Truphone, arguably the most persistent VoIP developer for Apple’s mobile products iPhone and iPod Touch, released the 3.0 iteration of its app for the iPod Touch Monday, making a very strong case for the portable gadget as an effective communication device.
Among the improvements in Truphone 3.0 are a faster, slicker UI, improved voice quality, and native support for IM communications using Skype, MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk.
Users with a stable WiFi connection will assuredly enjoy being able to IM using any of those clients from within a single app, as well as make free phone calls to other Truphone users, Skype and Google Talk users. Truphone also offers excellent rates on calls to landlines and worldwide mobile phones.
The upgrade offers improvements to in-app account management that now allow users to:
- See rates before initiating a call
- Display recent call history, showing the exact cost of a just-ended call, how long it lasted, with the ability to see a summary of calls made month by month
- Top up an account balance without the need to access a browser window separately
- Top up an account balance in variety of ways, including credit card or PayPal
- Change calling tariffs within the application.
When Apple introduced the iPod Touch few considered the possibility it might become a communication device, but with the addition of a microphone adapter and the evolution of 3rd party applications developed for the iTunes App Store over the past year, Truphone has done a great job of employing its WiFi connectivity to give iPod Touch owners the added value that comes with being able to make VoIP calls.
Receiving calls through the Truphone app still requires a user to have it open and running, but when Apple introduces a new version of the device’s operating software next week at WWDC, the push notification it will support could change even that limitation.