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Download: Google Voice through third party/stock messaging app

This comes with no support, and is nowhere near complete.

0) Google Voice must be installed with notifications enabled (for now).

1) Install a recent +CyanogenMod nightly. July 1st or later. You need the SMS middleware patches I put in for PushSMS. (see Gerrit)

2) Push this apk to /system/app: http://download.clockworkmod.com/test/babel-signed.apk adb install will not work. The app requires system/signature permissions.

4) Start Babel, choose your Google Voice account. Authorize it.

6) Click the "Accessibility service" button, and it will direct you to settings. Enable "Babel".

No, Babel is not the final name.

How it works:

The app will sync your existing Google Voice messages into your messaging store. New Google SMS will be received as if it were a normal SMS.

When you send a message out from your messaging app, it goes out via Google Voice.
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144 comments
 
Does the sent SMS keep the "origin ID" of the phone, or does it use the Voice number?
 
Too many steps, this is a recipe for disaster
 
+Chris Ennis Yeah, I'll be making it a ROM Manager install and detecting prerequisites (which are 4 of the steps).

Actually setting it up once it is on system is easy.
 
+Koushik Dutta on a more serious note, this sounds like a one way merge into mms.db; any input on how you're going to handle the user that possibly toggles the option to enables/disables this feature? 
 
+Chris Ennis Yeah, it's one way.

Not sure what you mean. If the user disables this feature, it goes back to the actual phone number.
 
+Koushik Dutta "the app will sync your existing Google Voice messages into your messaging store" sounds like you merge the messages into the actual sms database; so if you disable the feature won't Google Voice messages still exist in that database? Or am I misunderstanding and you're just reading Voice's database instead of importing? 
 
+Koushik Dutta Trying to wrap my head around this fully. If I have my Sprint account tied into my Google Voice account, is this something that would benefit me? I feel like this already happens for me thru their backend, etc. 
 
+Chris Winnett You have no use for this. Sprint has already been working with Gvoice for a while, no other carriers support it tho. 
 
Heh, this sorta works for now. I dont receive any notifications of a text, but I receive them in my stock messaging app. 
 
+Koushik Dutta I've been playing around with this now, and I've noticed that I can send emojis, but when I receive them they come up as /uffd/uffd/uffd. i could never send them before with the stock voice app. could you make inbound emoji work?
 
+Chad Neu I'm getting notifications, but I'm getting notifications from both apps. +Koushik Dutta is there a way to hide gvoice notifications? Also, can I send mms from the stock app? 
 
Isn't this already a feature in Google Voice?
 
I fixed the notifications i believe. 
 
+Grant Smith On Sprint you can enable Google Voice integration thru your Sprint number. That(sprint/gvoice) isnt available to other carriers. This enables Google Voice in the default SMS app.
 
I can't wait until this is completed. Been waiting for google to do this for years.
 
Ummm..... on both my phones (htc evo 3d/cricket and nexus4/tmo) my gvoice messages are integrated with stock messenger (option in gvoice app). Am I missing something here or is this an option for those not in US? By the way, not trying to start anything, i have been pleased with this dev's many works, just trying to get more info on this app and seeing if this would benefit me in some way.
 
Ok, sorry still a newb here. So with this setup, I won't be receiving texts from some google-made random number but from the actual contact number?
 
+Edward Amarille Correct. You will send and receive texts from your Google Voice number, they wont see your carrier phone number(nor will it use shadow/temp numbers for gvoice) unless the Gvoice fails for some reason(assuming it falls back to carrier sms if gvoice fails, iirc that's how this works)
 
The official GV integration is not so good, and the messages sent from stock SMS are indeed archived through GV (as one would expect). The official GV app is slow and has a mediocre UI. For me Babel seems to be importing some GV messages twice into the SMS message store, and others not at all. But already it looks really promising. Looking forward to the next version!
 
