Transfer Calls To Your Gmail Chat To Save Minutes

One cool way to use the new Google Voice integrated with Gmail is to transfer cellphone calls to your computer and save on minutes.

First, be sure to add your Gmail Chat account as a number that can be reached via Google Voice.

Then, when you’re in the midst of a call, hit the * key to transfer it to another Google Voice number. If your Gmail is open, your inbox will start ringing. Pick up the call in your Gmail and hang up your cellphone.

Blamo! Instant minute savings.

Eight Clever Ways to Take Advantage of Free Calling in Gmail [Lifehacker]


Edit Your Comment

  1. TheGreySpectre says:

    Now if only I could buy less minutes. 450 is the minimum with ATT but I generally only use 100-200/month without things like this.

    • cheezrox says:

      That would drive me insane! :( Would you be better off switching to a pay-as-you go plan?

    • weestrom says:

      +1 to the above, I know with Verizon you can get by paying $100/year to keep a prepaid cell account alive.

    • Losiris says:

      I use less than 20 minutes a month. Even if i was charged a dollar a minute, no plan would still be way cheaper than the 450 minute verizon plan. Data/Text I gotta have unlimited though!

  2. midwestkel says:

    I thought it still takes airtime (minutes) when calls are forwarded. I found this on Verizon:

    “Airtime charges in accordance with your Calling Plan apply to all forwarded calls, even if you forward your calls to a landline number. “

    For Sprint:

    “Call Forwarding charges may apply when forwarding calls to other cell phone or landline numbers.
    *28, *73 or *74 are at no charge
    *72 is billed at $0.20/minute unless you’re on a UNLIMITED Simply Everything Plan”

    • Lucky225 says:

      With Google Voice the call originates on your GOOGLE number, *NOT* your cellphone. When you press * GOOGLE (NOT YOUR CELL PROVIDER) switches the call over.

      • midwestkel says:

        I see now, they have to call your Google Voice number and you have to have that number set up to transfer to your cell phone. So it goes like this

        Incoming Call -> Google Voice -> Forwarded to Cell Phone

        I was thinking:

        Incoming Call -> Cell Phone -> Forward to Google Voice

        • DH405 says:

          It’s either one, but this is not “Forwarding” as you’re thinking of it. It’s not call forwarding as done by your cell provider. This is GV disconnecting the call with your cellphone, and initiating a new call with your landline, all while holding the call open with whoever it is you’re speaking with.

    • LastError says:

      With the GV app on my phone, calls I make are free because GV is treated as if I am calling another wireless user, and for me, any wireless to wireless call is free.

      It makes no difference if I am actually calling a landline because it’s just a wireless call to GV as far as the carrier is concerned.

      The same in reverse when people call me via GV. All calls are free wireless to wireless.

      And again, when I forward my cell number over to GV to have it ring my home line, it’s treated as wireless to wireless. GV may forward it to my landline but GV is doing that part themselves also for free.

      I have no idea how Google makes any money off Google Voice but it is truly an amazing piece of work and the value is just fantastic.

    • joe23521 says:

      Google Voice calls are NOT free on your phone. I think this trick only works when you transfer to Gmail on your computer.

  3. ahecht says:

    Only works if people call you on your Google voice number.

    • ktetch says:

      I don’t use anything BUT my GV number in public. only my close friends+family get my actual cell number, everyone else gets 352-6-KTETCH. It’s on my blog, my business cards, even my facebook and T-shirts (gotta love QR code)

  4. mbgrabbe says:

    450min is WAY too much for alot of young people out there, and the phone companies know it. They need to come up with an unlimited data, pay-as-you-go voice plan. Sign me up for that!

    • mikeofarabia says:

      I’m on Virgin Mobile’s $25 / 300 mins / unlimited text / unlimited data plan. it is awesome and cheeaaapppp!

    • maraa01 says:

      I agree with you on that one. My teen does 10’s of thousands of texts per month, but uses hardly any minutes. None of his friends actually talk on their phones except when us annoying parents call them.

      • Skankingmike says:

        hah you sound like my Aunt.

        She says that none of the kids today will have social skills to handle situations in real life. I would tend to agree.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          There was a study released that stated this.

          Basically texting has surpassed any other form of communication (INCLUDING TALKING TO EACH OTHER) for the 10-15 age group. Bonkers.

          • jessjj347 says:

            I also read one time (no idea the source) that communication in general goes on a trend towards using less and less words to communicate something. So, for instance, in the English language we cut out more and more words to say things. This technology could speed up the trend if the theory is correct.

    • mac-phisto says:

      i wish they’d just have reasonable pay per data & voice rates. then we could be billed per usage like most utilities & legacy landline plans. unfortunately, it will never happen b/c the powers that be make too much money selling time/data that people never use.

      imo, “rollover” is the most ingenious marketing tool ever invented. i hope the person that came up w/ that idea made a killing before they laid him off.