I could never get one cell phone number on more than one GV number.

I know with my Verizon FiOS home number, I can set up a simultaneous ring with other phones. So, I know that can be done outside of GV. I have several Android phones that are all rooted. I suspect I could find a way to automatically conference another line in if a specific phone number rings me. Maybe through a module in the Xposed Framework or some app.

I am not sure what the problem is you are trying to solve, but I have a workaround solution to the problem of if one of you is home to take the call and the buzzer does not ring that person. I would consider buying a burner phone with say 20 minutes of calls on it. Add that to your GV number. I would then leave that phone on say the coffee table so that whomever is home at the time will get the buzzer from the food delivery guy or the repair person or the friend. That way, it will still ring your phone(s) on GV and whomever is home and needs to hear the buzzer will be able to. You will also still get the missed call if you are out and about.

If that is not the problem you are trying to solve, getting an extra burner phone solves a lot of other problems too.
posted by AugustWest at 5:22 PM on December 5, 2017

If the problem is that you want something to ring reliably in the house when the buzzer goes, changing the call box number to an Ooma number might be your solution. You can get a used box (and a super-basic land-line phone) pretty cheap last I looked (I think I paid maybe $30 for my box?) and for the basic service you only have to pay phone taxes (less than $5/mo. in my state). I used it when my landlord's ancient buzzer system would ONLY call what it perceived to be a landline. Worked fine.
posted by praemunire at 7:43 PM on December 5, 2017

Response by poster: Yes, sorry, I should have added more detail. I do actually have two goals here, and what I'm realizing is that the solutions are pretty distinct:
1. Having the buzzer ring something consistently in the apartment. This would be helpful as we've run into issues when phones are silent, dead, inaccessible, etc. I'll look into burner phone and VoIP setups to make this work. I wish that our echo could tie in here, but it doesn't sound like that's an option at the moment, though perhaps in the future.
2. Having the buzzer ring my boyfriend's cell phone so he can answer from anywhere. This would be helpful as sometimes we need to let someone into the building remotely (fedex, guests, etc) and I don't want to be the only one responsible for catching that call. One thought I had for this one is that if I can get a different, second, phone number associated with his phone (skype number, maybe? or apparently other solutions like sideline claim to do a similar thing) and if google lets me add that to my account then I can forward to that. I know google can be a little picky about what type of numbers can be added, though - are they likely to block all of those? Anyone know a service that works?
posted by mosst at 7:21 AM on December 6, 2017

I used Ringo for this, but neither of us had google voice.
posted by delezzo at 9:28 PM on December 6, 2017

We solved this problem with VoIP.ms and a ring group.


The one failure mode is that if the first phone in the ring group goes straight to voicemail (because it's turned off) the buzzer goes to that person's voicemail instead of ringing the other person.
posted by congen at 7:15 AM on December 7, 2017

« Older "Men's" crew-neck shirts with larger-than-normal...   |   Looking for intersectional activities and... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.