Apple is putting the stick to its partner AT&T (not that I care) by permitting VoIP internet telephone calling through its wildly popular iPhone AND iPod Touch.
By downloading the iCall application, you can make limited (three minute) free phone calls using your internet service, or by paying $10 a month you can call 1,000 minutes on iCall without using up your AT&T minutes.
You still need AT&T, but you could reduce the amount of minutes that you have to buy each month. A great way to save money on the family plan.
iCall is also available to use on your computer. I like using Skype for a second line at home (or when traveling) using a separate telephone number. So when I am sunning in Florida (can’t afford it this winter), you can call my Skype 860 number.
I just loaded it on my iPhone 3Gs and have placed a couple of calls using iCall. Works GREAT.
Please let us know what your experience is with it and if there are other alternatives.
Here is the FAQ from iCall’s website to give you details:
Frequently Asked Questions
iCall for the Web:
Q: Is this really free?
A: Yep. Free. As in it costs you zero, zip, nada zilch.
Q: Why would I use this?
A: At a friend’s house? Have no signal? Traveling? Just like free stuff? There are lots of great reasons to use iCall for the web.
Q: What are the limitations?
A: Other than the length of the call there are none, you can talk for 3 minutes at which point your call will be disconnected.
Q: Can I call back after I’m disconnected?
Q: I’m having problems with the Web version where can I get help?
A: Open a new support ticket or the knowledge base.
iCall for the iPhone:
Q: What is iCall for the iPhone?
A: iCall for the iPhone is the best VoIP application for your Apple iPhone.
Q: How do I get iCall for the iPhone? Is it a free app?
A: iCall for the iPhone is available exclusively from the Apple App store, it is a FREE download.
Q: Why would I want to use iCall for the iPhone?
A: There are many scenarios where Voice Over IP on your iPhone can be beneficial, a few examples include but are not limited to:
Low or no bars/cell coverage at the home or office: You are unable to make or receive phone calls reliably. With iCall for the iPhone and a WiFi connection, you can now make and receive phone calls from those locations.
Traveling overseas: Cellular roaming charges can be very expensive, iCall for the iPhone is location agnostic, meaning that you can use it in New York or New Dehli for the same price.
Overage minutes: If you use more than your allowed minutes per month on your cellular plan, your per minute rates for overage use can be quite expensive. By using iCall you reduce the amount of cellular plan minutes you are using.
International calling: The iCall international calling rates are substantially less expensive than those provided by your cellular provider. A single phone five-minute phone call can cost you as much as $5 through your cellular company!
Q: Does iCall for the iPhone work over 3G?
A: Yes! iCall works on your 3G data connection. Please note that connection quality and speed may vary depending on your signal strength and location.
Q: Does iCall for the iPhone work on the iPod Touch?
A: Yes! Using the headset/microphone combination available from the Apple Store, iPod Touch users can also use iCall for the iPhone!
Q: Is iCall for the iPhone Free?
A: The application is a free download from the Apple App Store. After downloading you must create an account, which enables a free trial of the product, allowing you to make phone calls and test the application to determine if iCall for the iPhone is a product that you would like to continue using.
Q: If I’m not a paying subscriber, can I still make phone calls?
A: Yes! We provide discounted international rates for iCall subscribers, however our International and Domestic call rates for non-subscribers are still substantially less expensive than those rates charged by your cellular provider and other VoIP applications. So if you only wish to use iCall occasionally or only wish to use it for a few minutes of international calling per month, this option may be right for you.
iCall Free Calling for your computer:
Q: Is iCall really free?
A: Yes! There is no cost or hidden charge to use iCall to make or receive phone calls.
Q: How can it be free? What’s the catch?
A: With the free calling version of iCall, you will hear a brief advertisement before we connect your call. These ads are generally less than 10 seconds. As well, you may see text advertisements within the iCall application that are related to the businesses you are calling or the searches you do within the application.
Q: Which phone calls are free?
A: All phone calls that you make to the USA and Canada are completely free, all calls that you receive are completely free regardless of where the caller is located. As well, all calls between iCall users are free.
Q: How can I receive free phone calls?
A: With the iCall Free Calling version, friends or family can call any of the local access numbers, enter your extension, and be connected instantly. Your callers can pick a telephone number that is local to them, currently we offer access numbers in most major metropolitan areas in the USA and Canada.
Q: Are there any limits to the free version of iCall?
A: With iCall Free Calling version your calls are limited to five minutes per call, at the end of 5 minutes your call will be disconnected. You may immediately call the party back and you may do this as often as you like. Additionally, you may not use the “best quality” audio, may not customize your voicemail, may not use call forwarding, and can not have your own dedicated telephone numbers. If you would like to use those features, go pro!
iCall Total Access for your computer:
Q: What is iCall Total Access? How is it different from iCall Free Calling?
A: iCall Total Access (formerly iCall Pro) is our premier VoIP calling client. It is not free but is very reasonably priced. As a total access user you are entitled to premium customer support, your call quality is improved, you neither hear nor see any advertisements, are allowed up to 1000 minutes per month of call forwarding to any USA or Canada mobile or landline number, can customize your voicemail, and get your own phone number in an area code of your choice.
Q: How do I become an iCall Total Access user?
A: Simply download and install iCall Free Calling. Once you have created your free account and logged in, you will see a tab on the right that says “Total Access”. Simply click that and follow the instant activation procedure to go pro!
iCall Carrier Services & Enterprise Products:
Q: I am interested in inexpensive domestic or international SIP termination and/or origination, where can I find more information?
A: Visit the iCall carrier services home page to find out more about our wholesale product line.
Q: Does iCall offer white labeled versions of it’s software?
A: Yes, we do offer white labeled versions, please contact us for more information.
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