I don’t make many phone calls, but lately I’ve been on the verge of migrating my contacts over to my Google Voice phone number. The big reason I want to to do this is to to completely eliminate my text messaging fees, and with the official Google Voice app for the iPhone I’m awfully close to making the complete transition. Wouldn’t it be cool, however, if you didn’t have to use any minutes for calls made with your Google Voice account on the iPhone?

Well, I’m here to tell you it’s possible with a free third-party app called Talkatone. The Google Voice VoIP calling is a feature that’s tucked away in the app a bit, but in my testing I didn’t notice a difference from a normal call when talking to someone that was on a landline. This isn’t just for Google Voice users though… it can also be used to make calls to your contacts who are logged into Google Talk (assuming they are using Gmail Chat and have the video chat plugin installed). You can also go old-school and use this as an instant messenger with your Google Talk friends.

With this article I’m just focusing on the ability to call a phone using Google Voice VoIP access on Talkatone. Just follow the three simple steps below to navigate your way to VoIP bliss.

  1. Launch Talkatone, and login so that you get to your contacts screen. Double-tap the header labeled Contacts:
    google voice voip 1.png
  2. Select the Google Voice VoIP Call option:
    google voice voip 2.png
  3. Dial the number you want to call, or select the Address Book button in the upper-right corner to select someone from your iPhone contacts:
    google voice voip 3.png

If you find that this isn’t working for you the developer says you may need to set up the Google Voice integration first:

  1. Login to your GMail account on Mac or PC and sign in to chat there.
  2. Make at least one phone call from there using the Call Phone button (you may need to accept the terms of service). If you don’t have Call Phone you may need to install Google Video chat plugin first.
  3. Optionally: To receive your Google Voice calls in Talkatone as VoIP you may login to your Google Voice account and click Forward to Google Chat.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of Talkatone features:

  • Login using your GMail account directly to Google Servers over a secure connection.
  • Portrait and Landscape modes supported.
  • Voice Calls over 3G and WiFi (sorry, NO VIDEO yet, it’s on our list) with advanced codecs support, packet loss reconciliation, etc. for superior voice call quality.
  • Share your location in real time with your peers.
  • Unique “double-side coverflow” navigation with support of swipe gestures for quick switching between open windows.
  • Supports avatars from Google Talk server and from your iPhone’s address book.
  • Basic Bluetooth headset support.
  • Double-tap top status bar to show the “Quick Menu”: mute message sounds, clear unread counts and place a Google Voice VoIP call.
  • For U.S./Canada users: basic support for VoIP calling to/from regular phones using Google Voice account.

Not bad, and it’s all free. I did get a glimpse of some iAds in the app, but I only saw them after I had actually been connected with the person I was calling. I didn’t see any ads elsewhere in the app. Since it is free you don’t have much to lose by trying it out.

Talkatone iTunes Link
Thanks Jason!

There Are 23 Comments

  1. I just downloaded this app and made a few phone calls from it. I have a 4g iPod touch and it works great. I would recommend it even if it was not free.

  2. Just downloaded it on my Iphone 4 and it works great! Thanks for the tip…

  3. Awesome app, loving it! Could be blind, but I am not seeing this “Forward to Google Chat” in the voice settings.

    • If you deleted (or just don’t have) “Forwards To: Google Chat” option under the “Phones” tab of settings, call your google voice # from gmail. Then it should appear.

  4. Is it possible to use this international VoIP calls (other than between USA and Canada)?

  5. I’m not seeing the “Forward to Google Chat” option either. I’ve been messing with it all day and cannot figure out how to get the forward check boxes to appear under the voice settings tab. I’ve made several phone calls from the Chat feature in Gmail as the instructions say, but still no option to forward. What am I doing wrong?!!!

    • Go to settings for Google Voice on your web browser: [google.com]
      Then click “Phones” and it’s like the first option

    • Yep, as the anonymous poster pointed out – this should be located under the phones section in your Google Voice settings. It’s mixed in with the phones you are forwarding to.

  6. My calls aren’t linking through… Works fine when I run from my laptop thru g talk, but thru the app on my iPad the calls just ring but never connect or ring the other phone…

  7. It works well on my iPhone4.

  8. Trying to use this app from outside the US and Canada… anyone able to get it done?

  9. Is the free VOIP calling works only on outbound calls? how about inbound calls?

    I’ve been testing it on airplane mode, with my wifi on. Outbound calls works just fine, but inbound doesn’t get through. I tried calling from a landline, it’s ringing on that side, but nothing on my iPhone. When I turn off airplane mode, I saw missed calls/voicemail from my landline. I’m still trying to find a more detailed description on how this app works (what’s free and what’s not free). Is this just me or am I missing something?

    • Make sure you are signed out of your Google account on your computer, otherwise incoming calls will be routed to your computer.

      Also, if you’re calling from your home phone and your GV # is a long-distance call from your area, your home phone will be charged (just like any other LD call you make). Your GV account won’t be charged for any U.S. calls. Unfortunated GV does not have an Alaska area code available, so I chose a Lower-48 area code instead.

  10. Incoming Calls

    Hey So far, this app works pretty damn gooood BUT, I have One problem.
    I did Everything that was listed here, but I still can’t Connect to incoming calls. Yes: I can make calls, I modified account settings in GV for forwarding to GoggleChat. My account is up to date. And I have signed out on my computer.
    When I’m in the app I receive incoming calls But I can’t connect to them. I accept the call and it appears to work but on the caller end it keeps ringing, on my end the ringing stop but no sound is heard. And when I’m Not in the app I don’t receive Any alerts or notifications that I have and incoming call. However, I do receive and alert stating that I have a missed call whether I’m in or out the app.
    Please Helllp Mehhhh!!! lol

  11. EDIT: …I have AN* incoming call. However, I do receive AN* alert stating that…

    BTW: I’m using an ipod touch 2G

    Thanks =)

  12. Downloaded the app and did all the tinkering around as described by everyone, but can’t make outgoing or receive calls. I dial and get a ring that goes on forever and it never actually connects.

    Any suggestions?

    • Try going to your google voice settings and instead of forwarding to a number forward using googlechat

  13. Awesome app. Works well as advertised on my iPod touch. Only, intermittently, (5 out of approximate 20 calls) do not connect – i get a message “unable to transmit audio” after the other party picks up. Donno whether it is because of this app or VOIP in general!!!

  14. I can make out going calls but i cant receive any on my fourth generation I pod. Can anyone help me?

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