Skype and other VoIP Apps on Mobile Phones

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Randy Savicky
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Skype and other VoIP Apps on Mobile Phones

It seems new software comes out daily that enables you to run a VoIP application, such as Skype, on your mobile phone natively, through a bridged gateway, or using the Skype API. While Skype is certainly the most popular VoIP application, other software solutions exist that use the SIP standard. Still others provide SIP-to-Skype bridging capabilities. I thought it would be useful to have a rundown of the various solutions out there.

SoonR TalkSoonR Talk - I broke the news about this first software application to enable VoIP on the Apple iPhone. It features a nice clean interface that emulates the Skype client look and feel, as seen in the screenshot to the right. The way it works is that the AJAX interface acts as a remote control for your computer where the SoonR service is installed along with Skype. There is nothing to install on your phone because SoonR Talk uses a browser that supports AJAX. You simply login into SoonR website.

IM+ for SkypeShape Services' IM+ for Skype - lets you run Skype on the iPhone with their IM+ for Skype application. IM+ for Skype, also works on the iPod touch. The beauty of IM+ for Skype is that it doesn't even require Skype to be running on your PC - it leverages the Skype API and servers run by the IM+ for Skype folks (Shape Services). You can find out more info in my Skype on the Apple iPod touch article.

SIP to Skype calls - Check out my article here for a how-to step-by-step guide that lets you deliver SIP calls directly to Skype. Essentially you can have a SIP DID number ring your Skype client. The workaround uses Net2Max.com's One Click Contact number (1CC number) to make this possible.

SippySkype - Java software that allows you to make and receive Skype calls from your SIP/VoIP adapter or SIP softphone. Basically it's a Skype/SIP Bridge/Gateway/Proxy. You'll need a SIP client on your mobile phone for this to work. But assuming your mobile phone can run a SIP client, you can make SIP-to-Skype calls.

iPhoneGnome on iPhone iPhoneGnome, enables PhoneGnome calling from your iPhone. You can call other PhoneGnome numbers as well as anyone using SIP-based services, FWD, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, and any other numbers that you can call from your PhoneGnome account.

I should stress that there are non-Skype VoIP apps that run on mobile phones, many of which target the Apple iPhone, but not all. This next example, Jajah does support the iPhone, but they actually support any mobile phone.

Jajah iPhoneJajah - They have several mobile phone-to-VoIP solutions available. There's the JAJAH Apple iPhone and iPod Touch App. There's Jajah Direct, which allows you to simply dial a local access number to talk globally - no Internet or data access needed and you can skip having to dial from your PC using VoIP software (i.e. Skype). There's also the Jajah native SIP client. And of course there's Jajah Mobile Web (http://mobile.jajah.com) which gives you one-click access to their free or low-cost global calling service, directly from the browser, which works with any mobile phone with web access since no application download is needed.

truphone configure truphone - truphone has native VoIP applications for several mobile phones. It currently works on many of the popular Nokia N-series (eg, N95) and E-series phones (eg, E90). truphone leverages the SIP standard for all of their softclients. Also, truphone supports the Apple iPhone and was the first to offer a true 100% native VoIP application on the iPhone. You have to jailbreak your iPhone to install it though.

Hipsip Sipcall - This is an exciting new offering currently in beta. They offer a free Skype and SIP calling service called Hipsip that works from any mobile phone's web browser. You simply install their bridging software on your PC and then from your mobile phone you can access Hipsip and call any Skype or SIP user. The software will make a cell phone call to a local Hipsip number automatically. Hipsip converts the call to VoIP and bridges the call with the Skype or SIP user you dialed. (Hat tip to Markus Göbel for discovering this software and for the screenshot. Go check out his recent write-up!)

Talkplus on Windows MobileTalkplus - unique mobile phone service that leverages VoIP, identity management, scheduling/contact rules, and other advanced business/personal processes that make your mobile experience more productive while enabling privacy controls. TalkPlus gives cell phone users a 2nd virtual phone number with powerful accessibility and privacy rules while leveraging the cost savings of VoIP termination. TalkPlus's patented technology is network agnostic, and supports standard cell phones that support the BREW and JAVA platforms. They also support native clients for Nokia phones, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Palm. TalkPlus is also WAP compliant which virtually all mobile phones support. One interesting thing I talked about at ITEXPO with Talkplus CEO Jeff Black is that TalkPlus has built their own Skype gateway. In fact, when pressed further, Jeff mentioned they actually reverse engineered Skype's protocol. Although the Skype gateway isn't part of TalkPlus's launch today, Jeff explained that they have tested it in their labs and it's working very well.

iSkootiSkoot  - lets you call your buddy list from your mobile phone without needing your PC. iSkoot software is simply a software download to your mobile phone to enable you to make Skype calls. Supported phones include Nokia Series 60 handsets: 6600, 6620, 6630, 6670, 6680, 6682, 7610, N70. They also support Motorola
RAZR, Treo, and Nokia Series 40 handsets. Windows Mobile and Blackberry phones are also supported. iSkoot Mobile Network allows consumers to place and receive Internet calls with their mobile phones without the need for PCs or Wi-Fi hot spots.

Mobivox VoxGirlMobivox - Mobivox allows you to make free calls to other Skype users as well as free calls to other Mobivox users. What's unique about Mobivox is they offer 3 ways of initiating a call using ANY mobile phone. First, you can call a local access number and VoxGirl asks you which number you want to dial. Using speech-recognition it will connect the call. Second, you can use web call back. Logon to your Mobivox account and click who you want to call and Mobivox will connect you both. Third, using SMS you can 'text' MOBIVOX the name of the person or number you wish to call. VoxGirl will call you back and connect you.

Fringfring - It's a thin client that allows you to talk & IM via your handset's Internet connection to other mobile phones and PC-based services such as Skype, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, SIP and Twitter for free. It also unifies all of your various contacts across all of these IM/VoIP networks so you can use a single app to view presence and initiate chat sessions or voice calls. It works on Nokia and Windows Mobile phones. You can also share files using fring.

eqo skypeeqo mobile-to-Skype solution - Essentially, eqo acts as the "glue" betwen online communities such as LinkedIn, MySpaces, orkut, or Skype with mobile carriers such as T-Mobile, Cingular, Vodaphone, etc. Their architecture is a patent pending core IP that uses proprietary call signaling, that is P2P-based and cross device/network domain. It leverages mobile data (SMS) to control the signalling and the mobile voice network for the media stream to the mobile phone, so you don't need the Skype client running on your cell phone. Essentially, their software client is a J2ME application that resides on your cell phone and which keeps your buddy list synched with Skype. eqo did a good job at keeping the application small since it's only a 121k JAR file, most of which is the graphics for the user interface. Their latest client, which still runs on Java compatible phones, lets you make VoIP calls, as well as instant message across networks (MSN, Yahoo, AIM, GoogleTalk, ICQ, Jabber).

And there you have it. Several ways to VoIP on your mobile phone using both Skype and non-Skype VoIP solutions. What's your favorite mobile VoIP application? Post a comment...


Related Articles to 'Skype and other VoIP Apps on Mobile Phones'
ebuddy-iphone.jpg
fring-make-call-types.JPG
truphone-ipod-touch.jpg
nimbuzz-iphone.jpg

Featured Events