One of the exciting places that this previously wireline-only technology has been springing up lately is on the mobile phone. And one of the hottest spots in the mobile phone world is the iPhone App store. With the iPhone’s WiFi capabilities as well as the recent lifting of the 3G VoIP calling embargo, the iPhone is playing host to numerous mobile VoIP apps that allow users to take advantage of the cost savings and advanced features of voice over IP. Here in no particular order are 10 consumer VoIP apps for the iPhone:
With Skype for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch users can make or recieve calls and instant messages from anyone else on Skype from around the world. The Skype-to-Skype calling works between iPhone users and desktop users, so it doesn’t matter what device your friends are using. In the latest release, users can now call over 3G on the iPhone and have Skype run in the background for an always-on call answering ability. Skype allows calls to phones not on Skype as well for low international calling rates at near CD quality.
- goober VoIP
The killer app for goober is that they offer calling to 40 countries where the first 2 minutes are always free. The cost of the first two minutes end up being credited to your account at the end of your call. The company offers flate rate plans for international calling and although it offers calls over 3G it reccomends WiFi.
This little app, which has caused a lot of commotion, offers free voice calls, IM chats and video calls. Recently, fring ran into trouble with Skype and no longer offer Skype calls as part of their service, but the Fring app still communications with MSN Messenger, GoogleTalk, Twitter, Yahoo, AIM, and ICQ. fring offers Push notifications and even SIP integration.
Nimbuzz taps into Yahoo, MSN, and AIM as well as social networks like Facebook and Myspace. The service allows for free or low cost local and international calls as well as free messaging. Nimbuzz allows users to make calls to landline phones as well.
This app has gotten a lot of great reviews for its ability to manage many IM coversations as well as offer free WiFi and 3G calls to other Truphone users, Skype, and Google Talk users. The service also offers low cost international calling and free voice mail with Push notification. The service also provides Twitter integration. Be warned though as the most recent software update (4.0.2) has disabled the background multitasking but hopefully they will bring that back soon.
This app lets users try the service for 15 minutes free to anywhere in the world. As part of the intro, users also get 15 free SMS to anywhere in the world. The Vopium service taps into both Skype and Google Talk for additional free calling and chats with friends on Facebook, MSN, Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo, AIM and ICQ. Vopium won the 2009 European Mobile VoIP Technology Innovation award by Frost and Sullivan.
Recently acquired by Google, Gizmo5’s latest update was August 2 so its still alive and well on the iPhone. The only glitch is that you have to have already been a Gizmo5 subscriber before the Google takeover to really make any use of the app. Also, the Gizmo5 app costs $1.99, so don’t buy it unless you are already a subscriber.
- Ooma Mobile for iPhone
Ooma Mobile is for Ooma customers. The service allows them to make US and international calls from their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch either using 3G or WiFi. Ooma’s PureVoice technology offers higher voice quality without using a lot of bandwidth. The app costs $9.99 in addition to what you are paying for your Ooma service. Calling to other Ooma users is free but calls to US numbers come in at $.019/minute.
- Vonage Mobile
Subscribers with the Vonage World Mobile plan can make unlimited calls with this app to anywhere in the US and to over 60 countries around the world. The app uses both cellular and WiFi networks to make calls with non-international calls being free over WiFi for minute plans.
Apparently iCall was selected as the New York Times App of the Week at one point. According to the company it is used by over 4 million people worldwide to make calls. With iCall you can make calls over 3G and WiFi. The app is free but ad-supported.
Watch this space in the future for a round up of business VoIP apps.