Best VOIP solution for Android?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by LarryInNYC, Feb 20, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I have a new Galaxy Nexus. I'm looking for the best solution that will allow me, while overseas, to initiate calls to the US (or other countries). Research indicates that Skype is limited on mobile devices. But what works better? Fring? Google Talk?

    For some of the calls (to family) I can pre-load the desktop version of the software so that I'll be making calls with product specific clients at both ends. But for other calls I'll want to be able to call a phone number in the receiving country.

    I'll be using the service from Italy this spring and from SE Asia in the summer.
     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I have been using GrooveIP with my Google voice account.
    Nimbuzz lets you makes free calls to other Nimbuzz users, also is an IM tool and cheap international calls.
     
  3. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Does not appear to allow calling out to regular phone numbers, only to other Viber clients.
     
  4. emajy
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    emajy Silver Member

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    While in Germany I used a combination of Skype and Google. Bought an unlimited data plan from O2. Worked extremely well. Paid $10 for Skype out so I could call any where in the US and used Google to text message.
     
  5. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Thanks for heads up. I've been thinking about jumping into Android, and had only assumed Skype would be fully functional. Must research this more. Windows Phone?
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Could you elaborate what limitations you found? Thanks!
     
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  7. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Have been using Fring with my SIP account from a localphone (see my signature for my referral link) Frings international rates are not cheap. Using SIP account from localphone.co, you can call US and Canada for under a penny and very cheap calls to European numbers. Check their website for rates
     
  8. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Skype has a partnership with Verizon and their service offers limited or no usage over WIFI depending on where you are. For instance, I believe that within the US you can't use the product across WIFI at all.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Ah, and you can't install or use the non VZ-version of Skype on VZ Android devices?
     
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  10. beaktor

    beaktor Silver Member

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    I've had good luck using Groove IP as well, calling from Hong Kong, Vietnam, London, and Romania. With a Google Voice account, it means that you can call US numbers for free. Normally, you can dial from the computer (via Google Chat).

    What the app does is use the same communications protocol that Google Voice understands natively, so anywhere you have a good quality internet connection, you can dial. I've found that voice quality on wifi is significantly better than on 3G. If your connection isn't great, you can hear fine but your caller will complain of your choppy voice quality.

    You can even receive calls as well, but it's been a little less reliable because no other GChat client can be logged in at the same time.

    It's been an indispensable tool for international travel, and I think one of the big benefits of an Android phone. With wifi, all calls to the US are free (and to other parts of the world for cheap.) While it's a bit rough around the edges (i.e. my screen must be on to hear) -- it'll work fine in non-daily usage when traveling.
     
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  11. SirRagnar
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    SirRagnar Silver Member

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    I've used Skype for that for a long time on a Nexus S. It works just as well as on my PC, so I am puzzled about the limitations you experience.
    If you can't get it functioning try to have a look for alternatives here: http://alternativeto.net/software/skype/?platform=android
     
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  12. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    My comments are not coming from experience, but rather from research.

    Are you using Skype across WIFI on a Verizon phone?
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I'm not clear why you would use Fring and localphone together. Are they not essential competitive products offering an external way of making VOIP calls?

    Fring states that their rates for "Fring Out" calling (IP client to regular phone numbers) are one cent per minute when calling to a US landline or mobile number. Is that not your experience?
     
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  14. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    I use localphone mainly because it permits me to forward my calls to any number in the world. For example, I travel to Germany and get a SIM card there with a new number. I can forward my US cell number to ring on that number.
    Using Fring, permits me to run only 1 app to make calls and also be able to IM. Plus Fring rates to make calls to other countries, but US and Canada are much more expensive. When I have data service overseas, I use Fring app to call local numbers using LocalPhone SIP for much cheaper rates then Fring.
     
  15. SirRagnar
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    SirRagnar Silver Member

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    Wifi, yes, but I don't have a verizon phone. My phone is not linked to any service provider. It sounds very intrusive if verizon have enforced such restrictions.
     
  16. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    This is not 100%.

    Both are available. The VZ one is crippled. I have used skype overseas before from my android phones.

    You need to install the regular skype onto you GN. It is a great phone and will do what you need. If for some reason you can't install the non vz app, there is a "work around" that allows you to install apps blocked by carrier from the market website.

    There are other solutions as people have pointed out, but skype still works best for me.

    I have a VZ galaxy nexus currently.
     
  17. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    Originally VZ did.

    Their version of skype came out first. Soon after (a couple of months) we got access to the regular version.

    Now of course there is confusion with both being in the market.
     
  18. Casey Friday
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    Casey Friday Silver Member

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    I'll add my vote for Google Voice + Groove IP. I work as a web developer from home, so I'm almost always on a WiFi network, so I pretty much run my phone on Airplane mode all day with WiFi on. No cell signal necessary, and I make/receive calls over Groove IP/WiFi. I use Google Voice for text too, so all that's necessary is WiFi - no cell connection.

    On a separate note, I'm parting with all Google products this week, as I'm super paranoid and freaked out about how much of my personal data Google has, so I'll be switching to a dumbphone, personal email, and no iPod Touch/smartphone.
     
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  19. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    I do not have Verizon, but I use skype all over the US on wifi. I use it in a lot of foreign countries as well. I do not know if Verizon would block it in the US as that would be a dumb move on their part.
     
  20. Dreamworks

    Dreamworks Gold Member

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    Wow. That's a big step to take. Not sure if I could do that.
     
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  21. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    The VZ version grew out of VZ's fear that skype would steal all minutes for calls and they'd lose a revenue stream. So to counteract this, they broke the wifi connection for skype. You could not use the skype app over wifi to force you to still use your vz provided connection.

    This of course only lasted a couple of months.
     
  22. Casey Friday
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    Casey Friday Silver Member

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    I'll report back how it goes. I'm a web developer, so if I can do it, anybody can!
     
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  23. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    How would one call skype to skype without WiFi? Of course this is Verizon what could one expect.
     
  24. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    A quick question, just to simplify things here: If someone has an unlocked international Android phone w/ no contract/US strings attached, working in Wi-Fi mode, Skype is peachy, right?
     

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