This is a sponsored post, all opinions here-in are mine.
As crazy as it sounds, there are still people in the world who use their iPhones and Android handsets to … make voice calls. I know, Crazy! Right? If you are one of them, and, especially, if you travel internationally, the cost of those calls can add up quickly. Vonage has been around for quite some time, but they’ve just released a new iPhone and Android calling application that is pretty impressive. I’m already using it for calls when I’m in a WiFi network; although the app works over 3G, over WiFi the calls are fantastic and they don’t use any of my data plan. I had a chance to speak with the Vonage mobile app team yesterday, and as soon as the call was over I downloaded the app.
I’m impressed. The app is easy to use, loads quickly, and the quality of the calls is excellent.
Let’s run down what stands out in this app, and then walk through the process of actually setting it up so you can see just how easy it is to use …
The app itself is free for both the iPhone and Android, and it lets users talk and text worldwide for free when the other person is using the app. And if they aren’t using the app, then you can still call them at a huge discount compared to other means of placing a call. How big are the savings? On average calls made with Vonage are 70% less then those over the major mobile carriers and 30% less than Skype’s rates. The app works over WiFi, 3G and 4G wireless data networks worldwide, although obviously using it over WiFi is going to be the most economical method in this era of capped data plans.
Vonage wanted to make using the application simple, and one of the ways they accomplished this was by letting you add calling credit right on the devices themselves in increments of $4.99 and $9.99. In other words, there’s no need to go to the Vonage website because you can “top off” on the go. (Try that with Skype!
So far, the calls I have made have been excellent. That’s because app-to-app calls also called “net-calls” are made using “the latest innovations in voice over IT technology to deliver high-definition audio quality, the difference versus traditional cell phones is dramatic.”
Another way Vonage makes using the app simple is by having the app use the phone’s existing mobile number and contact list. This eliminates the need to create a separate user name and create duplicate identities for contacts … are you listening Skype?
As the release notes,
this new Vonage mobile consolidates the best features of our prior applications, while adding important functionality, better value and improved ease of use. Find extensions will continue as a standalone application for now, however we anticipate integrating extensions into a future bondage mobile release.
Setup and Use:
When you first launch the app, you will be asked to accept their terms.
It then asks to access your address book. This might be a bit of a concern for some, but the numbers are simply being used so the service can match up your address book to people you know who are also using Vonage. It then sends a verification text to make sure you are who you say you are.
Of course push notifications let you know someone is calling even when the app is not open.
You then get to invite people to also use the app. I reached out to a number of our Gear Diary team members and got them to download it.
The account page gives you a number of options.
You can add credit.
You can check calling rates.
And you can get more people using the app. That’s key since Vonage to Vonage calls are completely free.
The window for making calls or sending a text message is immediately familiar. That was actually one of the development team’s goals, they wanted the app to be easy to set up and easy to use. They succeeded.
So who is the app for? It you travel for business and need to make international cell phone calls, then the mobile app is for you!
If you are a student who will be studying abroad, then the app is a great way to stay in touch.
If you are a tech enthusiast who uses an iPhone or an Android phone, the app will quickly find a place on your home screen.
If you like saving money, then you will want to use the app.
And if you spend a lot of time on the phone speaking or texting with friends in other countries, then you are going to love this!
But wait, there’s more!
And there is yet another thing you should know about the new application. In order to get people using it and experiencing the ease and quality of Vonage Mobile the company is making it free to call any phone in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico from anywhere in the world for free for a limited time. You can’t beat that opportunity. Download it here.