Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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VoxOx 1.0.1 Released

November 26, 2008

VoxOx just released a new version of their "Universal Communicator", which aims to combine VoIP, video, and social networks. VoxOx aims to take on Skype by offering more social networking features. Last year, I wrote an article titled Skype Could Trump Facebook in Social Networking, but Skype still hasn't added social networking functionality.

In any event, today version 1.0.1 was released, less than a month after their initial launch. I was never able to get the Facebook integration to work, but it was a beta release, so I'm hoping they worked out the kinks.

Here are some new features:

New Additions
• Status field set to your auto-response message when away
• Facebook icons link out to friends' profiles so you can write on their wall, private message them, etc
• View Facebook contact photos from their VoxOx Profile
• Text Message window remembers Mobile Numbers
• Chat to Email window remembers emails addresses

Bug Fixes
• Call-Back (Web and SMS) fully functional
• Fixed Crash bug when ending calls
• Added default group for new contacts to be saved
• Login screen text updated to "Login Automatically"
• Web Portal login back online

Some of the major updates they are working on include a new and improved user interface, more efficient memory utilization, smoother and faster SMS functionality, enhanced Facebook integration, MySpace integration, and Outlook & Mac address book integration.

Calling All Bloggers! Free Blogging on

November 14, 2008

This is a call out to all bloggers out there - Rich Tehrani, my boss has extended an open invitation to bloggers interested in blogging for, a leading communications/telecom site according to Alexa, Quantcast, and others.

Today, TMC launches its Blog Aid program to help people out of work stay in the public eye - in order to improve their hiring prospects in a tough economy. In the last few months, many good marketers, PR people, engineers and others who have been laid off. These potential Blog Aid bloggers have a good deal of quality commentary and information to share which could be very useful to the TMC community of online readers.

TMC is offering these new bloggers - especially those working in the communications and technology industries, a venue to voice their thoughts on the spaces where they have expertise so as to allow them access to the 2-3 million global visitors who come to TMCnet on a monthly basis.
So if you enjoy writing about communications, telecom, VoIP, wireless, unified communications, mobile, etc.

Callpod Drone VoIP Bluetooth Headset

November 14, 2008

Callpod's new Drone USB Bluetooth adapter turns your mobile phone's Bluetooth headset into a headset/mic for your PC or Mac allowing you to receive Skype or other VoIP calls using your high-end Bluetooth headset (Plantronics, Jawbone, etc.). Just connect the Drone into the USB port of your computer, and it will immediately connect with your Bluetooth headset or headphones to provide streaming music and voice over a 100 meter (328ft) range. When a Skype call comes in, Drone switches over to the call automatically. It supports the A2DP (Stereo) Bluetooth profile.

Of course, many PCs and laptops come with Bluetooth built-in, making this device unnecessary.

SkyStone Video Enables Video Skype Gateway

November 3, 2008

Stonevoice has created SkyStone Video, a unique Skype-gateway product that allows video communications between enterprise video solutions from vendors such as Cisco, Sony, and Polycom and the popular Skype software. There are several voice over ip-to-Skype gateways, but this marks the first time someone has created a Video-to-Skype gateway that "bridges" the gap between high quality enterprise video conferencing solutions and Skype.

"Video has become a fundamental need in the day-by-day communications. The technology is now ready to handle video calls and conference calls; however, one fundamental element was missing to take it to the next level: simplicity - says Christian Bongiovanni, CEO of StoneVoice - today, ahead of competition, Stonevoice, has demonstrated its technical excellence and strategic thinking by releasing a unique product worldwide: SkyStone Video that allows standard based video solution interfacing with the Skype world, bringing excellent quality, rich and mobile communications, with extreme simplicity!"

With Skystone Video, Stonevoice has eliminated the Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business barriers.

VoxOx Skype killer?

November 3, 2008

VoxOx is a new unified communications client launched by San Diego based startup TelCentris. Think of it as Skype on steroids since it not only support VoIP, IM, and video conferencing, but it also supports social media, such as Facebook, SMS, fax, e-mail, and content sharing all in one unified desktop application.

