Use the Native Messaging App for Google Voice!
Note: A jailbroken iPhone is required.
It must be a little bit weird with the whole “texting with the internet” thing. For most of you, texting is just something you do. For me though, I’ve never paid for it. I just cannot wrap my head around paying for yet another service from my carrier when I could easily just use the data I’m paying for to do it! Luckily, GV Mobile + SAVED me with their awesome app and many other cool things that it did!
But, until recently, I just figured I had to use their app to do my messaging work. I would open their app, wait for it to log me in, and then connect, and then show me my texts. Not bad over 3G, but on an EDGE connection, you’d probably just wanna call them instead. Then, MAGIC happened… Google released their own app for Google Voice, and BAM! Just like that, I was loving my texting life again (all free of course).
However… this, as I found out yesterday boys and girls, wasn’t even close to the real magic. It was simply Google giving me an app for a service they offered. Big deal, I think to myself now. You want some real magic? How about hacking the built-in messaging application to use Google Voice rather than your phone’s texting service? Guess what… I DID IT!
Of course I cannot take all of the credit for this. In fact, I take none. The credit goes to a man that goes by the alias “mrzzheng,” who has created a simple and easy to use extension for Google Voice. The extension can be found in Cydia’s BigBoss Repo and is named “SMS GV Extension” The packages adds no icon to your phone, and is very small. Instead, a new area in Settings.app is created for all your tweaking pleasure.
This app, however, isn’t exactly free. Although you can download it very quickly and without charge, the app comes with a 5-day free trial, during which time only the “Send” feature is enabled. In order to receive messages via Messages.app, You must purchase a license for your device. It’s NOT that bad at all though, as it’s only $2.99 for unlimited use on your device. The license gets registered TO YOUR DEVICE (not your Cydia account) so if you ever trade or buy a different phone, this extension isn’t going to automatically transfer. It’s possible by contacting the programmer that you’ll be able to get it transferred, but I cannot confirm this, and would not suggest assuming this either.
For those of you waiting for a “cracked” version… dream big guys. The app requires the “in-app” purchase and essentially stops the cracking process. Without the license, you won’t receive from it.
Once you have it activated, You’ll notice a little toggle in SBSettings (if you have it) that says “GV Send” has been added to your option list. If this is turned “ON,” All text messages sent from Messages.app will be from your Google Voice number, and will NOT use your texting plan (or be interpreted as a texting feature). This is because this extension allows Messages.app to use your DATA or WiFi connection, when sending texts rather than your Cellular Module. So everything that’s outgoing from Messages.app is using Data, and is part of the data plan you already pay for!
This doesn’t mean that every message you receive is free of charge, however. If people text your real phone number, that text will still count. Your sent messages will read as Google Voice still, but in order for the messages to count toward data and not the texting feature for your carrier, it must be texts directed at your Google Voice number (in other words, just tell everybody your Google Voice number, and don’t tell them your real phone number. That makes my life much easier).
IMPORTANT: You MUST Keep the Google Voice App from Google! This Extension relies on that app to work, so NEVER delete it (just has to be on the device… you can hide it if you like, but it must be there). If you do, SMS Extension won’t tell you it’s not working (unless an update occurs with that feature) and you WILL be charged normal texting charges. So… just to be clear. KEEP THE GOOGLE VOICE APP FROM THE APP STORE ON YOUR DEVICE!