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Can a sender just send a message to my Google Voice (GV) number and it goes to me? Or do I have to send them an SMS from GV first to initiate the conversation?

The reason I ask is that once I had setup my number I tried to get my wife to send a text message to my GV number and it wouldn't allow her to, I sent her a message, and after a very long waiting period she received it, but after that she could send messages to my account. I haven't had a chance to get a friend to text me to find out yet so I thought I'd add the question to SU for conversation and posterity sake.

My hypothesis:

It had been too soon from when I setup my GV number and they hadn't initiated the SMS service on that account yet.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think your hypothesis is correct. I set up my number last night, and my wife was able to send me SMS messages without any problems, and I had not sent her any yet. She sent it about 45 minutes after I had activated my account.

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I don't think it had been even 15 minutes from when I setup my number honestly... and the txt I sent her from the browser took a good bit to get to her... couldn't see anything in the GV docs with minor searching so I figured I'd come here with it... thanks for the info –  codeLes Jul 17 '09 at 23:13
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