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Tag: voip

Second Line App for Smartphones from Line2

Posted by Andrew at 10:15 PM on February 14, 2012

Line2 PhoneIf you’ve ever wanted a second line on your smartphone but don’t have a dual SIM phone (and let’s be honest, who does?), you’ll be interested in this app from Line2. Andy and Don get a demo from Peter on what the app offers.

The Line2 app provides a second line by using a VoIP connection over 3G or wi-fi. All the features of a telephony service are present with a phone number, voicemail, text messaging, call-forwarding and so on. There’s also HD audio if you are calling another Line2 user.

Being a data service and able to use wi-fi means that it’s possible to send and receive calls where there’s no mobile phone signal but there is a wireless connection. SIM-less devices such as iPod Touches or wi-fi-only tablets can become phones too.

Available for both iPhone and Android, monthly subscriptions start at $9.95 a month.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net, and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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Invoxia VoIP Desktop iPhone Dock

Posted by Andrew at 11:51 PM on January 18, 2012

Invoxia Logo

Todd talks with Eric from Invoxia about their latest office product, a stylish dock that converts iPhones and iPads into a VoIP desktop phone. Winner of a CES 2012 Showcase Engineering Award, it’s really quite stunning.

The NVX 610 can use Skype or a SIP telephony provider and control of the desktop phone is via an app on the iPhone which uses Bluetooth to communicate with the dock. The unit has built-in speakers, creating a hands-free phone and a music dock all in one.

Available on-line now for $599. Cool but pricey.

Invoxia nvx-610 Desktop Phone and iPhone Dock

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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GNC-2011-09-26 #708 The Facebook Menace

Posted by geeknews at 1:11 AM on September 27, 2011

I talk about the Gaf in show 707, and then spend some time on my soapbox talking about Facebook and the implications of recent revelations. I talk very seriously about the ramifications of allowing Facebook to track your every move and how it could impact your life, relationships with a spouse and ruin your reputation.

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Microsoft Buys Skype

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 8:00 PM on May 10, 2011

Today Microsoft announced that it had purchased Skype for 8.5 billion dollars. Skype will be run as a separate business division with in Microsoft and its CEO Tony Bates will report directly to Steve Balmer Microsoft’s CEO. For those of you that are not familiar with Skype it is a soft ware application that allows users to make voice calls and chats over the Internet. Calls that are to other users on the Skype service are free, while calls from Skype to landline or mobile phones do cost a small fee. It had over 663 million register users as of 2010 with 170 million that are active and it continues to grow. According to Microsoft they plan to bring the Skype support to Xbox, Kinect and Windows Phone. They did indicate that Skype will continue to develop and work on other platforms. Whether this remains true only time will tell. There is always the fear that over time development for the other platforms like Linux and the Mac OS X will fall by the wayside and become after thoughts.

One of the biggest problems when a company the size of Microsoft buys a company like Skype is that the smaller company will simply be swallowed up by the Microsoft culture. That what has made Skype popular with users will get lost and the urge to make it more popular with Wall Street will override the users interest. An Ars Technica article also bring up the point that Microsoft already has a its own voice and chat platform Window Live, which has more active users then Skype at 330 monthly active users. So where does Skype fit in, will it be its ability to do Skype to landline calls, which Windows Messenger doesn’t do. No one knows, there was no mention of it at the announcement. The more I think about this the more I believe that the only group that this announcement is good for are those who own stock in Skype. Unfortunately for the users and employee of Skype I don’t see a rosy future. I certainly hope I am wrong. Hopefully Microsoft can use it expertise to improve Skype UI and security.  The last Skype update was to say the least not very popular with most users.  It is possible that Microsoft will do everything it says it will and Skype will become an even better product for everyone.  I am just not holding my breath on it.

 

Whistle Free Calling

Posted by tomwiles at 10:00 PM on April 24, 2011

I recently installed a VOIP phone app on my iPod called “Whistle.” Whistle is gives you a free incoming phone number that can be called from other phones, along with free domestic phone calls within the U.S.

Since my Sprint “Simply Everything” phone plan gives me unlimited voice calls within the U.S., I don’t really need the free voice calling feature. However, I installed it because it’s nice to have alternatives available, just in case. Whistle is free. It works, but the call quality is poor.

Nonetheless, a few days ago I found myself unable to use my cell phone, but still needing to make a call. Since I had WiFi available, I remembered I had the Whistle app available and was able to make my call via Whistle without any trouble.

Whistle has poor call quality on my iPod Touch. However, it is a free app and you can make free calls if you are willing to listen to short audio ads just before your call is placed. I like having extra options which can sometimes come in handy, and Whistle worked for me when I needed it to.

