By Alok Saboo on October 7th, 2009
Our earlier tutorial on enabling Google Voice push notifications on iPhone/iPod generated significant interest. The earlier method required a lot of effort and an always-on computer that could push the messages to your iPhone. Despite the obvious issues, there was a huge interest – well the savings were significant. Today, I will present an extremely simple method to receive FREE text messages on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Most importantly, this does not require you to jailbreak your device. Yes, you can completely replace your AT&T text plan without jailbreaking your device.
You would need (actually nothing much),
- Any iDevice, i.e., iPhone, iPod Touch, with internet connection (3G/WiFi/EDGE)
- And obviously, a Google Voice account
So, lets get started!!
Step 1- Forward Google Voice SMS to your email
- Google Voice recently introduced the feature wherein you can forward the SMS that you receive in your account to the email address that is tied to the Google Voice account.
- So, let us enable the forwarding of the SMS to our email.
- Log in to your Google Voice account and go to Settings –> Voicemail & SMS.
- Enable SMS forwarding.
Step 2 – Create a Prowl account and Install Prowl on your iPhone
- Next, you need to create a Prowl account. If you do not have one, you can sign up for a new Prowl account here.
- While you are at the Prowl website, generate an API key (under Settings) and copy it (we will need it shortly).
- You will also need to install Prowl (iTunes link) on your iPhone. Setup your prowl account on your iPhone so that it is ready to receive push notifications.
Step 3 – Send Push notifications to iPhone
- Great, now you are at the final step. At this point, you should be able to receive the SMS sent to your Google Voice account on your email address. Now we only need to push that to our iDevice (iPhone or iPod Touch).
- Prowl provides an excellent feature, wherein you can just forward notifications to the Prowl iPhone web service via email.
- You need to forward the messages to the address – API_KEY@mail2prowl.de, where the API key is the one you copied in the previous step.
- To make the system more efficient, I recommend creating a new filter in your Gmail account so that the SMSs forwarded from your Google Voice account are automatically pushed to your iPhone.
- Here’s a simple filter that I used. Forward all messages from – @txt.voice.google.com to your Prowl address – API_KEY@mail2prowl.de. You can obviously play with the filter so that it suits your purpose. If you do not want the SMS to remain in your inbox, you can even Delete it.
- The above filter will only forward (and push) the text messages. If you want to PUSH all the Google Voice notifications, then in the from box, put @txt.voice.google.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that this method is completely secure, i.e., your messages are not intercepted by any one. You forward your Google Voice notifications to your Gmail Account, and then forward them to your Prowl account. You do not have to give out your Google account credentials to any third party. Also, the method is extremely fast. There is no polling – messages are pushed, so the notifications arrive within a few seconds.
That’s it!! Now you are all set to receive your text messages (SMS) for free on your iPhone. You could combine this method with previously mentioned SMS Global.AQ to even send cheap SMS and completely eliminate AT&Ts texting plan. No need to pay $$$ to AT&T for the exorbitant texting plan.
Let me know if you have any trouble with this. If this tutorial helped, do not forget to spread the word!!