Over a year ago, when Skype’s iOS app was finally upgraded with the ability to work as a backgrounded app, it was a big step in the direction of untethering voice communications from the telcoms. Today marks the next big step in that direction, as both Skype’s iPhone and iPad app add Bluetooth support.
I’ve worked at a few desks that used Cisco VoIP phones (one in the Wired.com offices among them); but something like the new Invoxia NVX 610 iPhone-controlled conference phone may eventually turn conventional handsets — even VoIP ones — into relics.
Beating Skype to the iPad by just one day, VoIP app Fring is now available as a universal app on the iOS App Store, and it has one big advantage over Skype: not only can it work as an IM client, playing nice with Facebook, MSN Messenger, GTalk and more, but it’s also the first iPad app to support group video-calling over WiFi and 3G.
A fantastic update to a fantastic app. You can download it here.
VoIP service VoxOx thought its rebranding at CES — which includes a massive effort to unify almost every method of communication known to man, and new features like being able to pick your own phone number for free — was such a big deal, they had an army of extras with duct-taped mouths following around an alien who gave away “dozens” (according to VoxOx) of iPhones at the show.
In fact, the PR stunt attracted so much attention it detracted from VoxOx’s actual message about all the neat stuff they’ve bundled into their reworked desktop app, and that they’re well on the way to having an iPhone app out, pending Apple’s approval (and as should be expected, VoxOx says they’ve focused on putting out an iPhone app ahead of any possible Android app).
Here’s the big picture about some of the new features; everything — apart from some outgoing calls — is free:
Obihai Technology, a tiny Cupertino start-up, this month brought to market its first product, the OBi110 — an unassuming $70 box with blinky lights that may well prove to be the most disruptive telephony device to come along in a decade.
The OBi110 is the physical hub in a multi-layered communications model the company believes can revolutionize the way consumers use their mobile, Internet and fixed-line telephony services, bringing emerging social networking behaviors together with maturing Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to create total communication freedom at the personal level.
With web and mobile-based software products, including an iPhone app presently in Beta testing, Obihai is poised to show the millions of consumers who’ve bought magicJacks and all 237 of them who’ve bought an Ooma just how IP telephony can be done.