Now that Google Voice is back on the iPhone (natively), many of us are using the app to send SMS messages. Still, since there is no real way to set an app as a default SMS handler, we found ourselves using both the SMS app and whichever GV app we found most useful.

No more! There’s a new tweak in Cydia that merges the two. SMS GV Extension sets your Google Voice account as the default handler of text messages. Now when you send or receive text messages, it will be exclusively handled through the Google Voice API, and not your text messaging plan through your carrier.

For some of you, this is awesome.  But there is a huge limitation with this solution…

We waited so long for MMS to come to the iPhone. Apple made us wait, then AT&T made us wait. Now we have the option to text for free altogether with this marvelous tweak, but guess what? Google Voice doesn’t support MMS.

If you don’t need the MMS functionality and would rather save money by using SMS alone, this tweak is for you. For the rest of us that send and receive picture or video messages, pass this one by until Google steps up their game.

GV SMS Extension goes for $2.99 in the Cydia Store. If you want to try before you buy, the no-time-limit free trial (do they mean demo?) will let you send, but not receive.

Are any of you going to try it, or does anyone already have it? I’d like to hear about it.

  • Well I understand that developers want to make money but to me it’s silly to spend $3 on GV and then another $3 on the extension.

    • totally agree …!

  • QUOTE:

    Still, since there is no real way to set an app as a default SMS handler


    Are you sure? I thought that with BiteSMS I could… In settings I clicked “Bitesms for defect: if this is activated, biteSMS will replace apple’s original app in every possible aspect”

    As I have an Iphone 3G with the last baseband (5.14.02) and it can’t be unlocked I did not recieve sms in my iphone yet, so I couldn’t see if this was true.

    Anyone that has bitesms can help me?


  • greml1n

    I think he’s referring to native (non-jailbreak) apps as not being able to replace the default SMS app, or at least that none of the GV apps have that functionality. BiteSMS does replace the native app.

    I’ve been using SMS GV Extension for a couple days and it works great. Supposedly the next update will fix an issue where 5% of the messages aren’t being delivered, but that hasn’t been a problem for me so far. Also I rarely use MMS, aside from sending a contact or occasional picture, usually email works fine in those cases.

    This extension actually works very well with BiteSMS too. One downside is that you have to purchase a license for each phone, but the savings more than makes up for it. I’ve purchased three licenses, however only two of them have been successful. I’ve emailed the developer, hopefully the issue will be resolved quickly.

    When first setting the app up I had some difficulty getting it to receive, but after a little fiddling it works flawlessly.

    • MisterZ

      I haven’t tried this extension yet, but I have one important question about how it integrates. I understand that this will allow me to receive and send texts via GV using the built-in messaging app, but what happens when somebody texts my real iPhone number? Do I receive these SMSs also? Can I reply using my real iPhone number instead of my GV number?

      • greml1n

        I believe you would have to disable the extension, via the settings app, to reply from your native phone number. I prefer this, that way if somebody texts me through AT&T I don’t even have to think about replying through GV, it just happens on it’s own.

        This really is the best implementation of GV/SMS yet. I think it’s genius. Now if only there were an app to do the same for voice dialing in the native phone app.

      • mplsboywonder

        Gremlin is incorrect in his reply to your question MisterZ. This extension just ADDS your GV messaging to your SMS app. It works perfectly along side my Native Phone number. Within seconds you can get an SMS from GV, then get an SMS for your native number almost simultaneously.

        Replying is easy as well. When you reply it will automatically use the account in which the SMS was received.

        Works perfectly with BiteSMS as well:)

        I have been using it for a couple days now, and LOVE IT. Shot me a reply if you have ny other questions.

  • Tomz

    Works for free to send SMS through GV#, but you have to pay to receive using GV #. I bought it yesterday, but it keeps telling me I need to buy the license 🙁

    • Tomz

      Emailed Dev and he fixed my problem within minutes. Top notch!

  • mplsboywonder


    Okay maybe Gremlin wasn’t fully incorrect in his reply……..In the case you receive a text to your iPhone SMS and you want to reply via GV, you would have to reply using GV+, etc.

    • Tomz

      I sent a SMS from the GV website to my iphone #. In my iphone SMS app I hit “reply” and sent a message to my GV#. On the GV website it says the text came from my GV#, not my iphone#. If you want to have your iphone # pop up on other peoples’ phones you will have to turn off the extension.
      WITHOUT turning off the extension I sent a MMS (picutre) to my iphone#, and it came through.

      Could this be perfect?!?!

  • TheChosenOne

    Would this work without a data plan? thanks

    • mplsboywonder

      Yes i believe this makes it much easier to ditch your text plan. Be in mind that GVoice does not support MMS.

      I would take and use the iphone to text primarily on GVoice and check your data usage online during the week. If no texts are showing up, you’re good to go.

