Vonage have launched a new iOS and Android app that provides free worldwide taking and texting to other users of the app and if your contact doesn’t have the app you can purchase credit and Vonage say their calling rates are 30% less than Skype’s rates. The app works by integrating with your phones address book and highlights which contacts you can call for free, so there is no need for separate address books. You can get the iOS and Android version from http://download.vonagemobile.com/vmapp
Here is the official word from Vonage
Can you imagine a future where your smartphone comes with unlimited data, but without a calling plan? Living in this brave new world doesn’t mean you have to abandon voice communication. The new Vonage Mobile app for iPhone and Android brings this new reality closer with free worldwide talk and text to all other users of the app. Whether your phone is connected over 4G, 3G, or Wi-Fi, your entire address book is only a tap away. Just remember that calls still use a portion of your data plan.
Vonage Mobile certainly isn’t the first smartphone app to provide free calling and text messaging from mobile phones, so what make this different? Unlike Skype for iPhone and Android, which maintains a separate address book, Vonage Mobile integrates your existing address book – which means free app-to-app calls and text messages are available without needing to reconnect with people who already provided contact information. And the Vonage Mobile multi-invite function lets you invite anyone (or everyone) from your contact list with one simple text. Skype requires you to search for users and invite each person one at a time.
Vonage Mobile doesn’t limit calls to people with the app, or even to people who have a smartphone. You can call direct from Vonage Mobile to virtually any phone number on the planet. You can dial internationally without needing to activate special services with your mobile carrier. And most importantly, you can do this with the address book on your phone and your existing mobile number.
There is a cost associated with calling phones directly, but according to Vonage, the app offers international calling with per-minute rates that average 70 percent less than major mobile carriers and 30 percent less than Skype. This savings estimate is based on per-minute rates to the top 50 countries called. Billing is also more convenient, with payment integrated directly into your iTunes or Android Market account, instead of maintaining billing in a separate login.
Vonage combines exceptional call quality with an integrated phone experience to offer a more complete calling solution. Unlike other free voice apps, which often echo badly or sound like you’re talking on tin can, when calling app-to-app Vonage delivers what they call ‘high-def’ voice quality, which is frequently better than a standard cell phone call.
For those of you playing along at home, here is a quick feature recap: â¢ Free domestic and international calls and texts to anyone with the Vonage Mobile app. â¢ When calling a landline or phone directly, you get international calling with per-minute rates averaging 70% less than major mobile carriers and 30% less than Skype. â¢ In-app credit purchases are tied directly to your iTunes or Android Market account. â¢ Inviting multiple people right from your address book via SMS or email is easy. â¢ Vonage Mobile automatically identifies contacts who already have the app. â¢ Your mobile number double as your caller ID (so your friends wonât be surprised by an unfamiliar app-assigned number) â¢ Works on Wi-Fi and 3G/4G worldwide. If better call quality to any of your existing contacts isn’t enough to make you try out Vonage Mobile, there’s just one more thing you should know. Vonage is currently offering free calls from virtually anywhere in the world to the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico. There are a few circumstances where free calling may not work, like business calls, premium and special service numbers, and satellite phones, but for the most part, free really means free. You also need to stay under 3000 minutes per month, but who talks that much anyway? Download Vonage Mobile now and check it out on your iPhone or Android phone. Invite your family and friends so you have someone to text or call, then let us know what you think.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.