Free Long Distance – From your iPhone (using data)

Thursday 24th, January 2013 / 22:56 Written by
Free Long Distance – From your iPhone (using data)
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This is a post in a series regarding getting free long distance calling in Canada

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In a previous article I promised I would write up a quick article on how to get free calling using data from an iPhone.

I am an Android man, and I personally don’t have an iPhone. I was able to convince my friend to let me experiment on her iPhone in exchange for cutting down her long distance bill. What a sucker!

Anyways, In this post, Ill show you how to use an iPhone app to connect with your Google Voice account and use data (not mobile minutes) for the call. Much of the information is similar to my previous post on using getting free calling from your Android device through data here.

 What you need

  • A Google account (does not require Google Voice to be set up)
  • An iPhone
  • A data connection (wifi or mobile)
  • The GVConnect app
  • The Talkatone app

 Setting up the app

What you will need to do is set up your Talkatone app. You will enable the “call using Talkatone” option after selecting your Google Voice address as the callback number in the “Start calls from” section in the settings of GVConnect. Talkatone basically uses the Google Talk chat functionality to communicate.

As we mentioned earlier, when you make a call from GVConnect, the callback feature combined with Google Voice will initiate 2 calls online and connect them. The call that is meant to be to your cell phone will actually be made to your Google Talk chat function, which Talkatone will answer in the background. Once that is answered, the number you are trying to call will be dialed and GVConnect and Google Voice will connect you.

Set up for incoming calls?

If you want your incoming calls to Google Voice to be routed using data (instead of mobile minutes) then you would make this adjustment in your Google Voice settings. In the settings, you need to make sure that you tell Google Voice to send calls to your Google Talk chat function. Talkatone will then answer calls sent to your Google Voice number.

If you have calls set to go to your Google talk account AND a phone number that is routing to your cell phone, you may experience some problems as both the Talkatone app and your native dialer will ring. Answering this call may confuse your phone (and you). I suggest you tell Google Voice to ring them in sequence instead of simultaneously.

Traveling

Another great advantage to this is that if you are traveling outside of your local calling area, you can use this app and still be reachable and not have to pay long distance. Anywhere that you have data will allow you use this app.

  • Use wifi only (home, coffee shops, airports, hotels etc) when traveling internationally
  • Use wifi or mobile data when traveling outside your local calling area, but still within your network (ie traveling to Calgary with a  Toronto cell phone)

Caveats

One caveat is that I have found that when using wifi, my calls tend to drop after a certain point in time. Sometimes the calls last an hour before being dropped, and sometimes the calls drop after 20 minutes. It can get frustrating on long calls if you are constantly being dropped.

In terms of data usage, 1 MB of data will get you about 1-2 minutes of talking. This means that 1000 minutes would cost you less than 1 GB of data.

Recap

GVConnect, combined with Talkatone will allow you to open up calling from your cell phone using data, instead of mobile minutes. This is really valuable when you are traveling and have access to free wifi or if you are running low on minutes at the end of the month. Using these apps will use about 1MB for 1-2 minutes of talking.

These apps dont allow you to make calls from your native dialer, as you have to call from GVConnect. Your contacts will be able to be used, though as GVConnect should integrate with your address book.

 

If you have an iPhone, go and download the talkatone app and the GVConnect app and set them up for calling using data.

 

 

 

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