Thanks for clearing that up for me, now time to tinker with my phone again 
 
+Koushik Dutta How will this affect sending text messages internationally, If all messages are routed through Google voice.
 
+Koushik Dutta When I get a message from my girlfriend, it still shows some random number, instead of her GV number. Her name shows up tho. And it prompts me to 'save as a new contact'. Not bitching, just reporting!! Keep it up. I love EVERYTHING yinz r working on!!!
 
I can confirm that it works on my disconnected, aka no service, Sprint Galaxy Nexus, running the latest CM nightly. But I still have Google Voice on that device. +Koushik Dutta Will this apk be open source?
 
+Koushik Dutta were both running GV, tried what u told me to do, still same thing....and I'm also getting texts in my GV app even after disabling it per your instruction.
 
Hm, I wonder how much I'd be willing to pay for this. At least a 1/10th of a cent per text, but I don't text that much and I value my SMS history being stored and downloadable.

Anyway, not that you will charge like that, but that's how awesome this is to me. I can't wait to try it this afternoon.
 
I just mean that the convenience of using the GV infrastructure plus being able to use (anything other than the shittiest msging appcon android) is just wonderful.
 
+Koushik Dutta how does this work if I sometimes rearrange texts in my inbox and such? Or is the state of my inboxes independent and they simply both receiving incoming and outgoing messages and have separate unsynced book-keeping?
 
Still receiving duplicate notifications. One for Messaging and one for Google Voice. 

It shows the correct number, contact, etc. The Messaging notif appears after the Gvoice notif, if that helps. 
 
+Koushik Dutta So tomorrow's nightly maybe?

So far Im digging it. Ill be able to get away from the Gvoice app completely and use MightyText on my n7 instead. How do I give you money?
 
Installed on my Galaxy Nexus, working great so far!
 
+Chad Neu you can buy a couple ROM Manager licenses for you and your friends...Christmas is coming, ya know!
 
+Koushik Dutta is it now possible to send MMS messages via stock or 3rd party apps (via your Google Voice conduit)? Also, is it a correct assumption that after I push the babel APK today (to /system/app), and re-flash the latest nightly tomorrow, I'll have to re-push the APK again? And lastly, does this mod in any way secure the messages or is that completely separate and still coming down the pipe? Thanks for all of your hard work!
 
+Jonathan Lorber No, this doesn't add mms support to google voice.

Yeah, you'll need to repush the apk. This is just a hack install for now. I'm probably gonna put this into CM or distribute it via Play or something.

The secure stuff is different, and google voice messages can not be secured end to end (without mangling your web interface).
 
+Koushik Dutta but if you send an mms via the stock messaging app, will it fall back to the carrier? If not, is this possible? 
 
+Koushik Dutta in the case where you recieve a message via your carrier number, when I respond presently will it send the SMS via the carrier number or via the googlevoice number? (thank you for this amazing hack im really looking forward to seeing where it goes)
 
Can someone explain the functional difference between a "push to system" and simply copying to system and setting permissions?

Edit: never mind.... Took a while, but all my messages are now synced to the stock app.
 
Yes! This is what I've been waiting for years for. Others have tried to integrate voice with the regular sms but this seems to be the most seamless.
 
I tried this on my Nexus 7 and it works but something strange...  First I tried it using GO Sms, worked well. Wanted to try it using Handcent which is not available for N7 so i hadda get it with my phone and copy it over. And it was working to. Then I removed GO Sms, thinking i didn't need it anymore. After that Handcent was broken. Whenever something came it I would get an error message on the screen. Re installed go sms, and handcent is working again. Funny?

BTW, thanks for this. Ive been wanting this for a loooong time just because Voice creates a new conversation with each person every day instead of a continuous one. Good deal, and poo on Google for allowing someone to beat them to it.
 
+Dan Rhodes I tried it that way on my 7/6 nightly of 10.1 for vzw s3 with the BMS kernel, and my phone got stuck at the bootanimation. Tips?
Ben K
 
After enabling my email account in Babel, I'm not getting any authorization messages. Running a 7-05 nightly of Carbon, Galaxy S4 Verizon.
 
