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8 best call forwarding app options in 2024 for Android & iPhone

Call forwarding app

A call forwarding app can help you avoid missing client calls and prevent you from keeping clients on hold for too long.

However, you may be missing what you need as a business if you only use basic call forwarding. In this article, we’ll compare the best solutions that provide a better calling experience for you and your customers. Then we’ll share key scenarios where other business phone features are a better fit than a free call forwarding app.

The best call forwarding apps in 2024 are:

  1. OpenPhone: The best call forwarding app for growing teams
  2. Hushed: The best call forwarding app for personal use
  3. Google Voice: The best call forwarding option for Google Workspace users
  4. Line2: The simplest second phone number option
  5. Grasshopper: The call forwarding option based on specific timeframes
  6. Nextiva: The best call forwarding app for large enterprises 
  7. Phone.com: The app for forwarding calls from specific contacts
  8. Ooma: The best call forwarding app with hardware options

Here, we break down the pros and cons of these options so you can decide which call forwarding app works best for your team.

Comparing the most useful call forwarding apps

ProviderStarting priceUnlimited calling to US & CanadaSMS/MMS to US & CanadaShared phone numbersCall forwardingRing groups
OpenPhone$15 per user per month
Hushed$4.99 per monthXX
Google Voice$16 per user per month (including required Google Workspace subscription)Unlimited calls to Canada from the US onlyUS customers onlyRequires upgrade (ring groups only)Requires upgrade
Line2$13.75 per monthXX
Grasshopper$14 for one userMMS messaging for local numbers onlyX
Nextiva$23.95 per user per month (1-year contract)Requires upgrade
Phone.com$12.74 per user per monthStarts at 500 pooled call minutes on the basic planX
Ooma$19.95 per user per monthRequires upgradeXX

While many call forwarding apps exist, here are the eight best options for forwarding important calls. These hand-picked apps can also help your business provide exceptional customer service.

8 top call forwarding apps for iPhone, Android, and computer

Now let’s look at each of the top app options in more detail, starting with the #1 rated phone solution as voted by thousands of professionals on G2.

1. OpenPhone: The best call forwarding app for growing teams

Call forwarding app: OpenPhone

Pros

  • Simple call forwarding setup
  • Unlimited calls and texts to US and Canada
  • Shared access to business phone number
  • Internal comments and tags for team collaboration
  • Customizable ring settings
  • AI call summaries
  • Missed call notifications via Slack and email

Cons

  • Dependent on a stable internet connection*

*All VoIP phone systems require a strong internet connection. A good rule of thumb is at least 100 kbps upload speed available on each device and a good connection with less than 70 ms ping and jitter.

OpenPhone is the modern cloud phone system for startups and small businesses. Once you get a new number from OpenPhone or port your existing number, setting up call forwarding is easy.

OpenPhone offers far more than call forwarding. With an OpenPhone plan, you can call and text anyone in the US or Canada for free. You can also work together more effortlessly in OpenPhone. Along with sharing access to a business phone number, you can leave comments visible only to your team and tag teammates to collaborate on responses. 

Keep in mind you can also configure your business number to ring only during a specific time window and to ring specific teammates in a set order. OpenPhone lets you set your availability so your phone only rings when someone calls during your workday.

If you want to automatically route calls to an external number (such as an answering service company or an external call center) in case no one on your team picks up, you can set up conditional call forwarding on OpenPhone. 

Phone menu settings for forwarding calls in OpenPhone

With OpenPhone, you can also redirect calls you’ve already answered using call transfer. This allows you to connect the caller directly with an appropriate person rather than having to ask them to call a different number.

You can configure OpenPhone to send notifications for missed calls (and notifications for missed voicemail and text messages). OpenPhone will automatically notify you about these via email or Slack. So, even if you miss a call, you (or your team) can quickly call back as soon as you see the notification.

Try out OpenPhone free for yourself, and get a virtual number (or easily port any existing number to OpenPhone). To get started, sign up for a free seven-day trial.

Key features of OpenPhone

OpenPhone pricing

OpenPhone pricing
  • Starter: $15 per user per month
  • Business: $23 per user per month to access phone menus (IVR), call transfers, analytics, CRM integrations, and more
  • Enterprise: Contact us for more information

2. Hushed: The best call forwarding app for personal use

Call forwarding app: Hushed

Pros

  • Unlimited calling and texting (requires upgrade)
  • Custom voicemail greetings for multiple numbers

Cons

  • No shared numbers
  • No toll-free numbers
  • No integrations with third-party apps
  • No desktop or browser apps

Hushed is a virtual phone number app for individuals. It offers users secondary phone numbers for multiple scenarios where users want to protect their privacy — and avoid using their personal phone numbers — like dating, sales, and shopping. 

