HowTo Google Voice iPhone 4S

I recently took on some IT work to hook up a friend's business' phone system. I soon learned that this included an iPhone 4S, which I haven't much experience with - iOS that is. So after some calls to the carrier and some goggling, I obtained a direction and better yet a plan. The plan includes VoIP routing to the 4 cell phones for the business, one of which is the iPhone.

For now this is a rough draft, as in some notes that I'll eventually return to for finalization. But for now the outline follows;

Google Voice app will only work as Google voice if you have it linked to a land line or a cell phone - it has to validate that you are real so you can:
1. sign up for Google Voice
2. Go into the voice settings in Google Voice (best done on a laptop or desktop) and select a number you want to link or forward calls to.
3. Google Voice calls that number and asks you to enter the 2 digit code that appears on your screen. Do that and the "service" is active.
This Now has nothing to do with using the talkatone account on the now retired iPhone 3GS.
1 Download Talkatone to the 3GS
2. ask to link it to the 3GS (it verifies that you want to use it on that instrument as a voip calling device - it will ask for the email address and password for the google voice account you just set up.)
3. Done.I've set this up on many non iPhone apple devices and it works fine.
The Google Voice app is only for real phone line with established service - it uses your voice minutes to establish a call on a regular paid for line.Talkatone circumvents this requirement and places a true Voip SIP call.Again - I have this working on an iPod touch, iPad mini and two iPhones as a backup to the voice service.

So i researched and found an app called Talkatone. It uses your google voice account and The google chat service to route calls AND text messages over wifi for free!

Google account

I made a new one, specifically for my calls. but of course you can use an existing google account.

Activate Google Voice Service (free)

sign into your google account
go here:
scroll down choose voice under home and office
it will ask you if you want a new or to use an existing. choose new.
follow the prompts, it will help you make a new number, then it will ask for a forwarding number, you'll need to put in a legit number , then it will verify by calling that number.
after that google voice will be activated.
to get to your google voice dashboard,
https://www.google.com/voice (of course you need to be signed in)

Forward calls through the Google chat service

signed in?
at your google voice "inbox" ?
click the little gear/settings icon top right
check the box that says "google chat" under the forward calls section (part of the "phone" tab
ok done with the computer side of things.

Download Talkatone (iOS)

Download the Talkatone app. (free) I beleive they have an Android version as well.

Run Talkatone

run talkatone and the wizard will guide you through whatever needs to be done. sign into the google voice account etc...
you'll notice it will warn you about the "forwarding through google chat " thing. no worries you already did that.


Now you can make calls and text with zero signal, and it routes all over wifi. This doesn't use any minutes/texts ! If you use talkatone even when you have service it still routes calls/text over the data connection so it still doesn't use any minutes. Yes, this is a VOIP solution BUT unlike Skype or the others, you don't need the other party to have the same app for it to be free. The call quality is less than stellar but its good enough.
Also, i would imagine( i haven't done it) that by using this method, you can turn your ipad or ipod touch into a phone if you had a Bluetooth headset.
Just one thing. The google talk service lets you make free calls for 2012 "only". you see it used to be that it was only going to be free for 2011, but they added another year and now it claims free for all of 2012.
UPDATE: free for 2013
re-reading this i feel like a commercial for google and talkatone .............. but i am just honestly amazed i get this for free and wanted to share my solution for free voice/text over data/wifi.

A second option to Talkatone for VoIP app is Acrobits Softphone. I use it on my Android and it works very well. Not to mention its a one time purchase not a monthly subscription.

And I found some other material over at ZDnet for me to read up on later. 
The Ultimate Google Voice How-to Guide
And of course if all else fails there's always the manual.