Having an iPhone is nice and all, but calling isn’t always free. Then there are those with other iOS devices, such as the iPad and the iPod Touch, both of those devices can be made into a phone if you’d like, thanks to some great VOIP apps that make free calling possible.
Have a look at the currently-available Apps that allow you to make VOIP calls on your iOS device:
1) Viber – Free Phone Calls
This a cool little App that’s popular right now. Viber doesn’t require you to create an account, doesn’t need you to create a username or hand over a credit card number. The only catch is that to call someone, they must also have Viber. It creates an identity with your current number and only uses your minutes if the other user doesn’t happen to have the App. Other highlights include the fact that it doesn’t have Ads and that you can call anyone in the world so long as they use the same software.
This is one of our favorite Apps for VOIP calling. It’s functional, and allows for free VOIP calling in the US and Canada. You also get push notifications when you receive a call. We haven’t tried the international calls, but the developers claim it’s cheap. Users can choose to use the paid service, the difference being a 30 second ad at the start of a phone call.
TruPhone is another VOIP app. The App Store page says that users can pay $12.95 per month to make unlimited calls to 38 countries, and mobile phones in nine countries. You can also call other Truphone, Skype and Gtalk users for Free over wifi.
Line2 is another popular App for VOIP calling. This one also adds unlimited SMS. It’s free for the first 30 days, then costs $9.95 per month. It’s nice in that it adds a second number to your iPhone. This can be useful if you want to have a phone number dedicated to work, business, etc. It’s also cool that you can cancel with no penalties. They bill your card directly rather than your iTunes account.
Fring is a sweet App for those wanting to do video chat over a wifi connection. What’s best about is that unlike FaceTime, it will allow you to chat with your Android friends as well. It’s one of our favorite of the video chat-type Apps, simply because it works with devices other than the iPhone (such as the iPod Touch and the iPad, which reports say will add a FaceTime camera with the iPad 2).
Skype is always the obvious answer for VOIP calling. To be honest, we think the App is okay in comparison to what’s out there, but its true value lies in its popularity. Skype is available for the major operating systems as well as mobiles. Even my mom (who is by no means the tech-type) has a Skype account. Because it’s so widely used, it makes it easy to contact friends and family. In our case, some of the iSmashPhone staff keeps in touch over Skype, just because it allows us to interact directly, or call each other when something is easier to communicate through speech rather than through instant message.
A Few More Tips
Now, some may just want to save minutes on their carrier bill. Others, may have a device that isn’t actually a phone. For those users, we have a few suggestions. You can pick up one of those Apple headsets with the built-in microphone (we are sure good internet search can help you find it even cheaper) and if you want to make calls from anywhere, you can pick up a mobile Mifi hotspot. We have a few more tips on doing that here.