User Manual

How GVMax works

When you receive an SMS or a Voicemail on your Google Voice number you can ask Google to send you an email notification. GVMax uses these email notifications from Google to extract the sms and voicemail and then sends you notifications.

In order for GVMax to receive these emails, an email filter is created that forwards your Google Voice emails from your gmail account to the GVMax server. If when signing up to GVMax you provide your google voice password these filters and other settings are automatically created for you. If you don't then you will have to manually create these filters as described below.

GVMax can send you notifications even when you don't provide it your Google Voice password (with the exception of the SMS notifier). But providing it with your password will make the whole experience alot more seamless. I take privacy and security very seriously (remember I am also a user of GVMax) so you can review my privacy statement and security precautions.

GVMax Setup

Setting up GVMax is very simple. In most cases all you will need to do is provide GVMax with your Google Voice credentials during the signup process and it will do the rest. In a small number of cases GVMax might not be able to automatically create the emails filters, for example if your Google Voice account is forwarding your emails to non gmail based email address.

If you choose not to provide GVMax your credentials you will need to follow the instructions in the following section to manually create the necessary filters.

Email Filters

Creating email filters is easy. After signing up you will find a button on your account page 'Create GMail Filters' that you can click and have GVMax create the filters automatically. This process requires your google voice password. If you do not want to provide it then please follow the simple instructions found in the Manually installing filters page.

Using GVMax

By default after signing up you will start to receive notifications (either GTalk notifications or email notifications depending on how you signed up). From your account page you will be able to change how GVMax sends you notifications and the type of notifications you get (SMS,Voicemail etc). The account page contains detailed help on the various settings.

IM Features

GVMax can send you new SMS and Voicemail notifications to your IM application. The only requirement is that your IM program support GoogleTalk.

When a new SMS arrives from one of your contacts (say this contact is called MyFriend and his number is 12345678) you will receive an IM chat message from a IM buddy called MyFriend (note if MyFriend was not in your GoogleContacts then the buddy name will be called 12345678)

Replying to the chat message will cause the reply to be sent to MyFriend via an SMS to his number (12345678)

Getting help

There are many more features provided by GVMax when using an IM program. To get an overview of them you can type gg while chatting with any of your GVMax buddies. This will display a summary of the available commands which are described in more detail below.

Adding a buddy to your IM roster

Whenever you receive an SMS or voicemail from someone they are automatically added to your IM roster (The 'roster' means your list of IM buddies). But sometimes you might want to add a new number manually, there are two ways of doing this.

  1. Using your IM program add a new buddy with the following address {number} . Where number is the phone number you are adding (for US numbers do not add country code (eg if the number was (858) 123-4567 you should use (no dashes or spaces))).
  2. Alternatively start a chat with any existing GVMax buddy and type
    gga {number} (where number follows the same format as above)

Retrieving buddy details

In the chat window type ggi if your buddy can be found in your Google contacts, GVMax will display his email addresses and phone numbers.

Selecting which phone to use for GoogleVoice calls

When calling numbers via GoogleVoice you need to specify which phone Google should call you on to connect you (forwarding phone). If you have more than one phone tied to your google voice number you need to select which one should be used. You can do this through your application's web interface or from within your IM program.

Firstly in your IM chat window type ggp This will display a list of the available forwarding phones, take note of the index number on the left hand side for the phone you would like to use, then type ggp {index}. Now when you call a contact that phone will ring and you will get connected via GoogleVoice.

Calling a buddy via GoogleVoice

In the chat window simply type ggc

. GVMax will place the call and your forwarding phone should ring, pick it up and you will get connected to your buddy.

Calling any number using GoogleVoice

In any GVMax chat window type ggc {number}

. As above your forwarding phone should ring and connect you to that number.

Sending SMS to groups of people

With GVMax you can send SMS to groups of people. The grouping is controlled by your Google Contacts groups.

Type ggr this will display your list of groups, take note of the index number for the group you would like to send the SMS to, then type ggr {index} this will cause a new buddy to be added to your roster. The buddy will have the same name as the group. When you send an IM to this buddy an SMS will be sent to each of the members in this group. GVMax will send you a reply IM stating exactly who was sent an SMS.

You can list the members of a groups by typing ggrl {index} where again the index comes from the ggr

Email Features

Replying to email SMS notifications

All you need to do is to reply to the email and an SMS containing your reply is sent to the person who sent you the original SMS.

Sending SMS via email

You can send SMS to any number via email simply by sending an email to {number} where {number} is the number to send the SMS to. The body of your email will be sent as an SMS to the given number.

For security reasons GVMax will only accept emails coming from your google voice email address or gtalk email address.
If you would like to send the email from another email address you will need to send it to {apikey}-{number} Where {apikey} is your api key which is displayed in your account page.

Sending SMS to groups via email

You can send SMS to groups of people. The grouping is defined by your Google Contacts groups. To do so simply send an email to {apikey}-{group} where {apikey} is your api key which is displayed in your account page and {group} is the group name.

Prowl Features

Not much to say, provide your Prowl API keys and start getting Prowl notifications. You can also specify the what prowl priorities SMS and Voicemail notifications should be sent with.
NOTE: You can send notifications to multiple Prowl clients, by providing a comma separated list of prowl api keys.

Howl Features

Again not much to this. Enter your Howl username and password and GVMax will send you Howl notifications. In the future I may add support for specifying icons, app-name, priorities etc.

Http Post Features

Http Post notifications is aimed at those who wish to create applications that can receive Google Voice SMS and Voicemail. Whenever an SMS or Voicemail is received GVMax will perform a post. Below is a description of the post parameters.
NOTE: You can send notifications to multiple urls by providing a comma separated list of urls. For a more complete API you may want to check out the Developers section.

SMS Notifications
Parameter Name Parameter Value
type SMS
receiver Google Voice Email of SMS receiver
number The phone number
contact The contact name if available, or number otherwise
text SMS text

Voicemail Notifications
Parameter Name Parameter Value
type VM
receiver Google Voice Email of SMS receiver
number The phone number
contact The contact name if available, or number otherwise
text Voicemail transcript
link URL to voicemail recording

Twitter Features

The current Twitter related features are still experimental. Right now you can specify a Twitter account which GVMax will then send a direct message to whenever an SMS or Voicemail is received. Replying to these direct messages will NOT cause an SMS reply. Twitter support is being expanded so watch out for some news soon.

SMS Features

GVMax can also send you SMS notifications! This may seem strange initially but it has its uses. In particular GVMax can send SMS notifications for a group of numbers (defined by a Google Contacts group).
Using this feature you can make your google voice number act as a communications hub. Take me as an example I have a google voice number which I tied to my 'Family' group. Whenever I send an sms to this number all members of my family receive it. In tern their replies are sent to all other members of the group.

Auto Respond Feature

If you are away with no internet access you can get GVMax to automatically respond to SMS and Voicemail (voice mail from mobile numbers only). Under the Notifiers dialog you will find a field that allows you to turn this feature on/off and specify the auto response message.

Tips and Tricks

GTalk fallbacks

Some IM clients particularly on the iPhone sometimes will logout a user without any indications. This may cause the user to not get the notification.
To deal with this issue you should specify either a Prowl api key or an email address in your account page (you don't need to enable them). If GVMax notices that you are not logged into GTalk (and GTalk is your only enabled notifier) it will fallback to either Prowl or email. What this means is that in general you will be getting GTalk notifications only, but if for some reason you get logged out of GTalk, then a Prowl or email message will be sent.