Whistle also offers very cheap rates on international calls.

Whistle doesn’t offer the voice quality of Skype, but Skype costs money to place calls to telephones as well as to have an incoming phone number. Whistle offers both of those features for free.

GNC-2010-08-23 #604 Some Feedback from Feedback!

Posted by geeknews at 7:51 PM on August 23, 2010

Some Feedback from the listener survey if you do not want to listen jump to 16:30. Typical trip in progress I am crazy busy as usual. Nothing spectacular going on. Everyone that submitted links tonight for the show a big Thank You!

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Calling With Style

Posted by Andrew at 9:08 AM on August 5, 2010

This week’s unofficial style and design award goes to Native Union and their beautiful Moshi Moshi range of handsets for mobile phones, USB VoIP and Bluetooth.

There’s four in the range, the first three created by designer David Turpin and the last by Michael Young.   They’re a stylish mix of retro and modern and I think they’re reasonably priced for a well-designed item.   I’m tempted to get the Bluetooth handset (MM03) myself.

Two of them have 3.5mm jacks and two are Bluetooth.  A range of adaptors are also available from the web site, including one for converting to USB for Skype, GoogleTalk and so on.

Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite but the website has full photo galleries.

MM01MM02
MM03MM04MM01H

And if you are wondering what “Moshi Moshi” is, it’s what Japanese people say when they answer the phone.  You can read about the myth behind this phrase over on WikiAnswers.

GNC-2010-06-29 #588 Announce Show Support Initiative

Posted by geeknews at 1:07 AM on June 29, 2010

I talk more about the studio upgrade initiative and hope that you will be inclined to support the podcast. The goals is to raise $10,000.00 in the next 30 days a hundred dollars or more at a time. This is to help finance the planned studio upgrades. Support is completely voluntary details on the Geek News Central Insider page. Congrats to Brian and Sam for winning our contest for the month of June. More details are in the show.

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No Room For Domestic VoIP in the UK?

Posted by Andrew at 7:56 AM on March 29, 2010

On Saturday, Tesco emailed the users of its internet phone service to tell them that the service was being closed down at the end of April.  Although it’s certainly not the only VoIP outfit in the UK, it’s one of the few who have sold directly into the domestic market and are a household name.

Tesco is a major supermarket in the UK which has branched out into telecoms, primarily as an mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), but has also offered a VoIP service.  This was a rebranded Freshtel service and it appears to be the difficulties with Freshtel that have led to the closure.

Tesco made the system as painless as possible.  You could buy dedicated handsets, converters for standard phones and the usual USB handset or headset.  It was a good system with no technical knowledge required and a web interface to configure what there was.

From reading the various forums, it’s clear that many of the users were running small business through the system as an easy way to get second phone lines without incurring huge cost and I can see this is a real market.  A number of VoIP services have already posted to say that they are happy to take on ex-Tesco users (allegedly at even better rates!).

However, I’m uncertain as to the market for domestic VoIP services.  At the moment, I have a landline and I have a mobile.  On the landline, I pretty much get free off-peak calls and on my mobile I have a monthly contract which entitles me to certain number of “free” calls.  The only time the Tesco service gives benefit is on international calls, which I don’t need to make that often.  So I can see why it might be difficult to make money from the service within a purely domestic market.

Of course, Skype has been successful but I think it’s success has been through free Skype-to-Skype connections and that’s not quite what is needed here.

I suppose where it might be beneficial to both parties is when the customer gives up their landline and relies on VoIP for all their voice traffic but that’s still quite a hard sell, especially when landlines work so well.  Unless you have cable, you need your landline for your ADSL broadband anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of companies successfully offering SIP and other VoIP services to individual consumers for business use or as a cheap second line.  It would be too simplistic to say that if Tesco can’t make it work, no-one can, yet I just can’t see domestic VoIP services replacing landlines in the UK anytime soon.  Anyone else any thoughts?

OOMA Free Home Phone Service CES 2010

Posted by geeknews at 9:19 AM on January 24, 2010

OOMA has been around now for several years and they are well known for their very sleek designed VOIP devices. Their service model is pretty simple buy the device get free home service. Advanced service are available for a monthly fee and international calling is at very low rates.  You may ask what is new from OOMA well during CES 2010 they made this announcement..

Quoting from their website: New additions to the product and services lineup include Ooma Pure Voice™, High Definition Voice, mobile phone calling with the iPhone or iPod touch, Bluetooth support, Google Voice Extensions and voicemail transcription. These new features offer the most complete home phone solution that extends Ooma’s crystal clear call quality, significant cost savings and ease of use beyond the home and into your mobile and business calling landscape.”

Interview by Andy McCaskey from SDRNews.com

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