The iPod Touch 4G and the iPhone 4
The iPod Touch 4G is somewhat comparable to the iPhone 4. The processor is an A4, it has the beautiful Retina display, and it runs iOS and can use all the same Apps (Though we are sure there are a few iPhone-only exceptions somewhere in the App Store). The key difference with the iPod Touch 4G is that the device has 256MB RAM while the iPhone 4 has 512MB. Still, the hardware is otherwise comparable on both devices.
Key Additions to the iPod Touch
The new iPod Touch has some important additions that make it possible to use the device as somewhat of a home phone. For example the ability to make FaceTime calls and the device’s built-in microphones.
Using the iPod Touch as a Makeshift House Phone
It may not be the cheapest way to get a phone, but it doesn’t carry monthly rates, and can actually be convenient while around the house on your wifi network.
Keep in mind that there are limitations to this, and it is by no means a perfect solution. It’s just one of those fun little things that those who own an iPod Touch can try out.
Note that the following App Store Apps also work with the iPhone and iPad as well as previous iPod Touch models, but some devices will need an external microphone to work properly. The iPod Touch 4G is the first device in its line to add the microphone to the hardware.
Our Favorite Apps for Doing Just That
FaceTime is great because it ships with your device. It makes free calls, but the biggest limitation is that the other caller must have either an iPhone 4 or an iPod Touch 4G. While both will become more common as time passes, they are also relatively new. Meaning that you may not be able to count on all of your friends being able to make FaceTime calls.
Fring is App that lets users make 2-way video calls and voice calls to not only their iOS friends, but Android users as well. The App will also allow users to make calls over 3G, which may not matter much if you use an iPod Touch, but is one less restriction than what is currently available with FaceTime. iTunes Link: Fring
Skype is the most obvious answer for an iPod Touch owner. It lets you make calls to friends on Skype as well as make cheap calls around the US, Canada, Mexico and “over 40 countries worldwide.” It’s probably one of the most reasonable solutions for those wanting to make calls worldwide. iTunes Link: Skype
Vonage Mobile for Facebook
This App allows you to call your Facebook friends from all around the world. The App isn’t bad, because you can chat while online. However, the problem is that the average Facebook user will likely find that none of their friends have the App. Even after sending out some App invites, many will probably ignore it. Still, if you can get your friends to check out the App, it will make for cheap calling anywhere around the world, so long as they are Facebook friends with the Vonage App. iTunes Link: V-Free
This is by far our favorite solution for simple VOIP calling on the iPod Touch. It allows for free ad-supported calling to any phone in the US. There are a few other options for those wanting to call internationally and those who want more options such as the ability to receive calls. Still, the free plan isn’t bad for making a simple call to Mom or Dad while sitting at home with the iPod Touch in hand. iTunes Link: iCall
Not quite goPinger’s Textfree Unlimited –od enough? How about this?
Apple Peel 520
Peel is probably the most versitile solution, but is also the most expensive by far ($120). That’s because Peel is essentially a case that adds a SIM card to your iPod Touch and requires you to jailbreak your device for an experience as close to having an iPhone as you will have with the iPod Touch. Here’s a bit about Apple Peel for those interested.
One to look out for:
Pinger’s Textfree Unlimited
This App has allowed for free, ad-supported texting for quite some time now, but the developer has announced plans to let users make free VOIP calls. The update isn’t yet available, so it’s difficult to say exactly how the system they implement will work, but it seems that it will also be ad-supported. We have a few details: Here.
No doubt the best solution is still a real mobile phone, but using the iPod Touch around the house may help you save on your mobile minutes (Actually, the same holds true for the iPhone). The above solutions are all great. Still, the App Store is definitely not limited to the Apps we mentioned, but the list above consists of some of our favorites. There are sure to be more applications out there; let us know what some of your favorites are in the comments.