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Apple now allowing iPhone apps to make VoIP calls over 3G networks

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
In an update to its iPhone SDK, Apple is now permitting apps to make VoIP calls over 3G wireless networks, an option that was once only available over a WiFi connection.

According to a press release issued Wednesday by iCall, Apple has revised its SDK to allow VoIP calls over cellular networks. This is a major change from Apple's previous agreement with AT&T which only allowed VoIP communications over a WiFi connection.

Back in October, AT&T announced that it would open up its 3G network to VoIP applications on the iPhone, and it appears that Apple is just now taking action.

iCall's VoIP application is, according to the release, "the first and only VoIP application that functions on the iPhone and iPod Touch over cellular 3G networks."

Previously, as part of a concession made to AT&T, Apple's terms for software approval on the App Store prohibited VoIP-based applications like Skype from utilizing networks operated by wireless carriers.

In April, internet advocacy group Free Press asked the FCC to investigate both AT&T and Apple over claims that both companies were violating federal net-neutrality protection.

AppleInsider also reported in October that increased pressure from the FCC over net neutrality could have contributed to AT&T's decision to change its policy with Apple.

iCall CEO Arlo Gilbert is quoted as saying, "I applaud Apple's decision to allow iCall to extend its functionality beyond Wi-Fi and onto the 3G networks. This heralds a new era for VoIP applications on mobile platforms, especially for iCall and our free calling model. I hope that now more developers will begin using our VoIP as a platform to integrate VoIP into their applications."
post #2 of 37
1 - VOIP using 3G ----- Check
2- Thethering
3- Multitasking
post #3 of 37
Ahh! Finally some GOOD NEWS today!! So I thought.

www.icall.com


Scam. So much for the supposed "free calls." They only let you make free US/Canada calls for 5 minutes and the software doesn't work, on the web or installed.

Quote:
Thanks for choosing iCall! With iCall, you get free outbound calling to any phone in the US or Canada for free. That's right, free.

Went through all the trouble installing in nasty Vista to find this out.

Bummer. Now I gotta wash my hands.
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post #4 of 37
Google voice??
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #5 of 37
Part of the iPad grand scheme for world domination. VOIP on the iPad also. Cool.
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Part of the iPad grand scheme for world domination. VOIP on the iPad also. Cool.

This.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Google voice??

Google Voice is not VOIP service.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Google Voice is not VOIP service.

I know this. Apple made the statement they didn't know.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #9 of 37
What's really the point if we can't background skype or other VoIP-software on the iphone?
Ca't really see calls coming through via push notifications.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Part of the iPad grand scheme for world domination. VOIP on the iPad also. Cool.

Exactly. The iPad's "unlimited" data plan is $30/month, without a contract. Hello Skype!

(not seriously though - at least not for me, dedicated cell ftw)
post #11 of 37
i have been using siphone for voip calls over 3g for some time on my (liberated) iphone. in my corner of the planet the experience is variable due to bandwidth limits and package loss on the 3g network, and you need to be careful to set the app to use a suitable codec. g729 and gsm are usually ok, but things will improve when there is an offical open-provider voip client available for the iphone that uses iLbc - this codec is really good at coping with imperfect internet connections and is already built into the iphone OS. The only official open-provider voip client app I have found that includes ilbc at the moment is Acrobits, and i presume that they will make the next release 3g friendly.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I know this. Apple made the statement they didn't know.

what is the point you are trying to cmmunicate???
post #13 of 37
This is good news. As indicated in the article below, it doesn't make sense to not have phone capabilities when you're still offering 3G through AT&T:

http://www.alltabletnews.com/2010/01...from-the-ipad/

Having phone capabilities on the iPad would allow for not having to carry around an iPhone as well (or maybe that's what Apple wants).
post #14 of 37
"No phone on iPad, no tschmone..." No "no phone"!

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #15 of 37
Well this is great feaking news. Now all I need is an iPhone.
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post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

1 - VOIP using 3G ----- Check
2- Thethering
3- Multitasking

Been there, done that on points one and 2 from day one.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

iCall's VoIP application is, according to the release, "the first and only VoIP application that functions on the [snip] iPod Touch over cellular 3G networks."

It isn't, because it doesn't.

censored

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censored

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post #18 of 37
Where's the update to Skype?

Apparently this was the only thing holding them back.

I would have expected them to have enabled the simple process by now.
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post #19 of 37
But Google have a web-app fix for this, so there is an app for that.
post #20 of 37
I guess the people that do the headlines are off for a few days (iPhone) LOL.
Anyway not sure about you and you can't ad a camera before it's release but yo can ad lots of features.

This is nothing more than a giant iPod and one that's worse than a jailbroken one.
I am so dissapointed with apple I don't know where to begin. Where is the innovation, non iTunes codecs, multitaskng, pricing, especially for this, and on and on.

