Port a Google Voice Phone Number to Verizon

I’ve used Google Voice for my primary phone number[1] for several years (first on an Android device, most recently on my iPhone), mainly due to the ability to easily send text messages from my computer as well as view call history from many places.

Google VoiceWith the various phone and SMS enhancements added by Apple as part of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, I decided it was time to switch phone software platforms.

Here’s how to port a Google Voice number to Verizon, assuming you are ready to go[2]:

  1. Go to this Google Voice page to unlock your Google Voice number. There’s a $3 fee to unlock the number[3].
  2. Call Verizon at 800–922–0204.
  3. Choose the option for tech support.
  4. Choose the option for number porting, and that you’re porting to Verizon.
  5. When you speak to an agent, tell them you’d like to port a Google Voice number to Verizon, replacing your existing number. The support rep I spoke with seemed to understand exactly what I wanted to do.
  6. They’ll need your Google Voice number. They will ask if there’s a PIN or password on the number. You do not need to tell Verizon you Google password. Just tell them there’s no PIN or password.
  7. You’ll be informed that it takes between two and ten business days for the transfer, and what to expect when the transfer is completed.
  8. Wait. I started the process on a Saturday, and it was a week from the next Monday (total of 9 calendar days and 6 business days) when the number change happened.
  9. After the number changes, you’ll get a message from FaceTime/Messages indicating that there’s a new phone number using your AppleID. That’s your cue that the port is complete.
  10. You’ll need to power off and then turn on your iPhone, then wait a couple minutes, at which point if you go into the Settings app, then Phone, you should see the device now using the number that was formerly your Google Voice number.

At that point, you’ll be all set to use the iPhone’s native telephone/messaging features, along with the companion features that are part of OS X. If you’re using an iPhone, all of your iPhoney friends will notice you’ve switched from being a green bubble person to a blue bubble person.

Don’t forget to set up your Verizon voicemail!

  1. Nobody had my Verizon number.  ↩

  2. Are you using your current Verizon number for anything such as SMS 2-factor auth codes? If so, be sure to disable these since your current Verizon number will go away.  ↩

  3. If you previously ported this number in to Google Voice, the unlock fee is waived.  ↩

My iPhone Home Screen

A few readers have asked about what I have on my iPhone home screen. Here you go, with links to iTunes pages and explanations below:

Aaron Hockley's iPhone Home Screen

The Dock

Google Voice: I use Google Voice for all of my phone (minimal) and SMS (moderate) needs. Nobody has my actual Verizon cell number. All of my telephony things are Google Voiced.

Gmail: This is a Safari bookmark to the mobile web view of Gmail, my email service of choice. No, I don’t run the actual Gmail app since it’s just a shitty wrapper around the mobile web view. How do I manage notifications? I have my Gmail account configured in the iOS Mail app as well, but the only time I actually use that app is when I use an Email shortcut from another iOS app.

Safari: I hear this whole “web” thing is catching on.

Instacast: I subscribe to a bunch of podcasts and listen while on the go. The corner placement makes it easy to tap this icon quickly.

The Rest

Reeder: A great app for reading RSS feeds which synchronizes with Google Reader. I love the integrations and actively use the ability to send content to Instapaper, Pinboard, and Twitter directly from Reeder.

Google Authenticator: I use two-factor authentication with my Google account; this app provides me with a rotating security token code which is required (in addition to my password) to gain access to my Google resources.

1Password: If you’re trying to manually remember passwords and/or sharing the same password between multiple websites, you’re doing it wrong. 1Password provides a secure storage vault for my passwords along with other bits of information such as frequent flier account numbers, bank information, and other bits that one might carry in their wallet.

Tweetbot: A heavy duty Twitter client with a zillion features. I tweet too much and Tweetbot makes it easy to manage my timeline, @mentions, lists, and searches while on the go.

Elements: I do all of my writing in plain text files synchronized via Dropbox, and Elements is my editor of choice for my iPhone and iPad. The built-in Dropbox integration, TextExpander support, and Markdown preview are lovely.

Calendar: I use the stock iOS calendar app which is synchronized with Google Calendar.

A Folder of Photo Editing Apps: I don’t use these super-often, but the most used are Slow Shutter Cam, Photo Rotate, and Snapseed.

Foursquare: I honestly have no idea why I use Foursquare, but I do.

Camera+: A better camera app than the one provided by iOS, offering the ability to easily control several things while shooting the photo as well as a bunch of editing functions.

Photos: I make pictures. I like to access them.

True HDR: Sometimes I make HDR images with my phone, and TrueHDR does a fine job.

Instagram: My third-favorite social network, behind Twitter and Google+. There is excellent photography shared on Instagram. If you care to follow me, my username is aaronhockley.

App Store: Updates are good.

OmniFocus: How I keep track of the various things related to my day job, photography business, hobbies, and family. It’s a heavy investment but well worth the synchronized powerful system that works on iPhone, iPad, and OS X.

Maps: 90% of my use of the Maps app is for checking traffic. I’d admit that the other 10% is looking for directions except that I’m a guy.

Settings: I mainly go here to muck with WiFi settings.

Overall Notes

I don’t have any badge notifications enabled on my home screen with one exception (below). I don’t want to spend any mental energy focused on little red bubbles. It’s okay that I have notifications. They don’t need to be interruptions. My list of notifications is not my task management system. I’ll get to things when needed. The only exception is Google Voice. A phone call or SMS is probably something that requires a relatively fast response.