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.  ↩

The Three Phases of New Creative Technology

It’s interesting to watch technology advances in the photo and video realm[1] that make previously-inaccessible options possible for the general consumer.

Three quick examples that come to mind are GoPro cameras (offering cheap, durable cameras capable of HD video or time lapse photography), the Hyperlapse app (making sped-up timelapse photography extremely simple), or the slow-motion video capability Apple has introduced with the last couple of iPhones. A tweet from Brian Krogsgard brought this to mind as he notes the potential for a particular technology to be “way overused”:

It seems to me that we see these technologies move through three phases:

Creative Technology Phases

  • At Introduction, we’re all excited by the promise of the new technology as we watch the carefully-crafted demonstrations.
  • We then enter a phase of novelty where something is interesting merely because it was made with the new techology. A video was interesting simply because someone made it with a GoPro on their head. A slow motion video was interesting simply because it was a slow motion video of something not often seen in slow motion. There’s nothing wrong with the novelty phase – even if it seems like something is overused – it can lead to some interesting material. The general formula at this point is often "Let’s do ____________ (thing we’ve already done) using __________ (new tech / equipment).
  • Finally we move into what I call the creativity phase, where folks apply real creative thought in combination with the new technology. Instead of applying the new technology to what’s already been done, this is where folks figure out what previously-impossible thing can be done now with the new technology.

When I discuss “possible” and “impossibility” above, some of it is purely technical but it’s also an issue of accessibility. Folks could make sped-up timelapse videos long before the Hyperlapse app, but to do so required both camera hardware to capture the timelapse along with software (and software skills) to create the final product. Hyperlapse eliminated those barriers.

The future is pretty neat. What else will we see move through these phases soon?

  1. I suspect the same applies in other fields.  ↩

Interesting Links Roundup: October 17th

As I wander the web I find interesting things. I share:

What have you seen lately that’s interesting?

What Does (and Doesn’t) Get Restored in an iCloud iPhone Restore

Apple App Store iconLast weekend my iPhone 4 was replaced (thank you AppleCare) due to a faulty home button. I made an iCloud backup prior to heading down to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, and the swap was a painless process. I got home and began the process of the restore from iCloud. Things got a little bumpy along the way. Here’s what I learned:

  • If you’re using two-factor authentication for GMail, Google Apps, Dropbox, LastPass, or any other services and you rely on an iPhone app such as Google Authenticator, you should disable two-factor authentication temporarily until you get Google Authenticator installed on the new phone. It was interesting when I went to log in and was prompted for the code from a nonexistant code-generation app.
  • Some apps seem to restore settings/configurations from the iPhone backup and others don’t. While Foursquare and Starbucks had no idea who I was and required me to reauthenticate, Instagram and 1Password had my profile, settings, and configurations all loaded automatically.
  • My Twitter accounts that are integrated and stored in the iOS settings were restored, but were nonfunctional. Attempts to tweet from Reeder and Instapaper resulted in failures. I went into the Settings and Twitter configuration, re-entered the credentials, and then it worked again.
  • Something is jacked with Google Calendar sync. It’s synchronized my main calendar, but no amount of reconfiguration seems to be allowing it to sync my additional calendars.
  • Despite telling Downcast to sync my podcast information via iCloud using the various settings in the iCloud options of the app, Downcast doesn’t (by default) back up the media. The result was that I had playlists indicating various podcasts and episodes were unheard, but when I attemped to play those episodes, Downcast had to stream because the files weren’t on the device. I couldn’t figure out how to force Downcast to re-download. I ended up exporting my subscriptions as OMPL, deleted them all, then re-imported which aallowed Downcast to re-download. It turns out there is a setting to force Downcast to back up media to iCloud, but it’s not in the iCloud area of the settings. Instead it’s the very last option on the Settings screen.

I share this information in hopes that I can help someone else. My iPhone 5 should be arriving in a couple days; based on my experiences with this swap/restore I think I’ll be using the iPhone 5 as a good opportunity to start fresh with a clean set of software.