Sprint to launch Google Nexus S 4G this spring, integrate mobile service with Google Voice


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Sprint is getting more Google.

On Monday, Sprint said it will start selling a 4G version of the Samsung and Google Nexus S smart phone this spring and that it is working to make every mobile number on its network able to work with Google Voice at no additional cost and with no downtime.

So, those who have a Sprint number will soon have a Google Voice number too, if they want to use the service.


But although Sprint and Google said the Nexus S 4G will arrive this spring, neither company has a launch date for the Google Voice integration.

‘It’s coming in the future, but we haven’t set a specific release date for the integration as of yet,’ said Mark Elliott, a Sprint spokesman. ‘All we can say now is that it’s coming in the future.’

Google Voice allows users to select one phone number that will ring on all their phones -- work, home and cell -- at the same time, which would improve callers’ chances of reaching Google Voice users wherever they are.

Currently, to use Google Voice, a user has to sign up and take a new number issued by Google. If the user wants his or her cellphone number to also be his or her Google Voice number, the user has to get their carrier to cooperate, which can often result in fees and being without mobile service while the swap is made.

Sprint’s integration with Google Voice will automatically turn a Sprint mobile number into a Google Voice number, bypassing all the trouble of setting up Google Voice, Jacob Hesch, a Google software engineer, said in a blog post.

‘This basically gives Sprint customers all the benefits of Google Voice without the need to change or port their number,’ Hesch said.


All Google Voice features will still be available to Sprint customers once the integration is completed, including the ability to answer calls within Gmail, record calls and receive transcriptions of voice messages, check voice mail online, and optionally to create personalized voicemail greetings based on who is calling, he said.

Other than being able to run on Sprint’s 4G network, as opposed to T-Mobile’s 3G network, the Nexus S 4G is pretty much the same phone as the current Nexus S.

Both Nexus S models, which are manufactured by Samsung, run on Google’s Android 2.3 operating system, known as Gingerbread, the latest release of the smart phone OS.

The Nexus S 4G will go on sale this spring for $199.99, with a two-year contract -- the same price Best Buy sells the 3G version of the Nexus S with a two-year T-Mobile contract.

Like the 3G Nexus S, the 4G model will feature a 4-inch screen, a 1GHz processor, front and rear cameras, 16GB of memory and near-field communication technology.



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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Video: How Google Voice will integrate with Sprint. Credit: Google