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voip

Historians may remember April 21st as the modern date of the founding of Rome but the 2013 iteration of the day will forever be associated in the Android community as the conclusion of a week which included the international expansion of Amazon’s Appstore and the final release of Google’s Glass Explorer Edition models of Google Glass alongside the details of the device’s specifications.

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We’ve reviewed a few voice-over-IP (VoIP) apps on this site – Kryptos, Sipdroid, and most recently Viber – and we’ve also explained how to make calls with Google Voice and GrooVe IP in combination.

In case you’re not familiar with the idea behind VoIP apps, it’s simple: they let you talk to other people on your handset, but through the internet rather than via your carrier’s phone service. As long as you’ve got a decent data allowance, this is totally free – a huge money-saver, particularly if you make international calls.

The downside is, both you and the person you’re calling needs to have the VoIP app and an account with the VoIP service in order to place the call. Unless you and a friend or colleague plan to call each other a lot and arrange to sign up to the same service, you can’t assume that anyone you know will be using a specific app, so there’s little incentive to use any. At least, that’s been my experience.

Viber has a great approach: it sits on top of your existing dialer and it uses your phone number as your user ID. This means that, when you try to call someone, Viber checks to see whether they’re a member (according to their phone number), and puts you through via VoIP if so; if they aren’t, it just places the call as normal.

This is so simple and easy that it’s finally got me interested in using VoIP. Maybe I’m late to this trend, or maybe apps like this will help it really take off in the near future. Are you using VoIP?

Viber is a fresh, new, and easy-to-use take on VoIP calling from your Android device. It allows you to call and text anyone free and clear anywhere on the globe as long as you both have the Viber app and a data or Wi-Fi connection. With more than 40 million users on both Android and iPhone, Viber remains completely free and without advertising. While VoIP from a mobile device is not a new concept and is a crowded field to be in, Viber is still able to stand out. This is because of its design, implementation, and the fact that you just can’t beat free.

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I have Verizon as a service (shame on me), and although it supposedly covers 98% of America, my apartment seems to be an exception. Even checking on a coverage map it shows I am hopeless. After much aggravation and trying everything I could get my hands on I talked with my brother, a fellow avid Android user. He and I put our heads together and came up with a great solution: Google Voice plus GrooVe IP. (more…)

Sipdroid (so-called because it uses the Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP) is an open-source VoIP client for Android, which supports a range of codecs and is capable of video calling.

If you’re familiar with VoIP and SIP (and a bit of a techie) then this may just be the free VoIP client that you’ve been looking for.

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Kryptos is a peer-to-peer telephony program from Kryptos Communications. It features military-grade 256bit encryption on all the traffic it sends and 2056 bit RSA key exchange, thereby keeping your conversations private and exceptionally secure.

Its target audience is businessmen with a bit of cash to shell out on security management, though there is no reason why anybody else couldn’t use it. It operates on 3G mobile internet and WiFi and I am reviewing it based on my experience on the HTC Wildfire.
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