HeyTell for Android Frequently Asked Questions

I can send messages, but I can't receive

It is likely that you are affected by Android issue 9368. What happens in this case is that when the phone falls asleep on wireless, your phone disables the wireless connection, but does not notify applications that run using the Internet that the Internet connection source has changed to 3G, so existing connections never move to the 3G network.

In this case, re-enable your network by tapping Menu > Settings > Wireless & Networks > Wi-Fi Settings, then tapping your network SSID to re-enable it. You can also reboot your phone to reset the connection (but enabling the disabled network is faster in most cases!).

I am seeing a message that says that my account cannot be authenticated

This can happen if the client loses connection to the server--this does not mean that your account has been deactivated. If you see this error, check your network connection and, check our Twitter feed or Facebook feed to check for system maintenance announcements. If you don't see a maintenance announcement, your network connection's solid, and you encounter this issue for more than just a few minutes, send us an email.

My friends aren't receiving my SMS invites to join HeyTell

HeyTell uses your phone's SMS functionality to send SMS messages - you may want to verify that the number you are using is correct and contains area codes (country code as well if the number is overseas). You may also want to verify that your country code is correct via Menu > Settings > Keyboard & Languages - we've heard of instances where, for example, a phone sold in Australia was set with English (UK) instead of English (Australia), which results in having an incorrect region code.

Alternatively, invite friends using email, or add friends that use Low privacy using matching email or phone numbers, which doesn't require sending invitations and doesn't incur any extra carrier charges.

I can't accept an SMS invitation

Ask your friend to be sure that they're sending you a "fresh" invitation link; all invites are one-to-one and can only be used once.

Will reinstalling HeyTell fix my issue?

Not usually - you're better off doing a force stop for most things (Menu > Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > HeyTell > Force Stop - you don't need a task killer to do this). If you must uninstall (or reset your phone or change Android phones), be sure to add all of your friends as HeyTell Friends (select a conversation, tap the check mark button, then tap the Friend option), then back up your account using the following method:

Menu > Settings > Privacy: enable all options here

This saves your account metadata with your Gmail account so, if you uninstall and reinstall, reset your phone, or move to a new Android phone, you do not have to re-connect to friends from the new phone.

I'm changing to a different, non-Android phone, what do I do?

HeyTell accounts are device-independent, so you will have to re-add friends, but here are some tips to make it less tricky:

Set your privacy to High. This clears your contact information from our system and ensures that no one can add you directly through the app - they'll either have to invite you, or add your new account on your other device.

Block your friends. Okay, that sounds bad! But the reason you do this is so that they can't send any more messages to the account you're no longer using. They'll be forced to find you on your new account.

Before giving up your old phone, if possible, connect the new and old phones as friends. The benefit here is that, if most of your friends are using the default Medium privacy, you can add them to the new phone without having to send a bunch of invites - mutual friends with medium privacy can connect to each other without sending invites. By making your old phone a friend of your new phone, you can add the friends of your old phone to your new phone without invites, provided you have the correct contact info in your phone book for them.

I get a User Not Found error, but I know my friend has the app!

This means that their privacy is too high (Medium or High) for you to contact directly or the contact information you're using to contact them (email address or phone number) doesn't match what they set for themselves. In this case, when prompted, you can send them an invite via email or SMS (your carrier may charge you for SMS, but email should be free). When your friend clicks the link on the invite on their mobile device, it will open HeyTell and link you - you should receive a notification when this occurs and can begin exchanging voice messages.

Can I use HeyTell for Android to contact HeyTell for iPhone users?


I have a problem, so I am going to reinstall the app

Note that reinstalling the app on Android will erase your account. You will have to reconnect to friends after doing this and your friends may not realize that you've moved accounts and will continue to send messages to your old account. Proceed with caution, or drop us an email with a description of your problem and we can help you out. When a new version is released, you can upgrade right on top of the new account.

HeyTell went off when I had it closed!

In rare cases, when you upgrade the app, Android does not kill the running instance of the app, leaving you with two instances of the app running. To fix this, kill the HeyTell process using Menu > Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > HeyTell > Force Stop.