VoxOx creates a "meta address book" of contacts from all of a user's disparate communications networks into a single user interface, accessible from any device. To ramp up they are providing a free phone number, along with two initial hours of free talk time. TelCentris' CEO Bryan Hertz is making their API open source in hopes of duplication what Skype has done with Skype Extras and their developer community.

Features include:
  • Full inbound/outbound calling capabilities
  • Voicemail and interactive voice response "personal assistant"
  • Two-way texting
  • Call forwarding and "one-number-follow-me service"
  • Inbound faxing and fax-to-e-mail
  • Landline replacement option
  • Interconnects users to major instant messaging networks (MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk and others), allowing members from different IMs to chat and video conference with each other from one service
  • Integrates with all major social networks, including Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and others
  • Enables flexibility for integrating existing and future applications via its open standards platform

It currently supports Windows and Mac, with Linux support coming soon.

One interesting feature is Call-Back, which is similar to Jajah and a feature lacking in Skype.

fring updates Symbian VoIP client

October 24, 2008

iSkoot for Skype on Google Android

October 23, 2008

iSkoot announced that its mobile application, iSkoot for Skype, is launching in the Android Market, Google's new mobile application store. iSkoot for Skype is the first VoIP solution available in Google's Android Market and of course making it the first VoIP app for the Google Android phone.

I should point out that iSkoot for Skype isn't VoIP over the data 3G connection. It actually uses the GSM voice connection for the voice and uses the 3G data stream for chat, presence, etc.

Vonage slams Skype for not following emergency rules

October 9, 2008

Vonage lays down the smackdown for Skype's refusal to adhere to Ofcom rules, an independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. Last month, Ofcom introduced rules mandating access to emergency services (999 in the United Kingdom) for VoIP providers whose customers make calls that connect to the public switched service.  The rules also specify that caller address information is to be made available to emergency services so that, as far as possible, emergency service operators know where a call is originating from. 

Vonage points out that since it started offering services in the UK in 2005 that all Vonage customers have been able to dial 999.  Vonage also makes available caller address information (CallerID) to emergency operators.

According to Vonage, "Skype is choosing to flout the new rules by claiming that they do not apply and that they could be harmful to public safety. Skype In and Skype Out services offer their customers calls that connect to the public switched service and are therefore caught by Ofcom's new rules." Vonage added, "Skype's statement that compliance could be harmful to public safety is in Vonage's view an abdication of social responsibility - especially when you consider that the telephone provided by Skype is designed to resemble a regular telephone.  To deny consumers the ability to dial 999 is socially irresponsible and potentially very harmful."

Vincent Potier, Managing Director of Vonage UK comments: "This is an absurd position.  How can refusing to allow customers to dial 999 in cases of emergency ever be in the interests of public safety?  It is Skype that is causing harm to public safety, not Ofcom."     

So who's right?

fring Adds VoIP to iPhone

October 4, 2008

fring for iPhone has arrived! I'm a huge fan of fring, which I like to call the Swiss Army knife of VoIP/IM communications since fring works with AOL/AIM, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, Skype, Twitter, Yahoo! Messenger, and SIP registrars/IP-PBXs. I've used fring on my Windows Mobile 6.1 phone to connect to an Asterisk-based IP-PBX using SIP which enabled me to remotely make and receive calls. fring is a currently a free pre-release app free on iTunes.

VoIP using fring is of course restricted to WiFi connections - it won't work over 3G, but still cool nonetheless. Further, according to the apps description in iTunes you can IM over 3G, GPRS, EDGE, or WiFi, so you can use fring as your centralized IM application on your iPhone.

• VoIP (Voice) Calls over WiFi
• Instant Messaging
• Integrated dynamic contact list 
with real-time contact availability
• SIP integration
• Multiple Connection types

Download fring (free app) for iPhone here.

More on Skype for Asterisk

September 25, 2008

Continuing the coverage of the big Skype for Asterisk news I covered earlier today... In a nutshell, the Asterisk server acts as a Skype-to-SIP gateway, a very popular requested feature, mapping Asterisk SIP-based phones onto the Skype network via the Asterisk Skype channel driver. Technically, you could call Asterisk a Skype-to-IAX gateway as well.

So how does it work?

Well, on an inbound call to your Skype username, both your Skype desktop client rings (if running) and your Asterisk IP phone rings. You can take the call using either your PC's Skype software or your IP phone.

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