Feb 15

Did you hear, “Please donate today”?

The popular Google Voice Gateway is donation-supported; your donations cover the costs of hosting, caller-ID service, and ongoing development of the project. At random, you may hear a pleasant voice between the first and second ring of your outgoing call reminding you to “please donate today.” This recording is not delaying your call; it’s being played while the line is ringing. And if the called party picks up before or during the recording, the call will be connected without any delay, as usual.

If you have donated and don’t want to be reminded at random to donate again, e-mail gvgw@simonics.com with your GV number and your request to turn off the donation reminders.

New donors: The PayPal donation form now includes an optional field where you can enter your GV number. Do so and the reminders will be turned off for you, also.

Jan 23

Failed accounts to be removed later today on gvgw3

If you have a Google Voice Gateway account on gvgw3 and it is still failing to log in to Google Voice (following the maintenance two weeks ago that triggered “suspicious login” alerts from Google – see previous post), it will be removed later today. If you are reading this notice after the fact, just register again. It’s free!

Jan 09

gvgw3 gateway maintenance complete

Maintenance is complete on Google Voice Gateway gvgw3. If you use this gateway, you may notice that the IP address has changed. This should be the last change in IP for a while.

With this IP change, a number of Google accounts received warnings about blocked login. If your gateway account is not working, please check your e-mail on your Google Voice account and see whether Google has blocked the recent login attempt. If so, allow it and then restart your SIP device to cause the gateway to try logging in your account again.

Jan 02

Testing feature: GV login follows SIP login

For the next few days I will be testing a new feature on gvgw3: Google Voice (Talk) logins will follow a user’s SIP login. That is, Google Talk will only be logged in while your SIP device is registered (logged in). Until now, when you set up a Google Voice Gateway account, your Google Talk account would be logged in full-time until you deleted that gateway account. This change allows better use of resources on the gateway and allows the end-user some control over the Google Talk login if he/she wishes.

During the test I will be monitoring resource usage and stability of gvgw3. If the system proves to be stable then this arrangement will remain in place and a more formal announcement will be made. Additionally, I will be upgrading gvgw1 and gvgw2 to the current feature set of gvgw3 including this new login scheme.

Jan 02

gvgw3 gateway to be relocated this week and next

Due to some shuffling at the provider hosting gvgw3.simonics.com, this gateway will have some brief downtime TODAY (2 January 2013) sometime between 4:00 and 7:00 PM EST. The IP address will change as well, so if you hard-code the IP rather than use the DNS name, you will need to update your configuration.

We will go through the same routine again next week when the server lands at its long-term home.

UPDATE: The maintenance of 2 January 2013 is complete. The IP address of gvgw3.simonics.com has changed; if you are unable to register your SIP device, you may need to reset it so that it gets the new IP address.

Nov 19

XMPP chat <==> SIP SIMPLE with the Google Voice Gateway

A Sunday afternoon project: XMPP chat and SIP instant messaging (“SIMPLE” or SIP MESSAGE). Here I started a chat with a Google account logged into the Google Voice Gateway. The gateway translated the XMPP chat message to SIP MESSAGE and sent it to the connected SIP client–in this case, Jitsi softphone (a full-featured softphone which I highly recommend). From the softphone, I responded to the chat message that popped up, sending a SIP message back to the gateway which then relayed it to the Google Chat contact.

XMPP with iChat talking to SIP SIMPLE in Jitsi

This new feature is now standard on the Google Voice Gateway for all new registrations. Not so useful with softphones, but if you have a desktop or mobile IP phone that supports SIP SIMPLE/MESSAGE, you might find it to be a cool feature.

Nov 17

GV Gateway registration open; new features

Registration is open once again for the Google Voice Gateway.

Along with this reopening of registration, I am pleased to announce a few new often-requested features:

  • Alternate port 5070: You may need to use this port if your ISP blocks SIP on 5060.
  • SIP over TCP: Users connecting with wireless devices (smart phones, tablets) may want to use the TCP transport to extend battery life. Unless you need this, however, UDP is still the preferred transport. Ports 5060 and 5070 are both available over TCP.
  • XMPP priority 127: Previously, all GVGW accounts were set at standard priority 20, which allowed other Google Talk/Chat programs to “override” the login and intercept incoming calls. (For example, if you opened GMail chat on the same account as your Google Voice number registered on the GVGW, incoming calls would ring on GMail chat and not on the gateway.) Having received a lot of feedback on this, I’ve set the default priority to 127 (highest) for all new registrations. With that, all Google Voice calls should hit the gateway, even if you open other Google Talk clients on the same account.
  • Multiple SIP registrations: The gateway permits only one SIP registration per set of SIP credentials. Donors to the project may request additional SIP accounts to be affiliated with a Google Voice number registered on the gateway. This setup allows you to receive incoming calls to any registered SIP device and place calls over your GV line from any of your registered SIP devices.

These features are enabled for new registrations only. If you are currently registered on gvgw1 or gvgw2 and want to enable the new features, please migrate your registration to a new gateway by deleting and re-adding your account.

Aug 13

Google Voice Fax by E-mail

Last week, Simon Telephonics released its first paid service, Google Voice Fax by E-mail. This extremely affordable service provides unlimited sending and receiving of faxes using a Google Voice number that you provide, and you can set up a traditional dedicated fax line or an on-demand fax line that you can use for both voice and fax calls. There is a two-day trial period during which you can test out the service. So, if you want to see how it works, sign up through the Members page and if you are not satisfied, you can cancel before the paid subscription begins.