A new use for mobile phones has started appearing with the introduction of smartphones and the advancement of technology contained therein. That new use is simply a telephone and text messaging service not unlike the plans attached to the phone provider. There are differences, though, when it comes to these “Voice over Internet Protocol” (VoIP) apps, which make it more appealing than using costly minutes and text messages.
It is because of a process that is called Internet telephony, and it means that data that would have had to pass through an old fashioned switchboard and connect via a telephone can now be directed over the Internet. While not largely drawing away from phones’ purposes, some researchers say that use of VoIP apps will cause carriers billions of dollars in lost revenue by 2020. What then, are the apps that are getting so popular? There are several different applications across the various mobile platforms that allow for users to connect with each other and if you are going to commit to one it is important to understand the features of the popular ones so you can find a VoIP app that is best for you.
The most popular app around is Skype. Why Skype is so popular is almost a circular argument, and that is because it is so popular. It is available on major platforms and it does not restrict calling of users of one platform to another. This means that an iPhone user can call an Android user through Skype no problem. The only thing Skype requires is that users create an account on Skype’s servers, if one wants to call a landline or a number not on Skype a small fee will be charged and this can be done by paying for Skype Credits. Skype allows for group video chats, as well as text messaging.
On the other end, the iPhone app, Viber, does not require an account to make calls. Open it up and you will get a keypad and you will be able to get in touch with anyone else using Viber. It will access your address book and sync it into its own, making them available over Viber, too. The program will adopt a new number for you as it has done with your friends and will connect using those. This is important for individuals needing two numbers but cannot shell out for another line. There is no fee, and no advertisements. The drawback here is that you are only able to call those using Viber however, if the calls can be international if both users are online and using Viber. This is a plus over some of its competitors that are charging, either per use or monthly, for international calls.
Fring is another option for a VoIP. It is a peer-to-peer system that uses communication accounts you already have. It access MSN Messenger, Skype, GoogleTalk, etc, and allows you to call and text to other users through those programs. This is a big advantage of FaceTime, which only allows users to call friends and family who also have an iPhone. Fring widens the scope of these calls and can be much useful to an individual.
With the introduction of 4G smartphones, more and more data is being done over IP’s and less through switchboards. This makes the calls cleaner and the airwaves more organized since cell towers do not have the burden they once had. VoIP applications are the next logical step in this evolution and will someday completely overtake the old fashioned way of making calls.
Guest post by contributing author Linda, writing on behalf of Mvoice. Mvoice offers a wide array of services, including hosted pbx amongst other things.