Over at our buddies Mac rumors, one article has like 700 negative to 177 positives and that's teling you a lot. I thought Jobs was supposed to be uber proud of this. This is almost embarrising and I love Apple products but since the drop of computer, they just haven ben the same. There is so much you CANNOT do with this, it's a shame, even the pricing to HD space is a joke. I am very surprised that after all these years, this is their anwser, it's just unbelievable and dissaponting.
post #21 of 37
I guess the people that do the headlines are off for a few days (iPhone) LOL.
Anyway not sure about you and you can't ad a camera before it's release but yo can ad lots of features.

This is nothing more than a giant iPod and one that's worse than a jailbroken one.
I am so dissapointed with apple I don't know where to begin. Where is the innovation, non iTunes codecs, multitaskng, pricing, especially for this, and on and on.

Over at our buddies Mac rumors, one article has like 700 negative to 177 positives and that's teling you a lot. I thought Jobs was supposed to be uber proud of this. This is almost embarrising and I love Apple products but since the drop of computer, they just haven ben the same. There is so much you CANNOT do with this, it's a shame, even the pricing to HD space is a joke. I am very surprised that after all these years, this is their anwser, it's just unbelievable and dissaponting.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Where's the update to Skype?

Apparently this was the only thing holding them back.

I would have expected them to have enabled the simple process by now.

Apparently it was indeed holding them back...something some people refused to believe before, regardless of facts. Certainly it shows it was the SDK was the bottleneck.

Maybe you could write to Skype and ask. It could be awaiting approval.

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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #23 of 37
The SDK Apple released was for 3.2. Several posts mentioned that SDK 3.2 was specific to the new Apple Ipad only. I think that means iphone users (using 3.1.2) wouldn't see 3.2 when it comes out (two months when Ipad hits stores). I bet the addition of VOIP over 3G (for ver 3.2) is geared to help Apple sell its new Ipad. Actually not a bad plan if that is the case.

The use of Apple's Ipad with VOIP over 3G would have less impact than all those people who currently have Iphones and have been waiting for apps like Skype to work on their phones via 3G. I figure quite a few people who will buy the Ipad but how many of those will actually purchase a data plan with it? I just don't think it will match the Iphone's success. Thoughts?

Iphone users would still be forced to wait (maybe late summer if a new phone is discussed/released) for the next major OS update from iphones.

I'm hoping that's not the case, but we've all heard about ATT Wireless supporting VOIP over 3G (last October) but Apple has either been either quiet or avoided taking the necessary steps to allow vendors to post updates to itunes so we could use VOIP over 3G.

Just my two cents.
post #24 of 37
I can finally get some value out of the iPhone and my $100 a month bill. With skype I can make unlimited calls to USA, Canada for only $20 a year (that's right $20 a year), and international rates are very affordable as well.

Up to now, the only problem was you had to be in WiFi range. But with this final restriction removed, I can be roaming around and still make calls. It remains to be seen how good the call quality is going to be.

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post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avidfcp View Post

I guess the people that do the headlines are off for a few days (iPhone) LOL.
Anyway not sure about you and you can't ad a camera before it's release but yo can ad lots of features.

This is nothing more than a giant iPod and one that's worse than a jailbroken one.
I am so dissapointed with apple I don't know where to begin. Where is the innovation, non iTunes codecs, multitaskng, pricing, especially for this, and on and on.

Over at our buddies Mac rumors, one article has like 700 negative to 177 positives and that's teling you a lot. I thought Jobs was supposed to be uber proud of this. This is almost embarrising and I love Apple products but since the drop of computer, they just haven ben the same. There is so much you CANNOT do with this, it's a shame, even the pricing to HD space is a joke. I am very surprised that after all these years, this is their anwser, it's just unbelievable and dissaponting.

Are you serious?
Are you aware that they are not replacing the ipod touch, the iphone, or the macbook line with the ipad?
Did you know that a lot of people in business have responded very positively to this (the same people who carry around iphones even though their companies provide Blackberries)?
Maybe you didn't realize that there is a market for people other than the tech-addicted crowd that populates Mac Rumors, Appleinsider, Engadget, Gizmodo, etc. There are people that don't even know these sites exist and wouldn't care if you told them. And there are probably about 5.99 billion more of them than us.

Maybe you can tell me when did people become so spoiled and self-centered that everything has to be immediately what they want or they can only complain?

Maybe you didn't notice because you were to busy complaining, because you certainly were not building a better ipad. Take a little time and you may notice something worthwhile in software or hardware announced yesterday.

Here's a hint (of things not on a jailbroken iphone or ipod touch):
New Apple designed chip. hmm could this be the future for the iphone, ipod touch, or ...
iWorks app. With the NC server farm is this the next step toward cloud computing? will MS Office app be next?
ibookstore. if you need help here, take your time.

These are just a few hints. Breathe. Straighten your shoulders. Look again and see what has changed for the future. I know your intelligent, so you'll be able to see it. Enjoy it. The rest of what you want will come soon enough.
post #26 of 37
I've always been jarateed that you can't use a bluetooth headset with the iPod touch. I hope they unlock this BT profile in future OS updates as it's precluded me from using VoIP on anything besides the iPhone.
post #27 of 37
Apple sure is becoming lethargic these days, taking forever to adopt VoIP over 3G on iPhones and STILL no Blu-Ray options on Macs...
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Been there, done that on points one and 2 from day one.

