I've been using Google Voice for about a year. During that time, I've been also using a Mac app called GrowlVoice that appears in my menubar. It allows listening to voicemail messages and also sending text messages.


Now when I launch Google Voice I get an error:

Unable to sign in to myemailadress@gmail.com
Unable to build JSON object from JSON string"

What I tried

I deleted GrowlVoice's app using an CleanMyMac, an app that supposedly deletes apps and all their associated files. I then re-downloaded GrowlVoice from the App Store, but I'm still getting the error.

Further Research

I also went to the website of the GrowlVoice developer and sent him a message. I'm writing here too because the developer's site hasn't been updated since 2012 and GrowlVoice is no longer being sold on the App Store so it's apparently no longer in development.


So, my questions are:

  1. How can I fix the JSON errors?
  2. Is there another app that would have similar functionality as GrowlVoice?


Apparently today Google made changes to Google Voice which broke GrowlVoice, which is why GrowlVoice was pulled from the Mac App store. Now I have to log into my Google account in a browser if I want to listen to voicemail messages or send texts on my Mac.

  • I'm very disappointed as well. I hope Google can restore access to the app! Apr 16, 2014 at 15:21
  • Let's put his on hold for some cleanup. If you want to diagnose the freezes, let's edit out the Google voice requirements. And if you're just looking for how to use Google voice let's edit out the troubleshooting and the freezing. Judging by the answers we might even have a third question of what happened recently to growl voice and we could let you ask both of your questions as new threats
    – bmike
    Apr 16, 2014 at 16:02
  • @bmike - please review edits to this question
    – cwd
    Apr 16, 2014 at 22:00
  • Much better, still too much like a "blog post" for my personal tastes, but let's see if a decent summary answer can get posted.
    – bmike
    Apr 16, 2014 at 23:11
  • My question summarizes the only solutions I know - but I can't get them to work on the latest Mac OS 10.9.5, and I'm investigating why. Jun 1, 2015 at 21:20

4 Answers 4


The developer's twitter page said that Google has revoked access to Google Voice for GrowlVoice so they can no longer support the app. It has since been removed from the App Store as well and I am also looking for an alternative to this wonderful application.

  • This is not entirely true - yes the application has been removed from the store but it actually seems to still be working. It uses passwords and not oAuth and so there is no "revocation" that has happened ( outside of the store ). I have emailed the author mentioning this ( basically, while Google Voice is probably going to be merged into hangouts it is still possible for Google Voice to work, at the moment, but the author needs to tweak the part of the program that does JSON parsing... )
    – cwd
    Apr 16, 2014 at 21:54

Check the Twitter feed for the developer. As of nine hours ago GrowlVoice access to Google Voice has been shutdown and will not be corrected.


I have a Mac and Google Voice. I use Chrome too so I mostly just use the Google Voice extension for Chrome, since Chrome is pretty much open all the time on my computer. The only other program I've seen for Google Voice for Mac besides GrowlVoice is a dashboard widget. It can send text messages and place calls, but I think all it does for incoming messages is make a Growl notification. It doesn't show the inbox in the widget. I mostly just use it for a quick toggle of which of my phones to activate/deactivate.


I was upset about GrowlVoice not working too. I have another app for Mac called VoiceMac which isn't too bad. it has to be running in the dock to receive notifications on real time otherwise you get your texts the next time that you open the app. You can find it here. https://mrgeckosmedia.com/applications/info/VoiceMac


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