iSoftPhone VoIP App for the iPhone?

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Tom Keating
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iSoftPhone VoIP App for the iPhone?

Ah yes, the hype surrounding the Apple iPhone continues unabated, including my posting about Skype on the iPhone, which was picked up by both Engadget and Gizmodo, topping my referral traffic charts yesterday.

Now it seems XNet wishes to leverage the iPhone hype with their latest iSoftPhone release, which at first glance looks eerily similar to the Apple iPhone. In fact, it looks like it's a VoIP application running on the iPhone. Great Scott! First I discover Skype on the iPhone and now another VoIP app? Well, don't get too excited - I've written about iSoftphone before, and it's only an iPhone "skin". The iSoftPhone actually does run on Mac OS X which the Apple iPhone technically is based upon. However, the software won't run on the iPhone.

In any event, version 1.4 of iSoftPhone is a nice upgrade from previous releases and is one of the better SIP softphone clients for the Mac. It takes advantage of Apple's Bonjour technology to allow iSoftPhone users to easily connect with each other. Users can use Bonjour to detect other users within their own network environment using the same SIP provider. Using Bonjour makes it simple since don't need to add the contacts to the address book, store the phone numbers or actually dial a number, simply double-click the contact to call them or message them.

According to XNet, version 1.4 contains technical improvements to eliminate some user reported issues from particular SIP providers or STUN server configuration issues. They claim that support for Bluetooth devices has been enhanced to provide better sound quality and more reliable performance with these devices. They have also implemented other users suggestions (including DTMF keys) XNet Communications brags,"This is no half-baked Apple Java-compatible program nor is it a port of any Windows or Linux version. This is a pure Mac implementation for Mac users only. Therefore user experience is set on top of the powerful telephony engine."

The quick one-step configuration will allow you to get talking to other iSoftPhone users very quickly. iSoftPhone is integrated with the Mac OS X address book to make calls and manage contacts. You may simply dial the number of the person you wish to talk with or select them from contacts to call. Users may also setup conference calls for multiple contacts. I like that it allows you to login to multiple SIP providers concurrently. They even have a nice wizard to configure popular SIP providers, including Vonage, Broadvoice, Free SIP, SIPphone, Packet8, and more. Now if only Apple would allow actual applications to be installed on the iPhone and not just Web 2.0 apps, this would be a very cool VoIP app for the iPhone!

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