  • Sounds like there’s some mixed responses to this. What do you think, could a SBSettings toggle be useful for this tweak? I’m curious to learn more about how MMS is handled. Does the MMS appear to be sent from the GV number or the iPhone number?

    • mplsboywonder

      An SBSetting toggle would be fantastic.

      As far as SMS is concerned……GVoice does not support MMS.

      But assuming it did I am sure the same protocol would be used.

      Which ever account is used to receive, is automatically chosen to send a reply. Which can be altered using various methods.

      If they were able to integrate it with BiteSMS or Native text app by holding down the send button for a second and having the option of choosing accounts would be close to perfection.

      IPhone 4 – 4.0.1(still)

  • Will

    This also works nicely for people with ipods. It allows you to send and receive texts with the iphone sms app through gv over wifi.

  • Bobby

    I’m a t-mobile user I got a good plan but don’t have text in it I use mostly Internet text GV text is cool and I installed the extention but its still not working can anybody help and is it notifications in it thanks

    • mplsboywonder

      Did you enable it in the settings?

  • Bobby

    @mplsboywonder of course unless I’m entering the wrong username ( which is my google name right?)

  • Ed R

    Does anyone know how incoming messages are delivered? Does this application use push for incoming messages, standard SMS, or does it naively keep polling the google voice server for new messages?

  • Shane

    Hey guys, sorry to be such a novice but I would love to have this app on my iPhone but I don’t know how to download it. Can you tell me? I have looked in the App Store but can’t seem to find it. Thanks in advance.

  • This is a jailbreak-only app. You must jailbreak your device and download it from the Cydia app once you do. For instructions, check the big links at the top of the homepage.

  • Thor

    Bought the app and find it very useful. Works great with bitesms. If i send a mms it goes through APay&Pay, SMS goes through GV. I can live with $5 200 mms plan now. Native GV app is out now and working on how to still use this extension and separate VM notifications and SMS.

    • nick 2

      That’s my issue…I would like to seperate VM and SMS notifications in GV but can’t find a way to do it. Ideally the extension would mark an SMS as read on the GV side once it is delivered to Bite or SMS app. Anyone have any insight on these issues?

  • Users with secure Google password (ones with symbols like “&”) – you will have to remove the symbols from your password to be able to send using SMS GV Extension Version 1.3.1. Hopefully, he’ll fix the bug in the future. Unfortunately, it took me 20+ hours of debugging, iPhone restores, and reinstalls to figure this out. Unfortunately, the only customer support the developer seems to provide is license support. I did have no trouble setting up receiving using the developer-provided documentation. It’s now working great and there is no better solution. All in all, I was disappointed with the customer support since this was a paid app, but the app itself is worth $3.

  • Question abou this, If I were to text my family that have verizon through GV, would they be using her text msgs? I know it would be free for me. I assume if it does, GV texting is good for me to use with family and friends that do not have verizon.

    • Nick

      If you text from GV to any normal cell number, they will be charged for a non-Verizon text, but you won’t be. It will come out of their SMS bundle, so it will not be free. However, Verizon allows you to add a certain amount of non-Verizon numbers to plans that will be free to call and text with (similar to T-Mobile’s My Faves). Once you set that up with a Verizon customer support rep or via the website, your GV texts should be free for those on your family plan.

  • Jim

    I’m using this with BiteSMS. It works great except for one flaw. Messages that I have read and replied to in BiteSMS remain “unread” in Google Voice. Nick 2’s post (“Ideally the extension would mark an SMS as read on the GV side once it is delivered to Bite or SMS app”) is right on. Has anyone found a fix or workaround for this?

  • Another interesting idea.. hope to check it right away..

  • The extensions were working wonderfully on my iphone4 iOS5.1 for a week. But then a call froze, safari crashed, cydia crashed, and the gv extensions weren’t in my settings page. I restored my phone, rejailbroke it via redsnow, redownloaded cydia, and now when I search, gv extensions do not come up in the results. When I go to my sources, bigboss’s category is empty. Did I do something wrong when I reinstalled cydia? On the top of cydia home screen, it says SHSH iOS 5.1 and I’m using Cydia 1.1.5. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to fix this! Thanks!

  • Andy

    I have used and love this app for well over a year. However, it screwed be over pretty bad recently. Somehow, at some point, it got turned off, and when you’re using the native iPhone texting application with this you have no way to know if its using the iPhone voice number or your google voice number >_<. It would be fantastic if, for example, the color of the text was different when you were using this, say orange, instead of the usual green or blue (for iMessage). On a bright note, AT&T claims they'll refund me for the 61 dollars I rung up in accidental texts.

  • Andruw Futcher

    everything about this tweak is great. except one issue i have. when i get a text, it comes from a random number, not the contacts number (so its not in the thread i started when i first texted them). but, this is what the text says “insert number of person who texted u – whats up?” so i can still know who it is, but its not in the original thread i started. im also getting a little pissed by seeing my friends numbers in the texts they send me. help please!!??!!