If you are someone who loves talking to friends over your iPhone, here is an application that you would love. Viber is a recently launched app that helps to reduce your monthly bills by letting you call your friends over VoIP. But unlike Skype, you do not have to register with an account to start using Viber. The application automatically scans your address book to compile a list of contacts who have Viber installed on their iDevices. This enables you to call these contacts for free using Viber.
While the app works over Wi-Fi as well as 3G networks, do note that you may end up with high monthly bills unless you have a 3G-friendly data plan. The application is presently available only on the Apple App Store though an alternate version for Android and Blackberry platforms are soon on the way.
Those of you in the US who want to go with Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Tab do take note. Your tablets will not come with the ability to use Skype’s voice calling facility over 3G. A recent report on PC Magnotes that the Skype app will come pre-loaded on Verizon’s Galaxy Tab; but this application will only work over Wi-Fi and will not consume any 3G data.
This is interesting from more than one perspective. Firstly, Skype and Verizon have been partners for sometime now after the companies signed a deal last year that brought Skype’s 3G calling feature pre-installed on Verizon phones. The move was to counter the influence of AT&T iPhone that had, at that time, prohibited the use of 3G data by third party VoIP services. Secondly, though Verizon is only selling Wi-Fi versions of the iPad on its stores, these tablets are bundled with a Verizon MiFi device that makes use of the carrier’s 3G network to offer a wireless hotspot for mobile surfing.
Interestingly, other VoIP clients like those from Fring, Nimbuzz and Qik are expected to work over WiFi as well as 3G on the Verizon Galaxy Tab. That makes the absence of 3G Skype on the Verizon Tab all the more intriguing.
There are a number of VoIP applications for the iOS and Android platforms now that you really don’t want one another service. But netTalk, whose apps for the mobile platform were only recently released, comes with a number of other features that really makes it an interesting service that you should check out.
As the title suggests, netTalk lets users make free VoIP calls to their friends and family. The free service is restricted to contacts inside USA and Canada though. These calls can be made either via 3G, EDGE or Wi-Fi networks. In addition to free VoIP calls, the netTalk app also includes support for conference calling, the ability to record conversations as well as contact import from the smartphone to the app. This will serve as a good way to backup your contacts in case you happen to lose them.
The team is already reported to be working on a future version that will include support for low-rate international calling and the ability to link to a netTalk DUO number that can be connected to a computer.
However,a newly hacked version of the Skype app now makes it possible for American users to make Skype calls over their 3G network. This is thanks to the popular Android developer nicknamed Xeudoxus who is famous for the Dark Edge Android UI. Xeudoxus has now released a tweaked version of the Skype Android app that removes the restrictions placed on the official app. What’s impressive is that this hacked version does not require users to root their Android phones and can be downloaded straightaway by clicking this link.
Like this tweak? Don’t forget to make a donation to Xeudoxus here.
That took a long time coming, didn’t it? Skype has finally released their much awaited upgrade that will now enable iPhone users to make free VoIP calls over the 3G network. For a really long time, VoIP calls were available – only on the Wi-Fi network.
This however comes as a surprise of sorts. Earlier this year, Skype announced a partnership with Verizon that will make Skype calling just a touch away for Verizon subscribers. There were speculations that one of the clauses in the agreement was that Skype was to offer the service exclusively on Verizon which meant scrapping the VoIP providers ambitions to bring the feature to the iPhone.
However, looks like the scenarios have changed. The free VoIP calling over 3G on iPhone may now start. But be forewarned. The Skype-to-Skype VoIP calling over a cellular data connection is going to be charged beginning August. That’s two months of free usage.
Last week, Verizon signed a bizarre deal with Skype. According to the terms of the deal, Verizon will embed Skype’s click to call application by default on all Verizon powered smartphones. The company said this will give its users the ability to quickly make calls to anywhere in the world using Skype.
Why is this bizarre? Because there is apparently no take away whatsoever for Verizon. Not only is Skype able to reach out to Verizon’s subscribers in a quick and easy way, but also the VoIP solution to call international numbers would mean loss of lucrative dollars to Verizon.
More insights about the deal are now coming to light. According to a report on GigaOm, the deal between Verizon and Skype could be exclusive in nature. This would forbid the VoIP service from making their 3G based calling solution available to rival networks, including AT&T which is the operator for iPhone. It is believed as an aggressive approach that Verizon has employed to deprive iPhone customers of a much in-demand service that could motivate them to move to rival platforms and potentially become Verizon customers.
I do believe that Verizon’s strategy appears far-fetched. While Skype is no doubt the most popular VoIP service, it is by no means the only one. Competitor services like Fring are already available over 3G and this means users will more interested in trying out these alternative VoIP over 3G services.