Android Tip: Set your Google Voice app notifications to manual and still get near instant notifications for SMS and voicemail messages

November 20, 2009 | by Robert Nelson

Android Tricks, Tips

Android Tip: Set your Google Voice app notifications to manual and still get near instant notifications for SMS and voicemail messages

I am a Google Voice user, but will also confess that I like the service more than I probably should, kind of borderline fanboyish. But that is OK because at least I can admit my issues. That said, I thought I would take a minute to offer a tip for Google Voice and Android users.

Google Voice (in your web control panel) has many features, and some may have gone unnoticed due to the fact the service works pretty well out-of-the-box.

This tip deals with a little workaround to the current limits that are in the Android Google Voice app in dealing with how often you can refresh your inbox. The given options are 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60 and never. Now for those that really use the service as a main point of communication — even 5 minutes is far to long to be waiting for SMS messages. Of course, that is not because anything that I am receiving is all that important, but because people have come to expect SMS messages to be delivered instantly.

That said, here is the tip that will not only get you your SMS messages and voicemails quicker than 5 minutes, but may also help to save your phones batter life just a little bit.

Turn your Google Voice app settings to manual and have your SMS and voicemail messages delivered via email.

There it is, simple and easy, and by doing this you should even save a little battery life on your phone.

Additionally, by doing this you will also have a slightly more unified inbox experience because you will also be able to have (and archive) those SMS and voicemails along with your regular email. Perfect for someone like myself who lives out of their email account.

And this tip works well because you are already checking your email on a regular basis. Why check two things? Not to mention you can listen to, and read your voicemail from the email message. You can also reply to any incoming SMS messages directly from your email inbox. So you are not really losing anything here, just switching how its delivered.

In order to adjust those settings you will need to login to your Google Voice account from the web. Just login and navigate to Settings, which is located in the top right corner. From there click Voicemail & SMS and then under Voicemail Notifications you should check the box for “Email the message to” and also double check to make sure that email is the email that you are checking on your phone. In this field, then make sure the “Send a text (SMS) message to” field is not checked because you will address that next.

Then under that, look for “SMS Forwarding” and check the box next to “Forward SMS messages to my email” and again that should be the email on your phone.

Once done, just click Save Changes.

Afterward there is just one other setting to check, and I cannot remember if this is check by default or not. Go to Phones, and then click on the phone or phones that you have listed and click Edit for each one. Once there you will see a setting called “Receive SMS on this phone.” You should uncheck, or just make sure it is not checked. Then click Save.

Alas, now you have quick notifications of your Google Voice SMS and voicemail messages and do not have to have another app polling on a regular basis.