One iPhone, Two Different Numbers, Courtesy Of Toktumi’s Line2 App [Review]


Toktumi's Line2 app adds a second number to your iPhone that's all business.

Last year I signed up for a landline phone for my office. I wish I hadn’t for two reasons:

1. No one calls me.

2. Toktumi’s Line2 iPhone app, which adds a second, distinct number to my iPhone.

With a service like Line2, there’s no need for a physical phone at my place of work. I give my Line2 number to all my contacts, and it’s just like having a phone at work — except this office phone is always with me.

Like most people, I don’t like giving out my iPhone number for work but I do it all the time. But when the Line2 number rings, I know it’s a business call. I can route it straight to voicemail, or use the sophisticated Auto Attendtant to make my little company look big and important. “Dial one for the news desk,” it says, “or dial two for advertising and sales.” There’s no telling that both departments are one and the same: me.

Incoming calls on Line2 ring your iPhone whether the app is running or not.

Toktuni’s Line2 iPhone App is the easiest way to get another number that’s all business on your iPhone.
[xrr rating=4/5]

Cult of Mac Black Turtleneck rating system:

5: Insanely Great! • 4: Steve Approves • 3: Needs Work • 2: Sugared Water • 1: Dogsh*t frosting

Model: Line2
Company: Toktumi
Compatibility: iPhone and iPod Touch
List Price: $0.99 for the app, $14.95 a month for service

Pitched at business users, Line2 is a one of several VoIP apps for the iPhone, but is perhaps the most sophisticated thanks to its enterprise-level virtual PBX.

It competes most directly with Google Voice for Mobile, which Apple has consigned to App Store limbo pending an ongoing FCC investigation. Meanwhile, Apple has approved Toktumi’s Line2 not just the iPhone but also the iPod touch, turning the iPt into a sophisticated Wi-Fi softphone.

The Line2 app costs $0.99. Service is $14.95 after a free 30-day trial. There’s no long-term contract.

The Line2 app can provide a local number, an 800-number, or you can transfer an existing number. It offers unlimited calls in the U.S. and Canada and cheap international rates. There’s no SMS, however, which Google Voice does offer.

The app is true dual mode (VoIP/Cellular) for both inbound and outbound calling. That means it rings and makes calls wherever you have any kind of reception, making it very useful for people who live or work in dead cell zones. One of the reasons I got the landline for the office was because AT&T’s cell connection was dodgy in the building. But when there’s no cell, Line2 automatically switches to Wi-Fi — you don’t have to think about it.

Line2 rings the phone as normal whether the app is up and running or not. This is the big deal breaker for other VoIP apps like Skype, which have to be running to announce incoming calls. Line2 is also the first VoIP app that doesn’t quit if a regular iPhone call comes in. You just dismiss the incoming call and continue your conversation.

The app's settings are easy and self-evident.

It has an easy-to-understand UI, visual voicemail, and a powerful contact management system that integrates nicely with Address Book.

For business users, the big attraction is the sophisticated online PBX system. Configured through the browser, it offers a host of advanced call-routing features like call screening, auto attendant, do not disturb, conferencing, and after hours call handling.

I just scratched the surface setting up an auto attendant that rang various phones my family owns depending on what extension the caller dials. After watching a short screencast, it was pretty easy to set up. The only glitch was that the browser hung a few times in both Google Chrome and Safari. I just refreshed the page and continued. Toktumi says the system is optimized for Interent Explorer and will soon be tweaked for other browsers. After setting it up, however, I was delighted that it worked flawlessly.

Importing my contacts was a breeze, and the system scanned each number to categorize them as “business” or personal,” a first step towards setting up call-routing rules. You can, for example, route all business calls to the auto attendant and all personal calls to ring your various phones until the system tracks you down.

In fact, the online PBX has too many features for a small outfit like mine. You can set up a complete virtual office phone system with rule-based call routing, dial-by-name directories and centralized billing. It seems ideally suited to a de-centralized, online enterprise that is spread all over with dozens of staff and several departments.

For business users, Line2 adds a lot of value to mobile VoIP, especially the full-featured and easy-to-configure PBX. It might be overkill for personal users however, who are unlikely to use half the features. Nonetheless, it may be worth dipping your toes into mobile VoIP while waiting for Google Voice to emerge from invite-only beta — although given the rancor between Apple and Google, it’s unlikely to be ever approved for the App Store.

Line2 has detailed call history and visual voicemail. Shame no one calls me.
  • Qecllc

    No way to connect existing office phones to Toktumi.

  • Vasudeva Varma

    hi all, i have a small doubt i have a land line and and iphone if any outgoing is made from that land line can i have and intimation to my iphone or else can i parallely listen wht is the conversation going on with my landline phone…..

  • Reneortiz94

    Say I have a nice xbox 360 60gb 2 controllers all I want is 150

  • merry

    What no one seems to be mentioning in reviews of Line2 is that when Line2 says it “can provide a local number… or you can transfer an existing number,’ that people will have to dial 1, then the area code, then the “local” number. If a person calling your business sees that you have a “local” number and they dial just the seven digits (without the area code and the 1 preceding it) they will get an automated message that says “the number you have called is not in service.” Maybe in big cities where one may have to dial ten or eleven digits this would be fine, but in smaller cities where only needing to dial seven digits when dialing locally, it is a hassle that can’t be overcome. How are your clients supposed to know that even though your number is “local” they have to treat as if it were long distance. Until Line2 gets that figured out it’s pretty useless for my professional purposes! P.S. I was hoping that Line2 would be the solution to turning my iPod Touch into an iPhone… but, alas, no!

  • geezer

    I’m a new Line2 subscriber and had planned to port my number – when I read the above I became quite alarmed, as what you describe would clearly be a problem for me too.

    But I just tested calling my Line2-assigned local number by dialling only the 7 digits (i.e. without area code or 1), and it rang through just fine (thank goodness).

    Perhaps there was an earlier problem they’ve now fixed?