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VOIP for Android Devices via SIPdroid

I have a good friend that lives in the foothills of Denver and the T-Mobile service there is pretty spotty. In many small towns out west you will find dead spots or no service at all, but more than likely you can find a free WIFI spot. Well, thanks to my friend he has came up with a solution for those with spotty coverage.

VoIP technology has become so reliable that many emergency services departments have adopted a VOIP 9-1-1 line.  And what’s better than getting free VOIP service?  Hotspot + Android Smartphone + a free market app, Sipdroid=Free VOIP phone service. What makes Sipdroid the app of choice is its nearly seamless integration into an Android device.  When Sipdroid is activated it uses the phone’s dialer and contact list just like a regular Edge or 3G call does.

Below you will find his instructions to get started with VOIP on your Android phone. Hope you enjoy!!!!

Setup is straight forward but has some prerequisites:

–        An iGoogle account for your browser (I use Google Chrome but it is not mandatory)

–        An email account (a Gmail account is free and makes integration simple)

–        The Google Voice gadget installed in iGoogle

–        A Google Voice phone number

–        Google Voice installed on your device

–        Sipdroid installed from the Market

Here is the How To:

1. Install an iGoogle account into your browser of choice on your PC / MAC. (He uses the Google Chrome browser on Ubuntu but has tested this under Windows also.) Using GC makes integration of iGoogle, Google Voice, and other Google gadgets easier.  To get and setup an iGoogle account, go tohttp://google.com/ig.  This will allow you to create a page for your browser that is customizable and will ultimately contain your Google Voice  Account and its settings

2. After the iGoogle page is loaded, setup your customizable iGoogle account by signing in and either creating a new account by following the prompts, or if you are a Google gadget user, sign in.

3. After creating your iGoogle Home page, go to Settings, iGoogle Settings.  Do a Search for Gadgets, Google Voice.  Select the GV gadget by Nichols Wilde and install.  Later on you can play with other authors gadgets if you want.

4. Navigate back to the iGoogle Home page and you’ll see a new gadget, Google Voice.  The new GV account needs to be verified before you can use it.  Follow the prompts.  An email will be sent to the address you registered with creating the iGoogle account. You need to answer it before GV is activated.

5. Once GV is live, you’ll be prompted to select a GV phone number.  Follow the prompts.

6. You can add phone numbers to which you can forward the new GV phone number to but this is not necessary to use VOIP

You are now ready to work on the Android phone side of the VOIP installation.

7. If not all ready done, Install Google Voice on your device from the Market.  Initialize Google Voice on your device by following the prompts.  This step is necessary for Sipdroid to setup correctly.

8. Install Sipdroid from the Market on your device.

9. When you run the Sipdroid app for the first time, you’ll see a touch button at the bottom of the screen.  This will setup Sipdroid, a background service at a site pbxes.org (a free virtual PBX site), and activate the VOIP service.  You be prompted to enter your Google Account User ID and Password.  This info is used to create an account at pbxes.org.  This service does background/transparent call management.

10. Sipdroid will auto activate when you turn on wifi and stays active until you disconnect from wifi.  There will be a new icon (Round icon which should be green when connected) in the notification area of your device showing if you are connected to the VOIP service.

11. Go back into iGoogle, Settings, Google Voice Settings, and be sure that the Google Chat check box is checked.  This is the conduit for VOIP to function.

12. With wifi on and the Sipdroid notification green, place a test call from your device and to your GV phone number from another phone.

13. Lastly, you’ll need to set up a voicemail path so that GV will record missed calls if Sipdroid is off or if you do not have an active wifi connection. GV can also send you an email or text message if you cannot be reached. Go to the GV section of iGoogle to review your options. It is self-explanatory.

14.  Go to the pbxes.org website and login using the UID and PW you used during Sipdroid initialization.  Navigate to Extensions, Sipdroid <some number>.  Scroll down to the Call Forwarding Section and enter your GV phone number in two places, If Unavailable and If Busy. This number needs to be entered in this format +1NNNNNNNNN. The plus sign is necessary.  This creates a loopback that forwards missed calls into GV.  If you have setup email and/or text notifications in GV, you’ll get a transcript of the the voicemail if the person that called left a message.

There you go the instructions on how to get free VOIP calling on your Android Device. We hope you enjoy!!!! Special thanks to my friend for all his hard work on this and giving me the ability to share it with all you Android users.

9 Comments

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  1. Tried this on my deactivated Samssung Moment (I recently upgraded to the EVO)… works great over my router and brings the Moment back into usefulness, but I seem to have 2 problems…

    1) if the Moment idles too long sipdroid will not respond to calls and I go straight to voicemail 🙁
    2) The moment only rings once or twice before going to voicemail, which is not enough time to answer it most of the time (I tried changing it at pbxes.org to 60 seconds, but it seems to have made no difference) Is this a Gtalk problem?

  2. Works just fine for me. However, if someone calls my GV number, my phone will ring and if I hit answer, it shows that it’s answered but my skype on my comp still keeps ringing. Weird.

  3. I couldnt figure how to actually do this until i read your post, searched all over the internet. you did a great job explaining everything. thanks up and running.

  4. alright… ive tried this from scratch twice. i deleted my pbxes account once to start over. i followed this tutorial but once i make a phone call from my android phone using sipdroid, it ends the call im assuming right as the phone is going to ring.
    I dont know what to do anymore.
    also, when i call my gvoice number from my house phone, the sipdroid call window pops up, vanishes quickly, then brings up my stock dialer call window.

    anyone else with this problem? or am I just out of luck? i’ve searched around alot to get this to work but just havent.

  5. Ok, this Google Voice gadget apparently hasn’t been working since November. Then why was this article posted on Dec 22? And why are people saying how great it works? Something seems fishy.

  6. Tried these instructions and it worked! I don’t really understand most of whats going on, but it seems like such a workaround for something that is implemented in Android 2.3 (I think). Great hack none-the-less.

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