Why Mobile Calling Apps are now essential for every Business


The rapid adoption of smartphones has created opportunities for companies to extend business communications to every employees mobile device. There are many benefits to adopting this strategy such as increased productivity, quicker responses to customers, no location dependence, or just cutting the cord entirely, and moving your entire voice communications network to the cloud. We are certain that this subject will raise a few questions for anyone considering this option for a business. Here are three important ones that we came up with, and will answer in this article:

  • Which provider offers the best mobile app with its business phone solution?
  • Who are the providers that offer a mobile service that does not require a desk phone in the office?
  • What are the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) services or mobile apps that currently have the most features?

Most voice-over-IP phone service providers that offer a business solution for your office also offer a mobile app of some sort that extends the in-office phone capabilities to your smartphone. The features and functionality provided with these apps will vary from provider to provider so we have taken a look at some of the apps and BYOD services offered by some of the most popular business phone service providers.

Mobile calling apps

Provider Mobile Smartphone Apps and BYOD Services

Before we jump in and start looking at the actual apps that are on offer, let's look at some key reasons as to why this is important in the first place and what existing problems mobile apps are solving. Here are some that we came up with but if you can think of any more or any better reasons, please leave a comment and let us know your opinion. Please also let us know if you have a favorite app that you use with your business phone.

  1. Employees need to be able to transparently access their business phone line from anywhere on a mobile device.
  2. A business wants to be 100% mobile and use only smartphones for all types of business communications.
  3. Reduce calling costs and take advantage of free calling by using WiFi or 3G/4G cellular data.

Now let's take a look at a few different service providers and see which ones check the most boxes.

Ringcentral Logo

Office Plan

  • Complete phone system solution that requires a desk phone to take full advantage of features. Mobile App is free and leverages your desktop extension.

Professional Plan

  • Solution for mobile workers. Does not require an in-office desk phone. The mobile app is used for managing communications via a smartphone to create a stand-alone BYOD solution.
  • Plans start at $9.99 for 300 local, long distance or toll free minutes per month. All inbound and outbound calls are counted or charged per minute. They work using either WiFi or the cellular data connection.

Mobile Apps

  • Available on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. Both the office and professional products can be accessed from a mobile device (e.g. receive and make calls) using these downloadable apps. The business SMS feature on this app only works with the Office product.
  • Current Apple app store rating - (Requires iOS 6 or later - Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices)
  • Current Google play Android app store rating - (Requires Android 2.2 and up)
  • Current Blackberry World store rating -

The bottom line - Ringcentral is one of the few companies that is offering both an in-office hosted phone solution and a stand-alone BYOD solution for the mobile workforce. Companies going with the Office plan will enjoy unlimited calling which extends to smartphone devices via the app, while Professional subscribers will be limited to the number of mobile calling minutes included with the selected plan.

Ringcentral mobile app

Vonage logo  (Formerly Vocalocity)

Unlimited Extensions and Metered Extensions Plans

  • The unlimited plan offers unlimited calling minutes and is good for frequently used extensions whereas the metered plan charges a lower flat monthly fee but then costs 3c per minute for calling.

Virtual Extensions Plan

  • This is Vonage's business solution for the mobile workforce with employees being connected to the business communications system as a stand-alone service or a service that is tied to a desk phone. Although this product includes unlimited inbound calls, it does not enable any outbound calling, so is effectively a basic virtual extension as opposed to a BYOD solution.

Mobile Apps

  • Available for iPhone and Android devices. Works with both the unlimited and metered extensions products and allows for the management of virtual extensions. Allows you to manage your business extension from anywhere. Uses cellular minutes for outbound calling.
  • Current Apple app store rating - (Requires iOS 4 or later - Compatible with iPhone devices)
  • Current Google play Android app store rating - (Requires Android 2.2 and up)

The bottom line - Decent option to use to extend capabilities of desktop phone to your mobile device. No option to skip the desk phone and go fully mobile. Currently lacking in features when compared to alternatives.

Vonage mobile app

8x8 logo

Virtual Office and Virtual Office Pro Plans

  • The Pro offering is the same product as the standard Virtual Office product but adds online meeting, call recording and Internet fax functionality. These are full phone system solutions and one of these required to use the 8x8 mobile app. A metered plan is also available along with a global plan that includes unlimited calling minutes to select international locations.

Virtual Extensions (feature only)

  • Standard industry solution for virtual extensions that provides DID extension with voicemail, auto-attendant and outbound call forwarding. Flat monthly fee plus 2.9c per minute.

