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Discussion Starter #41
Just got the sim card, did the activation...guess what? No coverage! I drove 6miles into town, no bars. ARGH! So bummed. I even got to second level tech help on the phone with Mint. They apologized, there was nothing wrong with the phone, I'd completed activation ok, I was just not within their network range. Really? Wow. I thought a cell signal was a cell signal. Looks like it's T-Mobile, Verizon, or find a VOIP app.
 

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Get a free google voice number and you can use the free Google Voice android app to send and receive calls free on that number via wifi.
 

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You can just get a cheap phone and use it as a miniature WiFi tablet. Just stick it in a console in the Bolt.

I'd bet that if you asked 5 of your friends if they have an old cell phone you could use, they would likely offer you 10 devices.

ga2500ev
Yes...we have phones that the screen cracked or the phone lens cracked or the speakers stopped working. you take the chip out and move it to a new phone. but the phone still works for everything except making calls. it makes a perfect, small tablet.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Reading recent reviews of Google voice sounds like it isn't working all that well since a recent update. Mostly that it won't notify you of incoming calls.

Does this app allow you to call people without them having to have the same app? That is, can you call anyone with it? Land lines, cell phones?
 

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Reading recent reviews of Google voice sounds like it isn't working all that well since a recent update. Mostly that it won't notify you of incoming calls.

Does this app allow you to call people without them having to have the same app? That is, can you call anyone with it? Land lines, cell phones?
I haven't had any problems with it for the last few years. Yes it acts like a regular number to others they can call you with any other regular phone, your phone rings with a ringtone set in the Google voice app. You just need an active data connection (wifi or 3g/4g).
I also have another google voice number I use with a hardware device that connects to my ethernet router at home and provides a regular phone jack to use with old phones to replace a landline and I get free calls even long distance with it.
 

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Google provides their own voicemail too which you can access on the phone or on a computer signed in and can even have any messages (text and/or voicemail) sent to the gmail email address associated with the number. So you can also send/receive text messages via the google voice app.
 

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If you want to use Google Voice, here's a deal for unlimited in-car wifi for $15/mo. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #49
If you want to use Google Voice, here's a deal for unlimited in-car wifi for $15/mo. :)
Except where AT&T coverage is nil, like in my area. For cell service it's beginning to look like Verizon or nothing.

Looking at Google Voice, I was confused by the app store's description...it sounded like you still needed to have an active cell phone and had to set that phone to forward calls to GV. But nighthawk is saying no, that GV works like a regular phone, all by itself, although I must use the GV app's dialer to make calls, not my S7's native phone dialer?
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Still confused. I installed GV on my S7. It required that I link another number to my GV account. I thought it was just for activation of GV. No. It says all calls to my GV number will ring my other cell phone, the one I want to drop! I tried to make a call with GV, and it just comes back with "can not place your call". What am I doing wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #51 (Edited)
Ah, I had to go into GV settings and select WiFi calling only. Just made my first test call to my land line. Sounds good! Looks like I've got a phone! Wondering what happens when I cancel the cell phone number I used to activate GV? Just tried calling the GV number from my land line to see if the S7 rings...nope, goes to voice mail. That seems to be what others are saying too, that GV lets you make calls, but won't receive them. You get a notification, then you have to call them back. Disappointing, but I can probably live with that.
 

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Ah, I had to go into GV settings and select WiFi calling only. Just made my first test call to my land line. Sounds good! Looks like I've got a phone! Wondering what happens when I cancel the cell phone number I used to activate GV? Just tried calling the GV number from my land line to see if the S7 rings...nope, goes to voice mail. That seems to be what others are saying too, that GV lets you make calls, but won't receive them. You get a notification, then you have to call them back. Disappointing, but I can probably live with that.
You also in the GV app have to set your device to answer calls on the GV number, I don't think its automatic. Once I did that it rings on my phone if the phone has active data (wifi, etc)

Make sure under settings in the GV app in the CALLS section that making and receiving calls is set for "prefer WIFI and mobile data" and that Call forwarding is set active only for your phone device - thats what allows it to receive calls. If i turn that off then it only goes to voicemail.
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
Aha!! That was it! The forwarding thing had me confused. Just did a test call and my S7 rang!! Waahoo! Thanks man.

Now I just need to know what happens when I deactivate the phone I used to create the Google Voice account? Can ya riddle me that?
Idea: Change the old cell number I used in GV setup to my home phone line?
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I just deleted the old cell number from my Google account and Google Voice. No complaints. I'm making calls like a regular phone. FOR FREE. Wow. 😎 This is so bitchin' I can hardly believe it!
 

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I think the non-google number is just used as a backup to call with or to forward an incoming call to if there is no active data connection on the smartphone. But if the plan is to always use a wifi connection for the phone, that isn't needed, and if the phone's data is off calls will just go to voicemail. Thats how I use it.
 

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From what I've read Chevy onstar switched from verizon carrier to AT&T several years ago, so the car should be using AT&T network. Yet you said you don't have AT&T service in your area? I'm curious what network did your buddy use the S7 on in the past since its a GSM phone for AT&T or T-Mobile network, not for Verizon or Sprint networks?
 

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Right! The only thing I'll have to keep in mind is that the OnStar plan I have has a 1Gig limit. Shouldn't be an issue for my usage level. But then, if I do hit that limit, I'll have the Mint data to use after I use up the OnStar data. 😎 I'll be well covered. SIM card shows up today. Will let you know how it works out.
If I'm not mistaken, most Android phones have a setting where you can tell it to notify you if you're getting close to a data limit that you can set. That way, you'd know if you were coming close to the 1 GB limit in any given month.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
My buddy I got the phone from was on T-Mobile. And still is. So apparently the best-coverage carriers up here are Verizon and T-Mobile.

Yeah, it's weird that AT&T has sketchy coverage here, but my OnStar WiFi works fine. Go figure.

And I do have my data limit warning set.

I'm just so happy to have found a phone solution that works for me, and is free! 🤩
 

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Discussion Starter #60
I know, right? That's why I thought Mint would work! I guess there is more to these cell networks than meets the eye.
 
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