Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TXT, VOIP via WiFi/3G

Do you have a Google Voice number?   Do you use it?  Yeah, I know it can be a pain in the ass.  I have one that I had forwarded to my real cell phone number so that was handy but making calls from that number was never particularly easy.   Until a few weeks ago when I found Talkatone, a free app that lets you virtually graft your GV number to your iPhone.  Or your iPad.  Or your iPod Touch.

Wait, what?  Phone calls from an iPod or iPad?  Yup.  Talktaone uses only your data connection to make voice calls (aka, voice over internet protocol, or VOIP)  so if you have a data connection, especially WiFi, you can make voice calls.  Voice quality over 3G is adequate, but WiFi sounds like you're in the same room.  And as I mentioned you don't need a voice network at all.  I called a friend from her iPod the other day and blew her mind.

What's the point, you ask?  Do you date?  Do you use Craigslist? (but I repeat myself).  Do you ever wish you had a throwaway phone number you could give to that person you don't quite know if you trust yet?  GV will give you one for free in almost any city you'd like.  I managed to find a number that's exactly 1 digit off from my real cell phone number.   Nerdy? Sure. Nifty? Definitely.

Why do I have a GV number?  Oh, that's actually silly.  My wife's employer charges for long distance ("Uh, hi - it's 1990 calling.  I want my corporate policies back.") so my GV number is local while my real cell phone number isn't.  You also get more control over blocking, when the phone rings, transcribed voice mail, etc.  If you don't know about the cool features of GV what deserted island has been your home the last three years??

Anyway, Talkatone lets you use your cell phone, or other IOS device, to make calls, sent text messages, and more.  It's cool.  It's free.  Check it out.

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