I believe that HeyTell is killing my battery

In our testing, HeyTell doesn't consume much battery at all unless we leave the Maps page open for long periods of time. But - find out for yourself! Menu > Settings > About > Battery Use on your Android phone will tell you exactly what's consuming your battery. If you see HeyTell figuring prominently there, drop us a line at

How do I disable the HeyTell Notifier?

The background service can be disabled or enabled at will. Open HeyTell, press the Menu button, select Profile, then enable or disable Background Service.

Note that the background service shouldn't be consuming much battery - on your phone, tap Menu > Settings > About and check Battery Usage. If HeyTell figures prominently there, send us an email at and let us know your make, model, and OS version. Note that GPS usage on cellular devices is very battery-intensive; to save battery life, use the Maps page only when you want to exchange location data and don't leave the Maps page running for long periods of time.

I can send messages to my friends, but they can't send messages to me

If you can send messages to friends, but they can't reply, make sure that you have contact information set on the Profile page (Menu > Profile > Your Contact), so that they are able to look you up.

Based on your Privacy Level, they may or may not be able to locate you (if set to Medium, you have to exist in each others' phone books. If set to High, you have to use invites. If set to Low, you can connect simply by knowing each others' phone number or email address - but anyone can contact you.)

Also, if you're talking to your friend successfully, they should be able to respond even if you don't have contact information set by selecting you from their Friends list, or tapping the conversation and responding directly.

Double-check that your friends are actually responding to you - the easiest way for them to make sure that they're sending is to either respond to the conversation (selecting the conversation with you, then pressing the orange button), or selecting you from the friends list accessible from Menu > Friends.

If you are receiving messages, but not receiving notifications when they arrive, tap Menu > Profile, and enable Background Service.

I get a "Contact cannot be resolved" message when attempting to send a message to a friend

Make sure that you and your friend have at least one identical email address entry or phone number entry in each others' Address Books and privacy is set to Medium or Low. If using High privacy, or if you did not specify Your Contact on the Profile page, you or your friend can send invites to each other using email or SMS and do not need to have matching entries.

Note: It's not a good idea to post your phone number to a public forum. If you want to connect to friends and not share your personal phone number, use an email address (can be webmail, which allows you to verify your address) or use a unique passphrase or key in the email or phone number fields of your "You" contact. HeyTell only needs to find a match for a piece of contact information. Note that impersonating other users is grounds for account revocation.

Refer to the Voxilate Privacy Policy for more information about protecting your privacy and the Voxilate Terms of Service for terms and conditions for using HeyTell.

I am getting a "Cannot enable recording device" error on my phone after sending a few messages

We're aware of an issue that affects voice recording on the Samsung Moment and Samsung Acclaim phones; it appears to affect other recording apps as well. We've not yet been able to determine its cause, but we're continuing to try to track this down and find a workaround or fix for these models. In most cases, you have to restart the phone. One user has reported success in sending a message, then exiting, before sending another message. Not an optimal solution, but it appears to work as a workaround for this user.

We've also seen this happen sporadically when quickly closing Google Voice on other platforms and then opening HeyTell. In this case, you can fix the issue, by either:

- Running another Google Voice query to clear the hold on the audio recorder lock

- Restarting HeyTell

You might want to try either of these with the Moment/Acclaim issue, too - let us know if you have any success here. If you are using a different phone, please let us know at

I get a "Message too short" error when I attempt to send a message

Make sure that you have set an identity for yourself on the Profile page. To set an identity, tap Menu, select Profile, then select Your Contact. Select a contact from your address book that contains contact information friends will use to find you.

I received an invite and it says it's already expired

Check with the sender to verify that they sent you a new invitation and didn't just forward an old invitation. Invites are unique to each pair of users and can only be accepted once.

I hate the background notifier icon. I want it to run, but I don't want to see it

Inside HeyTell, go to Menu > Profile and disable it. You can re-enable from the same spot.

How do I delete HeyTell messages?

You can delete an entire conversation or specific messages within a conversation.

To delete an entire conversation: On the Conversations page, long press on the conversation. Tap Delete All Messages.