Hushed offers a suite of features to enhance secondary phone numbers, including call forwarding, call routing, and custom voicemail greetings for your Hushed number. 

While Hushed is a great option for personal use, it lacks the features you need from a business phone, such as CRM integrations, shared numbers, desktop and browser apps, and call recording. If you plan to use Hushed for your business conversations, you should be prepared for extra admin work to keep track of everything you discuss with your customers. 

Key features of Hushed

  • Call forwarding
  • Call routing
  • Custom voicemail greetings
  • Texting auto-replies

Hushed pricing

Hushed pricing

Hushed offers three plans to its customers:

  • Prepaid: $2.99 for one number, all their features, and access to prepaid calling and texting plans
  • Unlimited: $4.99 per month for one number, unlimited calling and texting in the US and Canada, and all other features
  • Pay-as-you-go: $6.99 per month for one number, international calling, credit-based calls, and all other features

3. Google Voice: The best call forwarding option for Google Workspace users

Call forwarding app: Google Voice

Pros

  • Unlimited calling
  • Call recording
  • Easy integration with Google Workspace

Cons

  • No shared numbers
  • Unavailable outside the US
  • Requires an active Google Workspace subscription
  • Can only link six numbers for forwarding
  • Doesn’t integrate well with other tools

Google Voice has a call forwarding feature (with a few limitations). The primary drawback is that Google Voice’s free version was built for personal use, not business, so you won’t have shared access to any phone number. It’s not even available outside the US. 

While you can switch to one of Google Voice’s paid plans, you must have an active Google Workspace subscription. This costs an extra $6 per user per month, bringing your total cost per user to at least $26 per month if you wish to have ring groups.

To forward calls, you need to “link” numbers to your Google Voice account. However, you can only link up to six numbers, and you can’t link numbers that are already linked to another Google Voice number. 

All linked numbers ring when someone calls your Google Voice number, or you can select the linked numbers or devices that receive calls. However, you can’t create a work schedule to only receive calls during a specific time window. Also, keep in mind that incoming texts won’t forward to any number you link to Google Voice. 

Google Voice’s limited features might work for you if you’re a solopreneur or just starting your company. However, if you need business call forwarding features that let you easily catch up on conversations or want to collaborate on communication with your team, consider other Google Voice alternatives.

Key features of Google Voice

  • Unlimited calling
  • SMS and MMS support
  • Group text messaging
  • Voicemail
  • Call recording

Google Voice pricing

Google Voice pricing
  • Starter: $10 per user per month (plus $6 per user per month for a Google Workspace subscription)
  • Standard: $20 per user per month to access on-demand call recordings, ring groups, and phone menus
  • Premier: $30 per user per month to access automatic call recordings and advanced reporting

Looking for a better call forwarding option? Check out our comparison of OpenPhone vs Google Voice.

4. Line2: The most basic call forwarding option

Call forwarding app: Line2

Pros

  • Unlimited calls to US and Canada
  • Call blocking and screening
  • Voicemail transcriptions

Cons

Line2 — an app that can give you a second phone number — allows basic call forwarding. With it, you can forward calls to your listed numbers in sequence or ring all numbers simultaneously. Alternatively, you can choose to ring one number first. If that call goes unanswered, Line2 then forwards it to the listed numbers.

Line2 offers features like call blocking, call screening, and voicemail transcriptions. But you can’t get missed call notifications or shared access to phone numbers, and there’s no opportunity to set your business hours. Other key features are missing from Line2, including integrations, snippets, and auto-replies.

Key features of Line2

  • Unlimited calls to the US and Canada
  • Unlimited texts in the US
  • Caller ID
  • Auto-attendant (upgrade required)
  • Call recording (add-on or upgrade required)
  • Voicemail transcriptions (add-on or upgrade required)

Line2 pricing

  • Annually: $13.75 per user per month

5. Grasshopper: The call forwarding option with custom schedules

Call forwarding app: Grasshopper

Pros

  • Custom greetings
  • Auto-replies
  • Voicemail transcriptions
  • Intuitive dashboards

Cons

  • Doesn’t support transferring SMS/MMS logs when porting numbers away from Grasshopper​
  • Only available in US and Canada
  • Lacks integrations

Grasshopper, a virtual phone system, offers several call forwarding features. You can add a list of numbers you want to forward calls to. When someone calls, all of these numbers should receive incoming call notifications. You can also create custom schedules to forward calls to specific numbers during a specific time of the day.

Even though Grasshopper has good call forwarding features, it has several shortcomings. For example, you don’t get shared phone numbers or call recordings. And it doesn’t integrate with popular tools like Slack, Gmail, and CRM systems. 

