How To Set Up VoIP on the Nexus One Google Phone using Sipdroid for Free Calls

Google Nexus One cell phoneUPDATE: many people are complaining about poor VoIP quality on the Nexus One. My experience is that the Droid handles VoIP much better. See comments below for more info.

I just got my Nexus One today and the first thing I did was set it up for VoIP calling. I'm using it on a T-Mobile data-only plan (no voice minutes needed).

This tutorial assumes you will be using Gizmo. To use Gizmo, you'll need an existing account.
If you don't have a Gizmo account, use an alternative SIP provider. There are a lot of options.

See this link for some alternatives if you don't have Gizmo: HOWTO: Free Calling with Google Voice

(Here is a clickable link directly to EasternPA's Google Doc if you don't have Gizmo http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0Ae8glDUXDsh9ZGR2eG43cjRfMzNkOTM4ZjNjeA&hl=en )

Assuming you have a Gizmo account, you may want to review this link for some general background:
http://support.gizmoproject.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=409

First, get your Gizmo (or other SIP provider) info ready.

On your Nexus One:

  • set up your WiFi network
  • install Sipdroid from the Android Market on your Nexus One - I received Version 1.2.4 beta today (these same steps also worked for me with an earlier version too)
  • open Sipdroid

Now go to Sipdroid settings and complete the sections listed below.

SIP account settings:

  • username: Gizmo username or Gizmo ID (747*) will work. I used username.
  • password: Gizmo password
  • server: proxy01.sipphone.com
  • domain: leave empty
  • port: leave default (5060)
  • protocol: UDP

Call Options:

  • use WLAN: check
  • use 3G: check, if you wish
  • use EDGE: Using EDGE might cause Gizmo to instantly drop your calls. It's a known bug (an incompatibility with the GSM compression codec used by Sipdroid 1.2 on EDGE networks).
  • Voice Compression: only over EDGE (see above bug note)
  • Preferred call type: set as you wish
  • Check for voicemail: unchecked because Google Voice handles my voicemail, not Gizmo. UPDATE: this option has been dropped from the latest Sipdroid build.

Advanced Options:

  • Caller ID: leave blank due to the issue described in the "Sipdroid will not complete calls using Gizmo5" comment below. Your callers will still see your Google Voice number on their caller ID (assuming you have your Google Voice settings correct). If you follow my steps, caller ID will work correctly even when this option is blank.

Wireless & network settings:

  • Settings > WiFi Settings > Settings Button (again) > Advanced > WiFi Sleep Policy > Never

If you are using WiFi only (not 3g), if you don't set WiFi Sleep Policy to "never", Sipdroid will unregister when the screen turns off (because WiFi will go to sleep) and you will miss incoming calls. Without this setting, if you have 3G enabled (e.g., airplane mode is off), WiFi will go to sleep and your calls will come in over 3G, which is not desirable if you are in range of WiFi. So set WiFi Sleep Policy to "never".

All Sipdroid settings not listed above are left at default values. No need to change anything not shown here.

Headphones:

On both the Droid and the Nexus one, if you are using Sipdroid for VOIP calls, headphones can be a problem (as of 1.2.4 beta of Sipdroid). Outgoing calls are OK. But you may not hear any sound on incoming calls (the other person can hear you). This is because the media volume gets muted. There are steps for a workaround at this link:

http://code.google.com/p/sipdroid/issues/detail?id=241 (Vote for this bug to help get it fixed.)

The workaround is:
1. when the phone is ringing, but before answering, adjust ringer volume down then up.
2. after answering the call, adjust media volume down then up.
You must change media volume up to unmute it. If you know an easier way to unmute the media volume, you can use that. All you have to do is umute the media volume and your incoming VoIP call will work with headphones.

Another possible workaround, on the Nexus One only, is simply to install the official Google Voice application. I tested build 0.3.0. None of my other settings, as listed above needed to change. But it appears that the Google Voice app corrects the forced-mute on incoming VoIP calls with a headset. Unfortunately, the same workaround doesn't resolve the issue on the Droid.

Set up Gizmo in Google Voice in your web browser

  • you can do this on your Droid or on another computer
  • browse to https://www.google.com/voice (requires existing accounts at both services -- if you don't already have a Gizmo5 account, see alternatives in links above)
  • go to Settings > Phones
  • click "Add another phone"
  • name: Gizmo
  • number: +1747nnnmmmm
  • phone type: Gizmo

Place a test call:

  • if not already at the GV website, open a browser and go to https://www.google.com/voice (login, etc.)
    • You can use the browser on your phone or any other browser. Either way, you will be able to conduct the VoIP call from your phone.
  • click "call", enter a number, and choose "phone to ring" as your Gizmo phone.
  • Click connect.
  • Your Nexus One will ring. (If it doesn't ring, see troubleshooting steps at this post about VoIP on the Droid)
  • Answer and you will be connected with the party you are calling.

This is pure VoIP solution. It does not use any voice minutes. It does not incur any Gizmo outgoing charges either. If you are on WiFi, this is a completely free solution.

However, if you initiate the call from Sipdroid by dialing directly (rather than using the GV website) you will incur a small per minute VoIP charge from Gizmo for outgoing calls. It costs a fraction of what most cell plans charge. It is cheaper than even the cheapest voice plan in my experience.

You may want to read the comments here:

http://davestechshop.net/VoIP-on-Motorola-Droid-With-Sipdroid-Gizmo-GoogleVoice-Free-Calls

Comments

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Initial Report: The VoIP quality on the Nexus One is terrible! EDIT - The worst problems occur when using a headset!  VoIP quality on the Nexus One is poor without a headset, but unusable with a headset.

