Using Google Voice on Your Librem 5

Has anyone here used Google Voice on your Librem 5 yet (an un-holy but maybe practical alliance)? When my L5 arrives, I want to put in a new SIM with an arbitrary phone number and then forward my Google Voice number (my primary number and the one that everyone has for me) over to that arbitrary number. The transition should be seamless, easy to move back and forth to and from, and easy to bail out of. When I am expecting an important call or need a more reliable phone, I should be able to forward my Google Voice number back over to my Android phone which also uses an arbitrary number (one I don’t even remember myself and that no one has for me). When I want to carry only my L5, I’ll move my GV number back to it.

In the Google Voice setup configuration menu, you can make changes from any phone or PC. I think the same may be true from an HTML5 web browser on the L5. But obviously, I won’t be able to install the Android GV app to my L5 (after I get my L5). So I don’t know if all current GV features will work on an L5. For example, when I call my friends and family using the GV app, they don’t see the phone’s number on their caller ID, they see my GV number (the number they know me by). I want to keep it that way.

Has anyone experimented with Google Voice yet on an L5? Does anyone know if you can spoof your own number from the L5 so your family and friends will know it’s you calling when you call from a different SIM card which has it’s own number assigned to it by your carrier?

Using Google Voice, if my carrier discovers my L5 on their network and doesn’t want it there, I’ll be able to switch carriers in just a few minutes the same day and not have to deal with any porting issues. Just insert the new SIM, log in to my Google Voice account, and then type in my new (and completely arbitrary) phone number to transfer my calls to. If Purism ever wants to build their own Google-voice-like service, I would be willing to pay them a monthly fee for that service. We all know that with Google, nothing is really free. I don’t know what they do with my call information. But it doesn’t bother me as much (right now) as their advertising and location spying does.

I don’t have my Librem 5 yet. With that said, until the phone vaporized, long story, I used a windows phone for many years. That phone never got a real Google voice app either.

I expect the Librem 5 experience, with regard to GV, to be similar to that windows phone experience.

We’ll use the web browser to access GV and make calls from the browser which will ring your L5’s real number BEFORE calling whomever you called once you answer the other party will see the caller ID of GV because GV called you and is now calling them then bridging the connection. (This is what the app on Android and iOS is actually doing on the back end, not masking your local device number and calling directly but rather bridging without showing you that’s happening)

Texting would also be through the web browser and means you’ll likely not get notifications of new messages unless you forward them to your Gmail mailbox then you’ll have to either reply via Gmail or open the browser and use that web interface.

GV allows you to have multiple lines forwarded to at once; instead of having to switch back and forth l I’d just keep both numbers forwarded to and use whichever device is relevant in that moment.

Hopefully this helps give some idea of what is most likely going to be the experience, at least initially. It won’t be as convenient, but it should be totally usable after some minor behavior changes.

Thanks for your reply. This was very helpful information.

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I imagine that it may not be too long before someone writes a GV app for the L5. If it’s done right, even google will never know more than that some encrypted data stream flowed between the L5 and the other number.