To delete a specific message within a conversation: On the Conversations page, long press on the conversation and select View Messages to open the Recent Messages list. Long press on the message you want to delete and tap Delete Message.

It's so quiet...or, it's too loud!

You can toggle between speaker and earpiece modes by clicking the Speaker button on the Conversations or Maps pages. Speaker will play through the speaker (for walkie-talkie style conversations) and disabling the speaker will play through the earpiece (for less obtrusive conversations). Use the volume controls on your phone to adjust media volume up and down.

Hey, where'd my contact go?

Sometimes, the Address Book is set to only show specific contacts - you may see this if you add a contact, but then it doesn't appear in your address book list. To fix this, open up your Contacts, then press the Menu button. Select Display Options. Expand each of your accounts and verify that the contacts you want to display are selected.

I received an SMS invite from HeyTell

Congratulations! Someone wants to talk to you! However, we understand if you do not want to receive additional SMS messages. If the person sending the invite is using an iPod, iPad, or iPhone version 3.x, they can only send you a single invitation. However, iOS 4.x iPhone users and Android users send the SMS invites themselves. In this case, please contact the friend who sent you the message and ask them to stop sending invites.

Why do I get a "Too many messages" or "Full Inbox" alert?

You get a message that indicates you have sent too many messages when you send a number of messages to a friend who has not yet responded to you. This is to prevent spam, but may trigger if you send a number of messages in quick succession. When your contact listens to your messages, you can continue to send.

Why can't I see my friend's location on the map?

You can only see your friend's location if they have the Maps page open when they send you a message.

How do I work the Map?

We only send location information to your contacts if you send your message with the Map activated.

We do not send location information unless the Maps page is open (click the Target button on Recent Conversations). Note that if you send subsequent messages without location, your old coordinates may still appear on your contact's device, but no new location will be submitted.

How do I disable location after I enabled it?

The easiest way to ensure you never send your location is to only record messages from the Conversations page and NOT the Maps page.

I only see my own location on the map!

To send their location, your contact MUST record their message while their Maps page is activated as well.

My or my friend's location is not correct, why?

Locations can be incorrect for many reasons and should not be trusted 100%. Here are a few reasons:

- HeyTell is sending the last known location: In cases where we cannot determine the current location, the last known location is used.

- Cell tower triangulation: If you are using a cellular network, the phone determines its location to the best of its ability, often by gauging proximity to cell towers. Triangulation is more successful in some areas than others.

- Use of wireless: If you are using a wireless connection, the device may determine your location by IP address - in some cases, this is remarkably accurate, down to your address. In others, you may find that it puts you a mile or two away!

Are HeyTell messages free? Even Internationally?

HeyTell messages are data, not voice, so they are sent for free. If you do not have an unlimited data plan from your cellular network provider, you may be charged for that overage. HeyTell messages are about the size of an email message, but if you're paying for bandwidth, it's a good idea to keep an eye on it. Contact your carrier for more information about their billing practices and recommended methods for tracking your bandwidth usage.

Are HeyTell messages encrypted?

HeyTell messages are not encrypted on your mobile device—if someone else has physical access to your phone, they can access your HeyTell messages. However, all data you transmit with HeyTell (voice, data) is encrypted using SSL when it traverses the Internet.

I have a problem that's not listed here - what do I do?

Email us at!

I have a feature request for HeyTell!

Great! Email us at!

How do I add people to HeyTell without an invite?

If you know your friend is a HeyTell user, there are a few ways you can connect to them without an invite:

If your friend is using Medium privacy and you have a common HeyTell friend, you can add the friend without an invite as long as you know the email address or phone number that your friend set for themselves within HeyTell.

If they are using Low privacy, you can connect even if you do not exist in their phone book (but this also means strangers can contact them), as long as you select a contact in your address book that has either the same email address or phone number they have for themselves (these do not actually have to be "real" email addresses or phone numbers - they just have to match and exist in either the email or phone field).

If using High privacy (or if they're using Medium privacy without a friend in common), you can only contact them after they accept an invite from you or you accept an invite from them (you can use email instead of SMS - emails should be free, but SMS you may be charged for).