Mobile Apps

  • Allows you to go mobile with your Virtual Office service (required).
  • Current Apple app store rating - (Requires iOS 4 or later - Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices)
  • Current Google play Android app store rating - (Requires Android 2.2 and up)

The bottom line - Feature rich apps that require a virtual office subscription.

8x8 mobile app

Jive logo

Hosted solutions for businesses

  • Jive offers customized hosted business phone solutions for enterprises, small business, education and government. There is no current product that offers a stand-alone BYOD mobile solution.

Mobile Apps

  • These are included as part of the Jive mobility solution and are used to mirror an existing device in the Jive system. The apps appear to be recently launched and have only a few reviews in the app stores so far.
  • Current Apple app store rating - (Requires iOS 5 or later - Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices)
  • Current Google play Android app store rating - (Requires Android 2.3.3 and up)

The bottom line - recently launched apps that have a good number of features that compare well with the competition. These apps are a complement to the regular Jive desktop phone service.

Jive mobile app

Additional Options worth checking out


  • The unified communications product works with a mobile app that is available on iOS (current rating ), Android (current rating ) and Blackberry (current rating ) devices.


  • A mobile app is available that works with either of the professional, small business or mobile workplace plans. This works on iOS (current rating ) and Android devices (current rating ) and is available in beta version from the Blackberry app store.


  • Inbound calling solution for businesses that provides an automated attendant to route calls to different departments and employees. Only available on the iPhone at present (current rating ).

Pulling it all together and comparing Mobile Apps

As you can see, it can be confusing when you try to determine what each providers mobile solution offers and if it will address the needs of your business. To simplify this, we have pulled together all the relevant information into the following table:

Description Provider 1 Provider 2 Provider 3 Provider 4
Logo Ringcentral logo Vonage logo 8x8 logo Jive logo
Visit Site
Free VoIP Calling Option YES NO YES YES
Extends in-office features to Smartphone YES YES YES YES
Stand-alone BYOD option
(no in-office plan required)
Professional Plan
From $9.99/mo for 300 minutes
App Price Free Free Free $20 for mobility
(one time fee)
App Store Rating
Number of Reviews 6,526 28 289 2
Last Updated Dec 10th, 2013 Nov 9th, 2011 Oct 27th, 2013 Sep 27th, 2013
Android Phones YES YES YES YES
App Store Rating (4.1) (2.9) (3.1) (2.7)
Number of Reviews 1,780 57 327 6
Last Updated Dec 11th, 2013 Oct 23rd, 2013 Nov 15th, 2013 Aug 20th, 2013
Blackberry YES NO NO NO
App Store Rating NO NO NO
Call Park / Pickup YES NO YES NO
Business SMS (texting) Requires Office Plan NO YES NO
Conferencing Function YES NO YES YES
Call Recording NO NO Requires Pro Plan YES
Call Transfer NO NO YES YES
Fax Function YES NO Requires Pro Plan NO
VoIP quality indicator YES NO YES NO
Video calls NO NO YES YES
Company directory
Voicemail access
Change office phone settings
Call logs
Business line caller-ID

Note 1: WhichVoIP does not guarantee the accuracy of this information. Please visit providers website for feature confirmation.
Note 2: For more details on any of the above mentioned features, please visit our VoIP features page.


Our original three questions listed at the beginning of this article have been answered in detail. However, to summarize:

  • Best mobile app for business phone service: This one is too close to call as RingCentral, 8x8 and Jive all have feature rich apps that take advantage of VoIP calling when possible.
  • Which providers offer a service that does not require a desktop phone: Ringcentral is currently the only provider in our list that is offering a completely mobile solution with its professional plan.
  • BYOD services and mobile apps features: This has been covered in detail in the table above.

It is increasingly important that companies considering a new phone system take into account how any solution can be integrated with, and extended to mobile devices of all types. Additionally, a complete or partial BYOD solution is becoming more popular as businesses continue to take advantage of the cloud, while trying to reduce costs. The race to provide the best mobile solution is well on its way and there are already some clear front runners in what is expected to be a quickly evolving market.

Published by WhichVoIP

Related Articles for Further Reading:

left arrow PREV
Little Known Ways to Save with a Smartphone
NEXT right arrow
10 Things you need to Know about Mobile Solutions for your Office Phones


Save Up To 80% on Business Phone Bills!

Save Time with FREE Comparison Quotes in Minutes from Top Business Providers!

Answer the simple question below to get started!

Number of employees?


Just a few more details...

Business Location and Name:

Let's get your details right.

First, Last Name:

Ready to prepare the quotes.

Let's make sure they get sent to the right place.

Email, Phone Number:

Top Business Providers*