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Zadarma's VoIP solution now works on iPhones.
Zadarma's VoIP solution now works on iPhones.
Photo: bruce mars/Pexels CC

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App Store
Apple apps no longer dominate App Store search results.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Alexa brings free phone calls to iPad

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iPads can now make video calls to Amazon Echo devices.
Photo: Amazon

Although people most often use Alexa to ask about the weather or play music, Amazon’s smart assistant is capable of much more, including connecting with friends and family.  A convenient Alexa calling feature is now available on a range of tablets, including the iPad. This allows the tablet to make voice or video calls to an Amazon Echo.

All that is required is the Amazon Alexa app for iOS (and giving Alexa access to your list of contacts).

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Facebook Messenger App for iOS And Android Gets Voice Messaging Ability, VOIP Testing In Canada

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Today, Facebook updated its Messenger app for both iOS and Android, adding a voice messaging capability to the app on both platforms.

There have also been reports that Facebook has been rolling out a pilot VOIP feature to the Messenger app, which will let users call other Facebook Messenger friends for free, or at least without incurring carrier voice minute debits.

The VOIP option is not available for all users, as the iOS app is the only one with even a mention of the feature in the app description. TechCrunch reported that the pilot program is only available in Canada for now, as well.

If You Bring Your iPhone To Work, Who Owns Your Phone Number When You Leave The Company?

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One often overlooked issue with BYOD is ownership of  mobile phone numbers
One often overlooked issue with BYOD is ownership of mobile phone numbers

A decade ago, your mobile phone number may not have meant much. In the days before number porting, mobile phone numbers were transient. If you switched carriers or moved, you got a new number.

Things are a bit different today. You can take your number with you from one mobile carrier to another, you can port it VOIP services like Vonage, or forwarding services like Google Voice, and you can even port it to a landline phone. Your phone number, much like your personal email address or Twitter account, belongs to you for as long as you want to keep it.

That can create a problem for companies implementing BYOD programs. If an employees bring their own phones, they also bring their own numbers. For many employees, particularly those that are mobile professionals, their mobile number is the go-to number to reach them. When such an employee leaves that company, what happens to his or her phone number?