Their pricing structure also may force you to switch to a Grasshopper alternative as your team grows. Grasshopper recommends its second-most expensive plan ($46 per month), which includes three numbers. As your team gets bigger, you’ll need to pay $10 per month for additional numbers — or switch to the highest tier custom plan that comes with an even higher price tag ($80 per month).

Key features of Grasshopper

  • Call transfer
  • Custom greetings
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Call screening and blocking
  • Instant text response when there’s no answer

Grasshopper pricing

Grasshopper pricing
  • True Solo: $14 per month for one user, one phone number, and one extension
  • Solo Plus: $25 per month for one number and three extensions
  • Small business: $55 per month for four numbers and unlimited extensions

    *Additional numbers are $9 per month.

6. Nextiva: The best call forwarding app for large enterprises

Call forwarding app: Nextiva

Pros

  • Ability to forward specific calls
  • Customizable calling hours
  • Location-based call forwarding for remote teams

Cons

  • Multi-tiered pricing models where smaller teams pay more
  • Voice transcriptions and call recording only available with upgrade

Nextiva offers extensive call forwarding settings. You can forward calls automatically or only when you don’t answer them, like you can on other services.

But with Nextiva, you can also redirect specific calls. For example, you can forward calls from a particular number to a colleague during your lunch hour.

You can forward calls automatically if you’re on another call or unreachable because of a power or internet outage or if the WiFi has stopped working. Nextiva also offers location forwarding. This feature lets you forward calls to all team members in a specific location to another phone number or extension.

The problem with Nextiva is its confusing pricing structure. It offers four pricing tiers. The amount you pay per user depends on your team’s size, and smaller teams end up paying far more.

Nextiva also forces you to upgrade for key features like voicemail transcriptions and SMS/MMS messaging.

Key features of Nextiva

  • Voice and video conferencing
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Voicemail
  • Virtual fax
  • Call recording (requires upgrade)
  • Voicemail transcription (requires upgrade)

Nextiva pricing

Nextiva’s price per user depends on your team’s size.

Nextiva's pricing table

For 1–4 users:

  • Essential: $23.95 per user per month
  • Professional: $27.95 per user per month to access texting, CRM integrations, and conference calling
  • Essential: $37.95 per user per month to access voicemail transcriptions, call recordings, and video conference recordings

7. Phone.com: The app for forwarding calls from specific contacts

Call forwarding app: Phone.com

Pros

  • Custom calling hours
  • Built-in fax and SMS services

Cons

Phone.com is a HIPAA-compliant phone platform that offers basic call forwarding with a few options. You can set a schedule for forwarding calls after work hours or forward calls based on caller ID.

If you’re only looking for a few additional call forwarding options, Phone.com gets the job done. 

The real problem is that Phone.com offers many essential features as add-ons. For example, shared phone numbers cost $5 per month even if you subscribe to the top tier. Call recording costs $8 per month unless you’re on the top-tier plan.

Also, each user on Phone.com’s Basic plan comes with 500 pooled minutes, which all Basic users on the account share for inbound and outbound calls. Forwarding uses up this time, so you’ll likely run out of minutes quickly and then pay extra fees.

Key features of Phone.com

  • Call transfer
  • Call waiting
  • IVR
  • Voicemail to email
  • Video conference calls
  • CRM integration

Phone.com pricing

Teams can mix and match plans, so specific users can be on any of these different plans: 

Phone.com pricing
  • Basic: $12.74 per user per month for mobile phone apps, standard features, and pooled minutes
  • Plus: $18.69 per user per month to access unlimited calling, voicemail transcriptions, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, and desk phone compatibility
  • Pro: $27.19 per user per month to access CRM integrations, voicemail transcriptions, call analytics, and free call recordings

8. Ooma: The best call forwarding app with hardware options

Call forwarding app: Ooma

Pros

  • Easy-to-use app
  • Multi-ring call forwarding
  • Unlimited calling to the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico

Cons

  • Call recordings, desktop apps, and text messaging require upgrade
  • Google and Office 365 integrations require upgrade

Ooma is a business phone system that integrates with traditional desk phones. Their service has limited call forwarding functionality, but it still gets the job done.

You can redirect incoming calls on your extension to another number. Once this is set up, you can toggle this feature on and off using the Ooma business phone app. With multi-ring, multiple devices will ring when a call comes in, but there are limitations on how many different device types each user can add.

Beyond call forwarding, Ooma’s base plan doesn’t offer significant value. You’ll need to upgrade to one of their higher-tier plans ($24.95 or more per user per month) to access call recording, a desktop app, and even text messaging. 

