Sprint and Google just rolled out to all users the ability to use your Sprint phone number or Google Voice number as your only phone number. This will work on “dumb-phones”, smartphones, and of course Android. It requires no extra setup on your handset as everything is handled from your Google Voice account webpage automatically. I’ve done some testing to walk you through and hopefully answer some questions.
It is possible to port your number to Google Voice from any provider for $20, but this will cancel you existing contract and would not be the best scenario for most people. This new feature with Sprint allows you to use either existing numbers with the click of the button. If you don’t like it, you can switch it back instantly (see bottom of post).
Setup Google Voice on Sprint
Now that this feature is live to all Google Voice users, you are met by the following screen when you log-in to your account (otherwise, click the blue gear in top right > Voice settings > Phones) and click :
After you click your choice, it will activate in less than 10 seconds.
Option 1: Use your Sprint Number
When you choose this option, all calls made to your existing Sprint number will be routed through Google Voice with all its features and goodness. That means you can record incoming calls, block callers, see your missed calls, etc… through your Google Voice account online. You also are using Google Voice for your voicemail. When you dial voicemail, it will connect you to Google Voice’s inbox.
Google will keep your old Google Voice number for 90 days should you decide to go back. After that, you loose it. Of course, you can always get another random one (good luck finding one in your desired area code).
Option 2: Use your Google Voice Number
This is the option that makes the most sense to me. You don’t have to give our your new number to everyone because your old Sprint number will still ring your phone. However, all outgoing calls and texts will be automatically sent from your Google Voice number with this option enabled. You also don’t have to give up your Sprint number after 90 days. You also are using Google Voice for your voicemail. When you dial voicemail, it will connect you to Google Voice’s inbox.
There is one downside to using your Google Voice number this way: MMS (multi-media message service). I have tested this and outgoing picture and video messaging will still come from your Sprint number. This can be confusing to your recipients if you’re making a push to use only your Google Voice number. The good news is that if they reply to your old Sprint number, you’ll still get their message/call.
It has been my experience that you cannot receive picture and video messages sent to your Google Voice number. You won’t even know they sent it.
Google Voice Android App
If you are using the Google Voice app on your Android phone, it retains all functionality but one: toggling between Google Voice and your Sprint number. It will still give you the option to send calls and text messages through your phone’s default number, but they still end up being received from your chosen Google Voice number.
Disabling Sprint and Google Voice Integration
If you decide this setup isn’t for you because you like 2 numbers or don’t like how MMS works, you can just disable everything from your Google Voice account. Click the blue gear in top right > Voice settings > Phones and click “Disable” next to your Sprint phone. The process takes just as long as enabling and you’re back to normal.
After you click “Disable”, Google Voice will confirm.
Let me know if you find any other features or bugs with the Google Voice and Sprint integration!