Android 30|30 - Voice Plus

Android 30|30 is a new series on Tech & Coffee that aims to highlight 30 awesomely useful Android apps in just 30 days. Just click the app name in the heading below to be taken to the Android Market.

Voice Plus by Smart Mobile

With my move to Android, I was able to fully embrace the wonderful world of Google Voice (GV). I had already been a GV user, but coming from a BlackBerry, the mobile experience was extremely limited. I used the web version to text message from my computer and started giving the digits out as my "store this and you'll never have to store another number" of choice. Part of my decision to migrate to Android was based on the seamless integration it offered for GV. I chose to have all outgoing calls placed using Google Voice, and I moved to using only the GV app for all my text messaging. This was beneficial for many reasons, but most of all because it freed me from having to ever worry about carrier text messaging plans again.

What I did NOT realize, until almost two full months of bliss, was that by having all my calls route via Google Voice, I completely depleted my wife's anytime and "rollover" minutes. When I received a much higher than normal bill for her plan, it became immediately obvious that even though I was using my Nexus One with an AT&T SIM card, having the outgoing caller ID reflect my GV number caused those calls to not be treated as "mobile-to-mobile" on AT&T's network. After a bit of searching, I found the Voice Plus app. The premise is simple. Some calls need to be placed via your carrier number, while others you'd like to have come from your Google Voice number. Voice Plus makes this extremely easy by letting you use the groups that are already part of Google Contacts. I simply made a group called "NO GV" and added any contacts that I wanted to call using my carrier assigned number. I used the Voice Plus settings to set my Google Voice as the default, but use my carrier number for my "NO GV" group. Rules can also be setup for specific area codes (which is extremely useful if you use Google Voice for it's international calling features).

This app isn't one that you'll tap on often, but it's benefit is present each time you place a call. Other apps have come along that do something similar, but the simplicity and stability of Voice Plus is why this app is highlighted in our Android 30/30 series.