+Austin Hsu I'd eliminate variables.  Flash stock CM nightly and stick with stock kernel, then try again.  Copying a file to /system/app shouldn't cause a bootloop.
 
I only have Google voice or other services. Had Vzw turn off testing when I got my first android phone. It will be nice to finally use the SMS app on my phone lol
 
I want this but I'm on carbon so sad for me
 
Does this work with the stable CM 10.1 or only with the latest nightly? I have the stable 10.1 and I pushed the APK to "system/app", rebooted my phone, then enabled it under "Accessibility", but as soon as I try to open "Babel", it just force closes. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy SIII, running CM 10.1 (stable).
 
As far as the boot loop goes, wipe cache and dalvik. Fixed it for me. Koush, any update on double notifications?
 
So, I'm confused. If someone sends a text to my Google Voice number, I don't get charged at my Verizon account? If I install this, do my regular texts to my Verizon number also  go to the Google Voice messenger and avoid text charges? 
 
And if I send texts via my Google Voice number, I get no Verizon text charges? 
 
+Dan Rhodes the file managers had a hell of time trying to copy it and though cmfm succeeded, cmfm would not open again. I did try fixing permissions with twrp before rebooting. Since I had to nandroid I'm back to stock kernel so I'll try again. Oh yeah, I had changed permissions to rw-r-r before rebooting as well...

+Michael Crutcher SMS sent to your carrier number are counted/charged (depending on your set up with them)

Update: I got it installed, but nothing happens after I select my account. When I go in to accessibility settings manually, babel is already enabled. My messaging app synced to my gvoice inbox, but my test messages to myself are either not going out or being received.
 
Will there be an easy way to identify carrier text messages? What if I reply to a carrier text? Will it be sent via GV or carrier?
 
What is the difference between copying and pushing? I can't get this working. #fail
 
I updated my nightly and now without babel installed, nothing is going through voice. I need help. If someone could message me, it'd be greatly appreciated
 
This is a pretty awesome idea. Thanks for caring more than Google does, Koush!
 
My phone doesn't support the newer versions of CM. I have been thinking of upgrading for a while - guess now I have a good reason to do so
 
Working great for me, but I'm not entirely sure why the stock SMS client is better than the GV one for those who only use Voice.

My install was:

Root file manager copy to system/app
Set permissions
Run and set account and accessibility per OP
Reboot and wait half an hour for sync.
 
I've been using the Google Voice app exclusively since my first android phone, and I'm with +Dan Rhodes on this. What are the benefits of the stock sms app vs the Google Voice app? Still neat though!
 
+Dan Rhodes +Benjamin Leffler I would think the point isn't so much that you can use the stock app, but that you can use any of the supposedly awesome SMS apps out on on the market currently.
 
+Craig Price Tried stock and Handcent.  Guess I'm just too old to understand why the interface makes much difference when i send 140 characters to the 2 friends who have dumb phones.Still great to see CM functions leading Google updates though.
 
But the app remains, we just get a slightly different UI? 
 
Ok, that makes sense. I guess getting notifications from the GV app works better than actually using it. Haha
 
If I, post-GVoice-sync, do the following:
1. Backup my SMS using something like SMS Backup & Restore
2. Flash CyanogenMod anew
3. Restore messages
4. Install Babel again

What will happen? Duplicates?
 
Now I just need to switch back from WP8 to Android lol.

It was a fun little experiment though haha
 
I have a S3 running Illusion and it didn't work for me. Probably because it's not on the latest nightly. It's got the June 30th version. I still tried and nothing happened. The app just doesn't install. :)

Hopefully they'll update the base or you can post a way to get it onto older versions :)
 
I think the point of this was to simply eliminate the need for the Google voice app and have a more feature enhanced texting app.
Personally, 
I'm not a huge fan of the Google voice app for texting. I'd much rather use one in the market or my stock app. It tends to be more user friendly. Google voice also seems to hang on sending my texts at times.
 
