VoIP has been around for a few years now, but only recently have iPod touch users been able to access this facility. This is great for iPod touch users as previously you couldn’t make calls using the device. VoIP enables you to make telephone calls from your iPod touch using the internet and as a result is far cheaper than a standard mobile phone service provider.
So if you are an iPod touch user who travels abroad regularly or just make a lot of calls to landlines or mobile phones on different networks, the following applications could save you quite a bit of money.
Truphone recently created a VoIP application specifically for the iPod touch and it is free to download from the iTunes App Store. Truphone enables users to make free calls to other Truphone, Skype and Google Talk users. They also offer low cost calls to landlines and other mobile phones using a WiFi connection.
Unlike Skype which restricts instant messaging to Skype users, Truphone enables you to send instant messages to Skype, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk and AIM users. It even lets you post status updates to everyone’s favourite microblog, Twitter.
Unless you have been living in a cave, you have probably heard of Skype or even used it to make computer-to-computer calls. Now Skype has adapted the application for the iPod touch. Skype is free to download from the iTunes App Store. The application for iPhones and the iPod touch enables you to make free Skype-to-Skype calls and make reduced tariff calls to landlines and other mobile phones when connected to the internet via WiFi. You can even sign into Skype from your iPod touch and send instant messages to other Skype users on Edge, 3G and WiFi. What is nice about Skype is that you can choose to subscribe to the service, or use their pay as you go facilities.
However, (at the time of writing) the app does have one major drawback: you can only make calls from your iPhone when connected via WiFi, unlike Truphone, which can route calls via 3G to a local number and then onto the recipient.
Jajah is a truly unique VoIP application available for iPhone and iPod touch users. Not only can you make and receive calls over the internet using Jajah but unlike most other VoIP applications for iPod touch, you can also send and receive SMS messages using a WiFi connection. The great thing about Jajah is that as it works entirely over WiFI, you don’t even need a mobile call plan.
Although the call quality may not be the best, it is still more than adequate, especially for casual use. Jajah is also very easy to use as all you need to do is login into the Jajah website via your mobile phone and you are all set to make calls and send SMS messages.
Fring has been around for quite some time but it has now been adapted to enable iPod touch users to use the facility. In order to download the application, visit the iTunes App Store. Once you’ve installed the software on your iPod touch you can make free calls to other Fring, Skype, SkypeOut or any SIP user using the Fring app. In addition to the free calls, you can also send and receive instant messages using Fring as it is compatible with Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk and Twitter amongst others.
One handy feature you’ll notice when using Fring is that it will automatically log into Fring as soon as your phone is in a WiFi area, so you don’t have to worry about logging in and out of the service as you move around.
A unique selling point for Nimbuzz is that you can still make calls using your iPod touch even if WiFi is unavailable by using the Nimbuzz VoIP dial up facility. In addition to the standard VoIP features which enable you to make calls at reduced rates to landlines and other mobile phones using SkypeOut, Vyke, Gizmo5, SIPGate and A1, Nimbuzz also comes with a full dial pad making it easier to call numbers not on your contact list.
Nimbuzz also allows you to use the Nimbuzz instant messenger and chat with users on AIM, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, MySpace and Yahoo! Messenger.
Similar to Jajah, Talkety is another web-based VoIP app that enables iPod touch users to save money on international calls, as well as calls to landlines and mobile phones. Talkety also has the additional feature of enabling conference calling with up to 50 participants, however this is only available on their pro service.
Also unique to Talkety is the ability to synchronise your contacts on your iPod touch with the Mac OS X Address Book. As a basic account user you will not be tied into a subscription contract. All you need to do is ensure that there are sufficient funds in your Talkety account to make calls.
This very popular VoIP provider recently updated their applications to enable iPod touch users to make use of their low cost calling service. You don’t need to jailbreak your phone as the service is entirely web-based. If you want to dial a phone direct from your iPod touch, you will need to download their RakSIP application and then activate it.
Using the web-based service you can also send SMS messages and emails. You can also sign up to their Click-to-Callme service so anyone call you directly from a web page containing your Click-to-Callme link.
SIP-VoIP [Requires Jailbroken iPod touch]
This freeware app from TouchMods enables iPod touch and iPhone users to make VoIP phone calls, but there is a arguable drawback – you need to jailbreak your device first. In addition to this, iPod touch users will also need a Touchmod microphone. From there on, getting VoIP to work on the iPod touch is very simple. Once the application has been installed you are free to choose your SIP-VoIP service from a choice including FreeCall and Gizmo5.
Although it is a simple enough application to use, if you don’t want to jailbreak your iPod touch it would be advisable to opt for one of the previously mentioned Apple-sanctioned apps.