[lug] Google Project Fi options - options for using numbers from landline and mobile?

Neal McBurnett neal at bcn.boulder.co.us
Mon Aug 3 14:52:13 MDT 2015

It's about time I got a new phone, and it arrives tomorrow - a Nexus 6 with Google's new Project Fi (which runs Linux, so surely this is officially on-topic!  Or not....)

(Is anyone else on the list using Project Fi?)

Now I have to choose how to handle my phone numbers.

I currently have two phone numbers: "A", a good old-fashioned landline via Qwest, which seems to have pretty good low-latency voice quality, and "B": an old mobile phone.  When I'm at home I find myself preferring the landline for calls, rather than hassling with a bluetooth headset and lower quality voice with more latency.

But the other features on the landline are lacking, like seeing who is calling (vs just the caller id phone number), etc.  And it costs more money than it seems to be worth.

One configuration I'm thinking of is to have Google port my landline number to the new mobile phone, then port my existing T-Mobile number to some sort of VOIP provider, and forward that number to my nexus.  That would save me money, and give me transcriptions of answering machine messages.

But it doesn't seem like that will give me the ability to know what number my callers call.  Is there a way to see if they're calling A or B, e.g. via distinctive rings, or a display on the phone?

Nor do I see how to get the nexus to make calls from B.  Can that be done e.g. via Hangouts?

Also, I'd continue to get the spam/abuse calls I get now on the landline.  Are there useful features to make those less obtrusive?

Are there ways to reduce the latency issues with mobile phones?  E.g. I hear about configuring better QoS on my broadband connection (does that work with Comcast?).  And using a non-bluetooth wired headset, I guess.
How about improving call quality - better codec choices that can be configured?

It seems like over time Google Fi might add new features to bring it closer to par with Google Voice, so I guess this might get easier.

I could also just port number B to the nexus and keep the landline, or switch it to VOIP, though it seems more of a hassle to do that with a landline, usually involving porting it to some throwaway gophone and then porting again to VOIP.  Or I could port both of them to VOIP and get a fresh new number on my phone.

Or I could just abandon the old spammy landline number.  I'm not really sure what I'd do with two phone numbers, though they would seem handy if I could have one to give to trusted contacts and another for the world and have my phone treat them differently.  Or just replace the landline with one of those VOIP hardware boxes that gives you an almost-landline.

I'm told I can get a new number when I configure the phone, and decide what to do later, then do a "late transfer" of my landline or mobile numbers, if buying some time and experience would help.



Neal McBurnett                 http://neal.mcburnett.org/

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