+TC Meggs Let's say you are using voice commands, and you say text blabla it cannot use Google voice, only stock messaging. With babel one can remedy that incompatibility.
 
did you really use googles "babel" name for the app? lol
 
+Timothy Kowalski Also, that change will break the shit out of everything and needs a new Babel build which I haven't released yet.
 
+Koushik Dutta thanks, patience is key, I guess. Thanks for this, I used a third party app, but didn't work very well.
 
I use MMessaging + Google Voice
 by DreamBig, Inc. does the same thing, except $4 and you need to use the older google talk app.....
 
How do you set the permissions? I set all the read/write/execute but when I open up Babel, it says unable to open
 
After following all of the setup instructions, received texts showed a strange number (from Texas, incidentally) instead of the sender's number. I followed the suggestion above of deselecting "Receive text messages on this phone" in the Voice webapp, but now I'm not receiving them at all.
 
I installed it and I get notifications in my stock messenger but I cannot reply or start a text message thread.
 
I don't think it works on the t-mo vibrant. copied file to /system/app, chmod file 777 for good measure, reboot with wiping cache and dalvik. see Babel but refused to open with "Unfortunately, Babek has stopped" message. Using CM10.1.1 vibrantmtd stable 7/10/13 3:40 PM
 
Doesn't work for my nexus 4 with newest Babel. Put it in the correct spot and fixed permissions. I get notifications but I can't reply unless I use the voice app.
 
Does this work with the latest stable release 10.1.1? Every time I try to open babel I get "Babel has stopped"
 
is this only for 10.1 or is it also cm10?
 
doesn't work with CM 10.1.2-vibrantmtd either. Same error msg: "Unfortunately, Babek has stopped
 
i get  no authorization prompt on droid4 maserati after selecting account. Droid4 Maserati device on 7/11 nightly
 
I just updated to the 20130715 nightly and pushed the .apk into system\app, but even after clearing the cache and rebooting I don't see Babel - am I missing something?
 
Gotta get the beta 3 for it to work. It works on my PAC ROM

 
Nexus 4 Running CM 10.1.2-mako

So I:
adb pushed to sdcard
cp to /system/app
app crashed on launch
Ran Fix Permissions on RomManager
reboot
hit the shortcut but says app not installed
tried running it from adb shell and got Activity class does not exist

Any suggestions?
 
I've now gotten Babel-beta3 to install and run on my (rickety) HTC Glacier/MyTouch 4G running the latest CM available for it (10.1-20130714-Albinoman887-glacier). Texts sent from the stock messaging app appear to originate from Voice, so big win there. However, incoming texts TO Voice are not being routed to the messaging app, no matter how I tweak the settings. Indeed, I've stopped receiving notifications for messages sent to Voice, either through the messaging app or Voice itself, regardless of whether I set "Receive text messages" within Voice settings to "Via the Google Voice app" or "Via the messaging app", with "Text notifications" on or off.

Am I misunderstanding the intended functionality, or is this a bug?
 
+John M. Kuchta For gerd's sakes you can either do a search or click on Koushik name to get to the latest post. It will show up on the right hand side.  Also, it has been renamed to Voice Plus and has been merged with the latest nightly.
 
Does this support MMS or no? That is a big reason I don't use Voice.
 
+Minja Miketa actually, MMS won't be supported in GVoice until GVoice is integrated into Hangouts, if that ever happens, if it ever happens.
 
+John M. Kuchta That is what I was afraid of...I guess I need to wait for hangouts for the join to get on GVoice.
 
+Koushik Dutta will this work on 4.3? I tried adding to system and I am getting an error message after rebooting saying there are inconsistencies in my system and to wipe that partition. Then when I try to open Babel, it force closes :( .... I gave it permissions 644, am I doing something wrong?
 
