GrooVe IP – make calls Without using your cellular minutes
Mar 30, 2012 12:33 PM –
GrooVe IP allows you to make phone calls without using your cell phone minutes using Google Voice. It is a Voice over IP (VoIP) app that uses the Internet to make calls over Wi-Fi thus allowing to make free unlimited calls to any phone in the U.S. or Canada. Great for the cellular plan minute pinchers or those who want to make phone calls on their Android tablets.
Price: Free, $4.99
Tested on: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Pros & Cons:
- Uses Google Voice, so you don’t have to set up yet another account with someone, and give them access you your data!
- Allows you to make calls via your Google Voice number without using voice minutes!
- You can use it on devices other than a phone – like my WiFi-only tablet!
- The interface is very simple and basic.
- I’m not sure the price of the upgrade is worth the small amount of extra features you get.
I’d like to say up front that I tested the lite, or free, version of this app, partially because I didn’t really think the few extra features you are supposed to get with an upgrade – removal of the ads,, the ability to call on mobile networks and not just WiFi, proximity sensor alerts, integration with the native dialer and the ability to change your status – was really worth spending $5. That said, the free version is pretty darn good.
I decided to try the app on a device that I normally can’t make phone calls on – my WiFi-only Galaxy Tab. Now, I have a phone for making calls, so it’s very rare that I would even want that ability, but I decided it would be a more true test as to how well the VoIP (voice over IP) worked in the app. I have to say, I was impressed.
You sign in with your Google Voice account, which I’ve had set up for a while. So all my contacts, even favorites, synced from Gmail and other Google products, came right over. I was able to dial out with no problem, and I found that the call quality was a lot more impressive that I was expecting. It was clear and crisp, and there was almost no delay. I was testing this on a WiFi network, which, in the lite version, is all you can use. To be honest, if I had access to a mobile network, then that probably means my cell phone, which is always right next to my tablet, is there and working, so again, it’s not a feature I’d see getting enough use out of to justify spending the money.
The interface is rather simple – just a black background with white text, but for what it is, you don’t need a whole lot. If you’re using this to make calls, you care that it works, and that the call quality is good, both of which I can say GrooVe IP does well.
GrooVe IP Dialer
GrooVe IP Placing Phone Call
GrooVe IP Recent Calls
GrooVe IP Missed Call Notification
Groove IP Dialer
Groove IP Contacts
Groove IP Settings
If you want to be able to make calls using your Google Voice number, without using your mobile minutes, then this is a very useful app. Even more so when you put it on a device that otherwise you can’t make calls at all from.
Ease of Use:
It was dead easy to use this app. Just sign in using your Google Voice user name and password, and make a call. It really is that simple.
This depends on how often you want to make calls. Personally, for me, I’m rarely on my tablet without the phone close by, so it’s more of an emergency thing, say if my phone dies away from a charger, or I can get a WiFi signal, but not a cell signal. But for others, it will become the way they make calls every day. So it really will depend on you personally.
As I mentioned above, it couldn’t be simpler if they tried. There is nothing there that isn’t utilitarian and functional. There is nothing here that is graphical or flashy, but what is there just works, and does it well.