Sprint and Google testing Google Voice integration

Sprint and Google have already teased us about Google Voice integration on Android phones, and they were serious.  We're getting numerous reports that the beta program has started, and a little bit of information comes with them.  You'll have two options -- use your existing Sprint number to replace your Google Voice number, or use your Google Voice number to replace your Sprint number.  The first option sounds very much like a carrier-supported version of porting your cell number to Google Voice, while the second option should provide the benefit of using Android's native (or a third party) SMS/MMS client.  Both sound awful useful to me, and I can think of use case scenarios for each. 

The drawback to enrolling in this testing is the lack of customer support.  Instead of calling customer service, you'll be at the mercy of support via a Google Group.  I guess that beats Google's python script help center, though.  And to answer your next question -- no, there's no place to sign up, it looks like Sprint is cherry picking testers from their user base. 

I expect we'll see this open to the public sooner rather than later, but right now I'm more curious about where this one is heading, and Sprint's new relationship with Google.  Things could get very interesting here.  The full text of the email testers are receiving is after the break.  Thanks, Dave and riggsAndroid!

Hello,
You have been invited to start enjoying the benefits of the Sprint integration before anyone else! We are interested in your feedback as we roll this out to the entire user base and have listed an email address below where you can send feedback and or questions.
There are two ways to enable the integrated service:
1. Option 1: Keep your Sprint number (all the benefits of porting without the need to). In this case, your Sprint number becomes your Google Voice number so that when people call your Sprint mobile number, it rings all the phones you want.
How to enable this: click on the "change/port" link next to your GV # in the settings page, choose the option to use your existing number, enter your Sprint number and select the Sprint option.
2. Option 2: Replace your Sprint number with your Google Voice number (all the benefits of the app without the need for one). In this case, all calls made from your Sprint phone will display your Google Voice # natively (same for SMS).
How to enable this: click on the "enable Google Voice on your Sprint phone" link next to your Sprint forwarding phone. If the link does not show, click on edit and use the link to verify whether your phone is eligible.
In both cases, Google Voice replaces Sprint voicemail (pressing one on your phone links you to your Google Voicemail) and international calls made from the Sprint phone will be connected by Google Voice. Integrating your account with Sprint means you will still get the benefits of Any Mobile Any Time if that is included in your service plan.
Important Notes:
  • The integrated service only works with a valid Sprint mobile number.
  • For this early release, Sprint support channels will not be available for support, including Sprint Retail Stores, Sprint Customer Care, Sprint Telesales, Sprint Direct Sales Reps, etc.
  • If you need support, please direct your questions/comments to voice-sprint-preview@googlegroups.com with your Sprint or Google Voice number listed.
  • If you use the Google Voice app on Android, you will need to log out and log back in to make sure the app stops using call interception.
Thanks,
Vincent Paquet, on behalf of the Google Voice team
© 2011 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
You are receiving this email announcement because you requested to be notified when the Sprint integration was available.
 
There are 22 comments

tgaskill says:

I'm glad to see that they're including GV calls in unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes. Now to decide on which number to keep. I'm leaning toward my GV number since it's easier for people to remember (XXX-XXX-0123). I do wonder if being rooted and running a custom ROM will prevent me from beta testing. I hope not.

roblee37 says:

that is an easy number.. my last 4 digits are my name.

riggsandroid says:

Only people I know to get the invite are running custom roms.

roblee37 says:

I currently use my gv # for just anyone I give to so that way i can switch on of off, and only my closest friends/family have my real number.. do we still get to keep both #'s if we go with the gv # instead of using our sprint #?

Analog says:

When this comes out of beta, is it going to be forced on us if we use Android devices on Sprint or will we be able to opt to keep using Sprint's Visual Voicemail?

oldpueblo says:

Came to post this, that'd be pretty cool. Buy Sprint and drop some cash on it!

oldpueblo says:

I replied to the wrong post, I ar dum.

Meant for VVVVVVVVV

jona619 says:

I'm liking this relationship Sprint is making with Google. Hope it goes further... maybe Google Mobile? Sprint+Google= awesomeness

One can only dream right?!

jona619 says:

Sorry double post

jona619 says:

Sorry double post

cheburashka says:

Он gee wiz, тнат is swell! :)

I like having both numbers.

brob206 says:

so, if I do option 2, I can use the sms app that comes with HTC sense and those text messages will also show up on the google voice web app? So, essentially, the phone won't act any different, the only difference being that the voicemails and texts now also show up online?

tgaskill says:

Another question I have is whether GV will handle MMS messages, or if they will be handled through the default messaging app. This e-mail gives us some answers, but there are still unanswered questions.

riggsandroid says:

GV does not handle mms. this is still handled thru stock sms app. If you have the box checked in Google voice (send texts to this device), all texts are sent to stock sms app and gv. If you keep notifications on in gv, leads to double notifications.

It needs to be smoothed out a bit more imo. Anyone else testing ?

Dnomyar220 says:

I'm with you, I think it could definitely be smoothed out a little better (mainly the texting). I'm currently testing this myself, I started a thread in the forums to discuss the testing so if anyone else is also using this it would be awesome to link up in there. I've got a few questions with texting I don't quite understand... link to the thread is http://forum.androidcentral.com/android-applications/74842-sprint-integr....

I switched my GV number to my sprint number, and my main beef is that I have to use the google voice app for texting.

jessef says:

What if I want to keep both numbers?

icebike says:

That's my question as well.

I like having both numbers. One for friends and the other for work.

I quite frankly don't see the point of either of these options.

wwian says:

Option 1... Leads me to the info below. Guess I'm not in the selected few for the beta.

"Things to understand before porting your number to Google Voice:
The cost of porting is $20.00 (payable through Google Checkout)."

Gameboy70 says:

That's definitely not integrated Google Voice. That's a number port that requires you to terminate your contract and pay an ETF.

I hope this partnership leads to free wifi calling from our Sprint phones with Google Voice app.

oldpueblo says:

You can already do that, or do you mean with your default Sprint phone number? Or am I misunderstanding when I go to dial a number and it pops up the question "With Google Voice" or "Without Google Voice"?