Mobile phone apps have come a long way from the early days when they were basically tricks, gizmos and games. Today mobile apps offer serious performance and features and using them can increase business efficiency significantly while also reducing costs. One of the areas that no business can afford to ignore is that of VoIP apps. VoIP is no longer tied to PCs and hardwired connections. Smartphones with WiFi and 3G capabilities can now use VoIP for free or low cost communications almost anywhere, at any time. Android and iPhone are the two most popular mobile platforms and both offer a range of very useful VoIP apps.
Skype: Skype was the flag bearer of the VoIP revolution and retains its place as the leader in mobile VoIP. Available for free download, it offers Skype to Skype, Skype to landline and Skype to PC calling. Although the call costs, while significantly lower than the PSTN network, are somewhat higher than those of other VoIP app providers, the stability of the system makes it a great business choice.
Rebtel: Rebtel is not completely global, but does cover most of North America and Europe and offers very economical call rates. A user needs to give Rebtel the phone numbers of his contacts and Rebtel gives back a local landline number to be used which must be stored in the phone. To initiate a call, just scroll through the contacts stored on the phone and select the person you want. While Rebtel may not have all the extra features that other VoIP apps offer, it is extremely easy to use and meets all normal business needs.
Vopium: Vopium works on over 900 cell phones (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Java, Symbian & Windows Mobile) and WiFi enabled devices (iTouch etc). When you call international with Vopium, it catches your call and sends it to the country you're calling. You pay your phone company for a local call and Vopium for the rest. If you're WiFi connected, you don’t even pay for your local call. When you’re both on Vopium and WiFi, it's totally free!
Fring: Fring is growing rapidly in popularity and is one of Skype’s main competitors. It allows for totally free phone calls to be made to any mobile phone anywhere that has Fring, Skype, VoIPStunt, SIP, ICQ, MSN Messenger or GoogleTalk installed.
EQO: EQO is also very easy to use. Simply download the VoIP app to your phone and once you sign in your contacts will be displayed in your account. Both domestic and international calls are cheap and calls between EQO users are free, irrespective of location. IM can be done for free with phones that have Yahoo, Google Talk, AIM, Jabber and ICQ installed. Like Rebtel EQO does not offer many extra features, but the low call costs and reliability of the system make is a useful business tool.
Jajah: Jajah is a web based VoIP application so to use it you have to start your mobile browser, go to the site and log in. You can then access your address book and click to make a call. You then need to hang up and the Jajah server will call both you and the person you want to contact – since both calls are incoming the costs are low. While Jajah may be slightly more complex to use, the advantage it offers is that users can access their accounts from both their computer as well as their mobile phones – a single multiple access directory of all contacts is a big advantage.
There are many more VoIP apps to choose from and new ones appear every day. Spending time examining the options to find one that is most suitable for a business’s specific needs will allow for a major increase in communications efficiency while simultaneously cutting communications costs.