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

Wireless

wireless, WiFi, WiMAX, 3G, 4G, EVDO

The VoIP Revolution - from Caveman to VoIP in an Infographic

June 14, 2012

Bria Android Edition Adds Video Calling (Finally!)

June 12, 2012



CounterPath today announced they've added video calling to its Bria Android Edition mobile softphone, which is now available in the Google Play app store. It's been two years since Counterpath for Android was launched, so video calling has been a long time coming.

Video calling for Bria Android Edition supports the H.264 video codec. Interestingly, the video calling feature is an additional "add on" fee to the $7.99 Bria Android app.

Terahertz Wi-Fi Super Speed Breakthrough Coming Soon...

June 8, 2012


Japanese researches have crushed the record for wireless data transmission utilizing the terahertz band, an uncharted part of the electromagnetic spectrum, resulting in 20x better performance than Wi-Fi.

The band makes use of frequencies from about 300 gigahertz (300GHz or about 60 times higher than the current highest Wi-Fi standard) to about 3THz and it lies between the microwave and far-infrared regions of the spectrum. Wait, between microwaves (cook/heat via vibration) and infrared, which can be used to heat or cook things? And you thought cell phone radiation was bad for your brain...

But don't worry, the 20x faster than Wi-Fi data rate is worth cooking a few brain cells! I jest - there is absolutely no evidence terahertz frequencies poses any health risks.

According to the BBC terahertz rays or "T-rays" can "penetrate many materials as effectively as X-rays but deposit far less energy and therefore cause less damage." Well, there you have it - the BBC says it causes less damage than X-rays, so it must be safe.






Polkast 2.0 Improves on P2P Personal Cloud Access to Your Files

May 31, 2012

Polkast, a personal cloud service that connects computers and mobile devices through a secure peer-to-peer connection, today announced Polkast 2.0, available on Windows, Mac OSX, iOS and Android devices. Polkast 2.0 includes several new features and a Pro subscription version.

I tried out their service recently and it works very well. It reminds me of Orb, although Orb caches thumbnails and filenames of your photos, music files, and videos on their web server. Privacy advocates may not like this.

The New In Your Face Facebook Ads - Coming Soon!

May 21, 2012

After Facebook's disastrous IPO leading some to speculate Facebook's actual worth is in the $16-$24 range, it's worth examining what went wrong. Was it the Nasdaq computer glitches, which some claim resulted in $100 million in losses to investment firms? Perhaps a small factor. Was the initial stock price too high?

Telefonica Launches Skype Competitor Tu Me

May 9, 2012

Telefónica today launched a new mobile app called Tu Me, which essentially takes the approach if you can't beat Skype, join em'. Tu Me features texts, voice calls, messages, and location and photo sharing - all free of charge, with the caveat that it uses your data plan more, so it isn't technically "free" unless you are on an unlimited data plan or you use free Wi-Fi hotspots most of the time.

The app is currently only available on iOS however Android is coming. Tu Me enables communication and sharing between mobile phones, recording every interaction through a searchable timeline, obviously borrowing some elements from the Facebook social network and others.

There are some major caveats with this app.



Viber Announces BlackBerry Beta and Windows Phone 7 Beta

May 8, 2012


Viber today announced the availability of Viber for BlackBerry Beta and Windows Phone 7 Beta.

Both Viber for BlackBerry Beta and Viber for Windows Phone 7 Beta initially offer Viber Messaging, allowing users to exchange text and high-quality photo messages and share locations with other Viber users. The beta does not yet include their HD VoIP calling. Some may call this a bit premature beta since Viber is a known as a mobile VoIP app not a standalone IM app, but I'll give them a pass to bringing some early love to these two platforms.

Viber seamlessly integrates with the devices' interface, with no registration required, instantly identifying existing contacts who already have Viber installed so users do not need to go through a “friend request” process. According to Viber, "the full release for both platforms, including Viber’s signature HD-quality free voice calling, will be released as soon as it meets Viber’s quality standards."




Ooma Telo Review

May 4, 2012


Back in 2007 I wrote an article "Ooma goes Booma" because Ooma's claim-to-fame feature was that it worked by 'sharing' your PSTN analog phone line with other Ooma users. I was right that this PSTN sharing feature and business model wouldn't work, so certainly that did go "Booma". However, 5 years later after dropping the PSTN sharing and moving to a VoIP-centric business model Ooma has redeemed themselves with some really cool features. Ooma is a low-cost phone service provider similar to magicJack, netTALK, and Vonage in many ways, but with some key differentiating features.

The first big difference of note is that unlike the other three aforementioned phone providers, rather than charge a monthly flat rate for service and per-minute costs for calls, Ooma only charges for the initial hardware - $199 Ooma Telo, +$50.99 for Wireless adapter, +$29.99 for Bluetooth adapter and then they only charge you the taxes and local fees for calls in the United States.


Ooma Telo installed - Ooo Look, Shiny Bright Blue LEDs!

April 26, 2012

RingCentral Cloud Touch Platform - Configure Phone System from iPad, iPhone, or Android

April 18, 2012


Imagine being able to record prompts, configure IVR/auto-attendant, and remove a disgruntled employee's access to your phone system all while sitting on a beach - simply using your tablet or mobile device. That's exactly what RingCentral's Cloud Touch Platform does and they proudly claim this touch-enabled phone system configuration platform "Reimagines Business Phone Systems". They may just be right.

Founded in 2003, RingCentral (>1000 employees) is by far the largest cloud-based phone system with RingCentral's Naveen Gupta, Chief Product Officer, claiming "hundreds of thousands of paying customers". AT&T and Rogers resells RingCentral's platform, which partly explains their impressive customer base.

The RingCentral Touch platform enables businesses to setup, manage and use their phone system from a smart mobile device.




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