Android Simplicity

How-To #39: Get Free SMS & Calls Using Data

For parents who can't afford to pay their kids costly cellular plans, for students who are living off ramen noodles, and finally, for those of us that just refuse to be bounded by a cellular contract, Android is here with free mobile messaging and minutes.

How does free calling and SMS work on the Android? The answer is simple: through the internet. This concept doesn't just work on phones... In fact, I can even use my Android tablet to make calls using the microphone for the camera. The only catch is that my Android device needs to be connected to WiFi, 3G, or 4G data networks.
Sure, 3G and 4G plans can be expensive but that can replace the cost of a monthly contract for minutes and texting. Most people are typically around free Wifi networks for most of their day anyways (@work,school,cafe, restaurants, etc) so the data plan shouldn't be needed. 


The process to getting free texting and calling is completely legal, doesn't require root, and 2 simple applications.

Steps:
1) Sign up for a free Google Voice Account using the same Google account you have on your Android devices
2) Install Google Voice (Free) and GrooveIP($4.99), or equivalent, apps using the Android Market.
3) Log into Google voice account on the web and go into settings and set to forward to "Google Chat"
4) Start sending free SMS using Google Voice App
5) Start making free calls using GrooveIP

If you are on a data network/WiFi, GrooveIP and the Google Voice app is always connected, so you will never miss a call or text. Also, note that trying to call using Google Voice app will only reroute the call to your mobile device and will still use your minutes, you must use a third party software for calling.

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