Might have missed this mentioned above, but...

Is there a way to switch between Google Voice and Carrier for SMS sending?  Also, incoming SMS sent to the carrier number, what happens to those?
 
+James Burnett nice to see I'm not the only one running a Glacier. I've got Albinoman's 4/28 version running. Any significant improvements on the July build? (been wary of updating since I tried one of the june versions and it was really buggy)

Have you gotten Babel to work? This functionality is one I've wanted since I got an Android years ago, and I'd definitely upgrade my ROM to get it.
 
Is there a way to disable sending messages via GV? I've only been using GV for international calling. I want to keep sending my texts via my carrier's #. Right now the only option for me (so it seems) is to install GV app to make an international call and then uninstall it to be able to text normally... Is there another workaround?
 
any chance of this coming in app format for folks who root but don't flash CM? I'd pay money for this.
 
Beta 3 worked great. Somehow it updated to 1.0 and now all I get is f/c. Even with clean install.
 
+Koushik Dutta It appears there's an incompatibility between this and TextSecure, based upon a test I did this morning.  Key exchange fails through sms.
 
so, does anyone have this working yet? I've got my Nexus 4 now, running CM10.1.3 RC, curious to try it, but it sounds like everyone's having bugs. Is there an XDA thread?
 
There's a Concatenated SMS bug in how it interacts with Google Voice to send messages (differs from normal SMS behavior in how Google Voice adds a message header) but otherwise it works just fine sending sms over the data connection via Google Voice... I've been using it with the CM10.2 nightlies for some time.
 
Is it difficult to uninstall if it doesn't work properly? 
 
+Adi Peshkess I'm on 10.2 on galaxy note 2 and it works (unfortunately for me). Uninstalling is quite simple. Just uninstall GV app and your sms will go through your phone. Problem is (like in my case) when you want to use other GV features without using sms rerouting function. I don't think it's possible. Please correct me if I'm wrong. 
 
+Koushik Dutta  Thank you very much for this feature!!!! I am currently using it on my Droid DNA running CM 10.2

I had an issue here in Australia unfortunately. When Voice+ is enabled the messaging app tries to send all messages through my Google Voice account which will not work if the recipient's number is outside the US and Canada. 

I wish there was an option in Voice+ that allowed you to choose whether or not to use Google Voice to send a message depending on its country code.
 
I'm trying to get this to work on a kindlefire with Cyanogen mod10.2-20130903-0208 with the new version of hangouts. Is it Possible?
I can use voice and voice number for SMS but can't get it to show up like on my razr maxx and Hangouts 2.0
 
okay guys I know this is probably will off topic but somewhat close to the point I'm trying to do exactly this is the question I've got an HTC evolution which is originally a tmobile mytouch 4G I need to root the damn thing to make this work it's absolutely a nightmare does anyone have a clear concise instructions for this
 
+Koushik Dutta Great job as always. Enjoyed using this on a 4.3 CM based ROM and currently on a CM based 4.4 ROM. So my question is will this add-on work?
 
+Kola Alayande I just flashed the original babel.apk to my /system/app folder on my CM4.4 based rom and enabled it in accessibility, and all i get when I try to open it is "Unfortunately, Babel has closed." So I think it's up in the air still. Depends on if your ROM contains that PushSMS patch he mentioned I imagine, and since most of these 4.4 roms are still pretty alpha, I don't imagine it's there. I agree though, I really miss Voice+ :)
 
I loaded CM10.2M1 last night. Voice+ prompted to enable and it's running great. Near-perfect syncing with GVoice on the desktop (minor delays updating the phone app, but only a couple minutes at most, and usualy when I'm sending a message from the desktop).

This is the greatest app ever!
 
How does voice+  function when I'm in an area with cell signal but no data connection? Will I still get the GV forwarded SMS's (as usual), or do will I have to wait until I regain data connection to receive the missed text messages? ... Thanks!!
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