Google Voice now works on Android tablets

By JR Raphael (@jr_raphael)

Google Voice Android Tablets

Android tablet owners, rejoice: You can now get the actual Google Voice app on your Honeycomb tablet. Not officially, mind you -- but by using the official app and a little bit of creativity.

Here's the deal: The sharp-eyed crew from Android Police noticed that the Google Voice app update released for phones today appeared to have tablet-friendly features built in, even though it isn't yet listed as being tablet-compatible in the Android Market. (Note: It is now available in the Market; see update below.) Sure enough, load that sucker up on your Android tablet, and you've got a fully optimized and fully functional Google Voice interface at your fingertips:

Google Voice Android Tablet (1)

The updated Google Voice app includes a tablet-ready home screen widget, too:

Google Voice Android Tablet (2)

Now, here's the catch (and don't worry, it's a small one): Since Google hasn't officially labeled the app as tablet-ready yet, you won't be able to download it from the Android Market onto your device. That means you'll have to get the app's APK file and install it manually.

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You can extract the APK file from the app yourself, using a file manager like Astro to grab it from your phone. Or, if you want, you can download it here. (The file is safe; it's taken directly from Google's Google Voice phone application.) Then just tap the file on your Android tablet to install it there. If you haven't already, you'll need to make sure "Allow installation of non-Market applications" is activated in your tablet's "Applications" menu first. 

UPDATE: A few days later, and look at that: Official support is available. You can now just download the Google Voice app normally from the Android Market onto your tablet, and it'll work fine. 

Happy tablet texting!

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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