When using a headset for VoIP calls, the Motorola Droid has acceptable sound while the Nexus One has a serious problem. I have both phones. Both are set up the same and both use the same version of Sipdroid (the latest available, which is 1.2.4 beta at this time). I'm using the same WiFi network for both.

The problem with the Nexus One for VoIP calls (with headset) is the incoming sound. The sound is extremely choppy (totally broken up). Network quality can fluctuate, so I have simultaneously tested the Nexus One with the Motorola Droid and a Panasonic home phone all using Gizmo. The test method has been to make calls with each phone one after the other and to use them in random order.

Every single call on the Nexus One (when using a headset) has a sound problem, but none of the calls in this test with the other phones had any sound problems. I have tested four different headsets. The problem is the phone, not the headsets. (Music on the Nexus One via headset is good. The sound problem is only with VoIP.)

I will have to look into this further, but the initial experience is a real bummer...

If you want to leave a comment, here's a good forum thread. (You can't leave comments here.)

http://androidforums.com/nexus-one/33734-nexus-one-voip-sound-quality-ve...

Bad news for all of us Nexus One fans - after extensive testing I can report that the Nexus One VoIP calling quality is decidely inferior to the Droid. Tests are being done on WiFi to eliminate differences in cellular networks. I have also tested with and without headsets and used four different headsets. In all cases the Droid has significantly better call quality.

Both phones have bugs related to VoIP calls, however. The main issue I encounter with the Droid is what I call the forced-mute issue for incoming VoIP calls. I commented on it here: http://code.google.com/p/sipdroid/issues/detail?id=241. There is a workaround described in comment 5 on that issue report.

The main issues I encounter with the Nexus One on VoIP calls are poor sound quality, transmitted voice volume too low when not using a headset, and intermittent received sound when using a headset. I have not found any workarounds.

BTW, the Nexus One also had the forced-mute issue for incoming VoIP calls. I seem to have found a workaround for that. After I installed the official Google Voice app (build 0.3.0) on my Nexus One, the problem of volume being "force muted" on incoming VoIP calls was resolved. My other settings remain the same as shown in the link above. However, the problems related to unacceptable sound quality remain. So the Nexus One is not looking like a good choice for VoIP calling at this time.

Couple these VoIP quality issues with the lack of a physical keyboard and the lack of swype (at least a version of swype that works correctly) and I can't see myself using the Nexus One over the Droid. BTW, swype on the Droid is awesome, but that's off topic...

 

I set up Fring with SIP provider Gizmo (gizmo5.com) on the Nexus One as another potential VoIP solution, given that the other things I have tried on the Nexus One have failed for VoIP. Unfortunately, Fring doesn't resolve the issues either. The Nexus One gives the same intermittent sound on VoIP calls with Fring that I experienced with Sipdroid.

I know Gizmo works because I'm using it on the Droid and my home phones. I know Fring works because I'm using that on an iPod touch over the same WiFi network. I know Sipdroid works because I'm also using it in the same environment on the Droid. The one variable common to all these VoIP problems is the HTC Nexus One phone. Very disappointing because I would love to be able to use this phone.

BTW, to get Fring to work with SIP on my Nexus One phone, I had to do a "clear data" procedure. Fring would not work when I first installed it. I assumed it might have been due to having Google Voice or Sipdroid installed. I removed Sipdroid, but that didn't help. Next I did the "factory data reset" under Settings > Privacy. That didn't help either. So finally, I powered off the Nexus One. Then I held down the volume-down button and power button at the same time. Then I did the "clear data" procedure. And during setup I used the settings button to tell the Nexus One not to restore any of my prior settings. That gave me a clean start. Fring worked for SIP calls after that. But, as I said, the VoIP quality on the Nexus One is terrible. So far I tested with a headset which gave intermittent sound with very poor quality and a lot of noise (certainly not suitable for actually talking) and without a headset, which gave no sound at all.

However, I like a few things about Fring and I might try it on the Droid next.

If someone wants to try some hacking, look at the combination of Fring and the official Google Voice app for SIP calls. I didn't get it to work yet, but I did see that direct dialed outgoing calls are completely free in Gizmo. It appears a call-back mechanism is employed automatically. I wasn't actually able to complete any calls this way, but they did show up in my Gizmo history and they were listed as "free". Maybe there is a way to make this work to eliminate the manual call-back step.

A discussion involving the same issues we have with poor quality VoIP on the Nexus One is happening here: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=4f3e4a5e86767e31&hl=en&fid=4f3e4a5e86767e3100047d01b2977f9e

If you could post your thoughts/experiences with VoIP on the Nexus One I think it could add to the discussion. Basically, VoIP works on other phones (and specifically with Sipdroid on the Droid) but on the Nexus One it's a mess no matter if it's on WiFi or 3G with any SIP client including Sipdroid.

Additionally, could you update this guide on VoIP for the Nexus One to add a disclaimer at the top reflecting the poor VoIP quality findings? A person might read this guide and assume they can use the Nexus One with a data only plan on T-Mobile for VoIP calls because they might not scroll down to the comment section on your guide where you explain the poor VoIP quality on the Nexus One.

A disclaimer at the top of the guide would confuse less people and bring more awareness to the problem.

http://davestechshop.net/blog/how-to-set-up-voip-on-the-nexus-one-google-phone-using-sipdroid-for-free-calls

Thanks a bunch! This VoIP issue is such a shame because I love everything else about the phone.