I did that too. But tethering on 3.1.2 caused my WiFi to stop working and I don't want to jailbreak my iPhone. My wish list is for officially by Apple and for everyone.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Apple sure is becoming lethargic these days, taking forever to adopt VoIP over 3G on iPhones and STILL no Blu-Ray options on Macs...

Yeah, that makes them lethargic.

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...sometimes it's both
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...sometimes it's both
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post #30 of 37
Apparently Fring http://www.fring.com/blog/?p=1983 already enabled VOIP over 3G in their app (the limit was imposed on the server anyway), so their app now works over 3G with no app update needed on the iPhone itself.

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post #31 of 37
Stupid question...what does all this VOIP stuff mean? That I can call other countries for the same price as a regular call? Like I can call someone in Canada and it won't cost extra? OR...is it THIS: that I can call another real phone, using my unlimited DATA, thus giving us essentially unlimited minutes for calling? I assume both parties need to be able to to do VOIP on smartphones? I know that until now you could use skype to call someone with skype (skype to skype). However that wouldn't connect to a regular phone. Does this whole thing change that? Can we call a regular phone for free with our 3g data?? That would be too good to be true...
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post #32 of 37
If I can get a BlueTooth headset to work on the iPad, with VoIP over 3G for 'cellphone' calls, great...

Getting this at a $30/month-no contract rate? SPECTACULAR!!!
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post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post

Stupid question...what does all this VOIP stuff mean? That I can call other countries for the same price as a regular call? Like I can call someone in Canada and it won't cost extra? OR...is it THIS: that I can call another real phone, using my unlimited DATA, thus giving us essentially unlimited minutes for calling? I assume both parties need to be able to to do VOIP on smartphones? I know that until now you could use skype to call someone with skype (skype to skype). However that wouldn't connect to a regular phone. Does this whole thing change that? Can we call a regular phone for free with our 3g data?? That would be too good to be true...

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it means you use your internet connection to call phones. This service is usually not free, but is very very affordable and international calling rates are similarly prices as local mobile phone calls.

With something like Skype you can purchase skype out minutes to call phones from your Skype client on your computer or iPhone. Calling other users on skype clients is free, it only costs if you call regular phones.

For something like $20 you can buy a skype out plan for North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) that gives you unlimited calling from skype client to regular phones for a year !

That means if you use skype on your iPhone and buy this plan for only $20, you can call anyone in North America for as long as you want on any phone or network.

The catch is up until now iPhone skype application did not allow calling through 3G connection but only when your iPhone is within WiFi network, severely limiting the usefulness of skype.

The good news here is that Apple will finally allow VOIP calls to be made through 3G, thereby extending your range (you are no longer tied to WiFi hotspots to make skype calls).

Yes, you will be using your iPhone internet data plan to make calls, but the bandwidth requirements are not so high. You can talk 24 hours continuously for roughly 1 GB of bandwidth.

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post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it means you use your internet connection to call phones. This service is usually not free, but is very very affordable and international calling rates are similarly prices as local mobile phone calls.

With something like Skype you can purchase skype out minutes to call phones from your Skype client on your computer or iPhone. Calling other users on skype clients is free, it only costs if you call regular phones.

For something like $20 you can buy a skype out plan for North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) that gives you unlimited calling from skype client to regular phones for a year !

That means if you use skype on your iPhone and buy this plan for only $20, you can call anyone in North America for as long as you want on any phone or network.

The catch is up until now iPhone skype application did not allow calling through 3G connection but only when your iPhone is within WiFi network, severely limiting the usefulness of skype.

The good news here is that Apple will finally allow VOIP calls to be made through 3G, thereby extending your range (you are no longer tied to WiFi hotspots to make skype calls).

Yes, you will be using your iPhone internet data plan to make calls, but the bandwidth requirements are not so high. You can talk 24 hours continuously for roughly 1 GB of bandwidth.

Sweet. Thanks, good explanation. So an $20 for unlimited calls to anywhere in NA for the local connection price. Nice. Surprised they have finally allowed this but this is cool.
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post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkatechnology View Post

it's a good news for apple iphone users.

Yea it is. If this feature sticks around, and Skype gets to benefit, I'm dropping the iPhone and getting an iPad.


iPhone: $80 minimum, $100 avg.

iPad
3G: $15/mon
VOIP: $0
post #36 of 37
Does the bluetooth headset work with VoIP (Skype)? I was not able to get it to switch over to the headset when using Skype? Forgive me if this is not posted in the correct forum but it's meant as a generic question about the functionality of VoIP.
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetlady View Post

Does the bluetooth headset work with VoIP (Skype)? I was not able to get it to switch over to the headset when using Skype? Forgive me if this is not posted in the correct forum but it's meant as a generic question about the functionality of VoIP.

Hi,

No it doesn't work. Apple is not properly implementing the BT protocol on the iPhone. It allows streaming of music but not much else. Hopefully they will fix this in the next release.
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