Key features of Ooma

  • Unlimited calling to the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico
  • Virtual receptionist
  • iOS and Android app
  • Virtual fax
  • Google and Office 365 integrations (requires upgrade)
  • Dynamic caller ID (requires upgrade)

Ooma pricing

Ooma's pricing table
  • Ooma Office Essentials: $19.95 per user per month
  • Ooma Office Pro: $24.95 per user per month to access Ooma’s desktop app, CRM integrations, voicemail transcriptions, and video meetings
  • Ooma Office Pro Plus: $29.95 per user per month to access phone menus, reporting, and automatic call distribution

3 scenarios where you need more than a free call forwarding app

Sure, you can get a call forwarding app for free. But basic call forwarding apps don’t address the underlying issues businesses need to tackle. Here are three scenarios where you’ll need a more feature-rich phone system a free app generally lacks:

1. When you need to turn on call forwarding when you’re out of the country

Many mobile carriers make it difficult to take calls from your phone when traveling internationally — forcing you to buy a new plan or pay roaming charges. If you forget to enable call forwarding on most desk phones, you can’t set it up once you’re away.

This is why you should consider getting a virtual phone number. A virtual number lets you call and text from your computer or smartphone as long as you have a solid internet connection. That way, you don’t have to worry about call forwarding because you can work from anywhere. If you’re ever somewhere without WiFi, you can still enable call forwarding to take calls from your cell phone. 

Best of all, you can continue making and receiving calls without any additional charges if you have a virtual number.

2. When you want to split the responsibility for incoming calls

Looking to share responsibility for calls from your team’s main customer-facing number? Or perhaps you’re out of the office and someone needs to fill in for you?

A free call forwarding app can’t help you do that. You’ll need a virtual number on a platform like OpenPhone that allows sharing access to phone numbers.

All team members with access to the phone number will hear their phone ring when someone calls, as long as they have an active internet connection and don’t have their notifications muted. So when you’re unavailable, your teammates can share the workload and answer calls for you.

OpenPhone being able to see when a teammate is actively typing a text to a contact

You can even see when teammates are on a call with someone or drafting a text.

3. When you want your team to have set shifts for answering calls

You may not be responsible for answering calls the entire day. But when you use a free call forwarding app, it will likely redirect all incoming calls. If you’re not using a business phone system, you won’t be able to set expectations with an away voicemail greeting that plays after hours, informing callers your team is out of the office. 

In OpenPhone, you can set up a work schedule on a shared number so each team member can specify when they’re available to take calls. 

You can also set up auto-replies to automatically text callers who attempt to reach you but don’t leave a message. Those callers can then share their questions or requests via text — ​​saving your team time.

Improve your client’s calling experience with OpenPhone

Almost all VoIP services offer call forwarding. But not all call forwarding apps offer the features you need to deliver an exceptional client experience.

OpenPhone equips you with the features and context your team needs. You can easily set up VoIP call forwarding, but that’s not all. You can also add a phone menu, transfer calls, and receive notifications for missed calls via email or Slack. When you use OpenPhone, you don’t pay more for being a small team. Plus, you can easily scale your business phone system as your team grows.

If that sounds interesting, start a free trial of OpenPhone and see if it’s the right fit.

How does call forwarding work?

Call forwarding works by redirecting incoming calls from one number to another. Calls can be redirected either by changing the recipient’s phone settings or by notifying the recipient’s cellular network. 

Call forwarding was more common in the pre-internet era, where calls had to be routed across physical telephone lines. Now, however, virtual phone numbers make it possible to call multiple recipients at once with shared numbers and simultaneous ring features.

How do I automatically forward calls to another phone?

In the OpenPhone settings, click on “Phone numbers” to select the number you want forwarding on, and then click “Forward all calls” next to the “Call flow” option. Put in your forwarding number, and you’re all set.

Can I forward calls from my phone remotely?

Yes, you can forward calls by activating call forwarding features provided by your mobile carrier. Another option is to use a remote phone system like OpenPhone.

How can I forward my calls for free?

You can forward calls for free by setting up call forwarding directly on your Android or iOS device. 
To forward calls on an iOS device:
1. Go to Settings -> Phone -> Call Forwarding
2. Toggle your Call Forwarding button On.
3. Enter the number to which you want to forward your calls.

To forward calls on an Android device:
1. Open the Phone app.
2. Select the three-dot menu button.
3. Go to Settings.
4. Select Calling accounts.
5. Select your main SIM.
6. Select Call forwarding.
7. Toggle your forwarding settings for the following scenarios: 
• Always forward
• When busy
• When unanswered
• When unreachable

What are the benefits of call forwarding apps?

Call forwarding apps make sure you don’t miss calls from clients when you’re out of the office, traveling, or not working. These apps help you feel confident that you’re meeting clients’ needs promptly.

Can I forward calls to international numbers?

Yes, but only through apps that operate globally.

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