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


VoIP news, trends, and opinions, VoIP reviews. Covering Asterisk, Cisco, Grandstream, Polycom, Microsoft, Vonage, Packet8, etc.

OBi202 Review

August 31, 2012

Obihai's line of VoIP products that allow users to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) instead of being locked to specific VoIP hardware has made Obihai a hit with fans of BYOD. Further, Obihai's analog telephone adapter (ATA) products offer both SIP and Google Voice connectivity making it a very versatile device choice to host your various phone service providers. Obihai's products can even give you FREE unlimited phone minutes to anywhere in the U.S. by leveraging Google Voice's 100% free calling.

Obihai sent me the OBi202 and the new OBiBT Bluetooth adapter for a review and I have to say I was very impressed.

ooVoo Launches 4-Screen Multi-Party Video for Apple iOS & Android

August 21, 2012

ooVoo, a competitor to Skype today announced 4-way video chat that works on iOS and Android devices. I had a chance to speak with ooVoo representatives to discuss the news and of course, I used ooVoo during our conference call, as seen here:

ooVoo, is a large social video-chat provider with 54 million registered subscribers.  With the launch of ooVoo’s new mobile apps with support for 4 simultaneous video streams, they are currently the only major video conferencing product offering this - and for free.

Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI How-To Install

August 20, 2012

So you want to try out the new Skype Metro/Modern UI on Windows 8 do ya? Well so do I, so last week I found out how to download and install a leaked copy of Skype for Windows 8.

1. Download the file from here. (Ironic Microsoft wants to kill the name Metro yet their Skype team is still using it for their filenames!

Windows 8 Broke my TAPI Dialing But Problem Solved!

August 17, 2012

I often use TAPI within Outlook to click-to-dial my contacts through our Asterisk-based PBX. This is an under-appreciated feature that more users should take advantage of considering most PBXs support TAPI TSPs.

However, after upgrading my Windows 7 machine to Windows 8 a couple days ago, this functionality stopped working. This feature allows me to simply view/search for an Outlook Contact, right-click the Contact, and then choose the number I want to dial, as seen here:

Instantly, my IP phone rings and I'm connected to the remote phone number. Fortunately, me and TAPI go way back.

Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI Leaks

August 17, 2012

Microsoft / Skype is hard at work developing a cool Metro "Modern UI" version of Skype, the new Windows 8 tile-based touch-enabled interface. An image of the Skype Metro style app leaked to Twitter  demonstrating how the Microsoft/Skype team has optimized Skype for Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets coming to market.

Cult of Mac likes it, but isn't pleased Apple tablets will be getting the short shaft and not be able to leverage this new UI. It sports the usual voice and video features, but also pinned favorites and a sidebar to display status and message history.

According to Neowin, "The UI is fluid and dare we say fast too.

Auto-Provision VoIP Softphone with QR Code

August 10, 2012

Zoiper, creators of SIP and IAX clients for Apple iOS and Android. has a novel idea of leveraging QR codes to auto-provision VoIP softphone clients. No more typing the SIP registrar, username, password, etc. Their softphone client allows end users to self-provision their VoIP service accounts simply by taking a picture with the device camera to scan a QR code.

From the Ziper mobile app you click the QR icon and the screen then switches to “QR scan mode” where it can capture the image generated by the VoIP provider.

Microsoft Surface = Threat to IP Phone Market

August 6, 2012

Microsoft has already irked some of their hardware partners with Microsoft getting into the hardware business via their pending Microsoft Surface product launch later this year. Perhaps lost in the battle between Microsoft and their PC/laptop/tablet hardware partners is the pending battle that I predict between Microsoft and their Lync phone hardware partners, such as snom and Polycom.

In 2011, I wrote an article discussing how the Apple iPad (and also Android tablets) will be your next desktop IP phone. More recently, last month I wrote how the Microsoft Surface tablet could also be a game changer in the IP phone market:
This touch support [in Windows 8] will give Microsoft an advantage is fulfilling my prediction that tablets will replace the desktop phone. Windows 8 tablets running Lync will become the ultimate unified communications device, performing everything from your traditional voice (VoIP) to HD video conferencing, as well as collaboration, instant messaging, and all the other typical UC features.

FreedomPop for iPod Touch - Free 4G Internet Coming!

July 25, 2012

Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom's new FreedomPop, a 4G broadband "free" wireless internet provider, which recently announced FREE 4G wireless internet for iPhone using the Freedom Sleeve 4G for iPhone 4/4s will soon launch the Freedom Sleeve for the iPod Touch. Yeah, that's right, I said FREE 4G wireless internet - with some small caveats of course...

Kerio Operator 2.0 IP-PBX Integrates with CRM

July 24, 2012

July of last year Kerio launched a new Asterisk-based distribution and now almost exactly one year later Kerio Operator 2.0 is being announced with support for integration with popular CRM solutions, including SugarCRM and Kerio Operator 2.0 now enables access to the Asterisk Management Interface (AMI). The open API allows 3rd party applications, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems and desktop-based dialers, to be integrated with Kerio Operator.

Lync Server 2013 Adds Skype Federation & Many Other New Features

July 23, 2012

Lync Server 2013 can federate with Skype, which is huge new feature that greatly enhances Microsoft's UC portfolio and may explain the $8.5 billion premium Microsoft paid for Skype. You can now fully integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype. Alas, only voice and no video support yet.  In May I discussed how Xbox 360 integration with Skype was slow going, so Skype federation with Microsoft Lync is welcome news.

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