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Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?


Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

Hello Android fans, here is my situation.

I bought two Nexus One phones of the AT&T flavor, so I can use their 3G network. As with all Nexus One's from Google, the phones are unlocked.

The plan I enrolled in was for $119.00 for two smartphones with 550 minutes and unlimited data, but with no texting (as it costs like an extra $30 a month).

I decided to use Google Voice app, under the assumption that it transmits the messages via the data network, as I can use it under Wi-Fi just fine.

Well I got charged for sending 15 messages on my phone, and my girlfriend's phone (the other Nexus One) got charged 15 messages for receiving it. I checked my usage and it showed my Google number and listed the action as being "Text/Instant Message".  So I owed about $6.00 in texts for just one week.

It isn't the price that bothers me, I already paid it, but I thought the point of data is we could use it for whatever we wanted as long as it didn't break the ToS. I haven't broken it, but the fact that my GV messages were listed as "Text/Instant Message" does that mean using an AIM app would also charge me? Even though I paid for unlimited data?

As usual, the AT&T reps didn't know anything about Google Voice, or Android. Today I put a block on both my phones so that neither of them can receive text messages (I didn't know it was one of the few services that was offered for free). However, I was able to send and receive two Google Voice messages even after the block was enabled, so does this mean I will be charged again? Or perhaps the SMS block will block the portion of Google Voice considered as "text"?

I have heard people in the past use Google Voice successfully without a text plan, and would like to know if AT&T has found a way to charge for it. At the moment, my girlfriend and I are just tweeting each other (through a twitter app naturally) as a way to get around it as it has the same 160 character limit as texts anyway.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Message 1 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

A quick Google search seems to indicate that you do get charged. Others may be able to provide more help.


But why not just use Google Talk? That definitely uses the data connection.

Message 2 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

Question, were you sending your GV messages to the GV number or to the actual cell number?


If you send it to the cell number, then it counts on AT&T's network as a text.


Also, within GV you can set it to forward incoming text messages sent to your GV number to a cell number or email.  If  you have it set to forward to your cell number, then you will get charged as a text.

Message 3 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

Ah, that is a good idea; I will try out Google Talk and see if that fairs any better, thanks.

Message 4 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

@satchev I sent it to the Google Voice number, not the real phone number. In the past, before I had a cellphone plan, I could just connect to Wi-Fi or use a computer and send text messages all day, because it IS a data service, so it still confuses me why it is considered "texting".


I checked my Google Voice settings app, and I don't see a "forwarding" option. But with the Nexus One you get to choose if you want the phone to "call" or "text" outgoing calls/messages to be your Google Voice number automatically, instead of dialing a special number to make it so, which makes me wonder if that has anything to do with it. But if someone texts my real cell number, it does NOT show in Google Voice.

Message 5 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

@vegito....You have to change the forwarding setting in the desktop browser of Google Voice. Go to on your desktop computer, NOT ON YOUR PHONE. Then login into the Google Voice site. Once logged in, at the top go to "Settings", then click the "Phones" tab. Your ATT number should be listed here under "Forwards to:". Click "Edit" for your ATT phone number. Then you should see an option that says "Text Settings:", uncheck the box that says "Receive text messages on this phone (mobile phones only)". THEN REMEMBER TO CLICK SAVE!! Now Google Voice will not forward any text messages to your ATT number.

Message 6 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

According to Google, Google Voice is not a true VOIP application, it uses the carrier's network to place calls. I'm assuming the same is true for text.


Think of Google Voice as something more like a second line for your phone.

Message 7 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

True that Google Voice is not VOIP......yet. They just recently purchased Gizmo5. Nonetheless, even though texting is sent over the data network, you are still not charged for those texts. Google eats the cost of having their servers route the text messages to your phone to provide you with free texting. When you use google voice for texting, this is what happens:


1. Your phone data network is used to send your message to Google Servers, then...

2. Google Servers route your text messages to its destination. If you sent a text to another google voice number, then the message is sent again over the Data Network(i.e. Internet) to their google voice account. If you sent it to a regular cell number, then the Google Servers sends it to their phone(they may be charged, you will not). If you have your Google Voice settings as I posted previously, you will not be charged for any texting either way.

Message 8 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

Message 9 of 10

Re: Google Voice on AT&T Nexus One counts as Texting?

I think the reason Vegito was getting charged for his texts is because his Google Voice setting was set to forward text messages to his ATT number. So he was getting 2 texts, one sent to his Google Voice account and then Google Voice was forwarding the same message to his ATT phone number. You have to set your Google Voice not to forward texts messages to your cell number. If you are using Google Voice on any android device with a data plan, then you get notified on your phone, so its pretty seemless for texting.

Message 10 of 10
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