During my blog perusing today I learned of the newly available Talkatone [iTunes App Store link]. There are a two main reasons I’m psyched about this app.
- It brings VoIP capabilities to my iPhone (and all other iOS 4 devices)
- It brings VoIP capabilities to my iPhone before my Android-loving friend gets it on his Nexus One (He has told me his is “jealy” about this. To that, I say, “lulz.”)
Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Talkatone is free.
It provides Google Voice subscribers with an easy way to both make and receive VoIP calls directly from their iPhone over 3G and WiFi.
You can easily record calls by pressing 4 on the in-app number pad.
Sound quality is, for the most part, pretty good. My friend who helped me test the quality said there was some audio clipping on occasion. I heard the same clipping, but it didn’t adversely affect the overall quality by much. (You can listen to my conversation here: VoIP Test — Talkatone)
The UI of this app is great. Navigating the app is extremely easy and, overall, everything looks great.
As mentioned before, there are some sound quality issues. The issues aren’t terrible, and they certainly aren’t grounds for dismissing Talkatone completely. However, it’s important to keep in mind that people have come to expect near-perfection when it comes to phone-to-phone sound quality. Some folks on the other end of the line from you might not be totally tolerant of some light sound interference.
More annoying than slight crackling and occasional clipping is the expected delay that comes with VoIP calling. During my three test calls using Talkatone, I noticed a delay ranging anywhere from .5 second to 2 seconds. As with the sound clipping issue, this isn’t a deal breaker. In fact, for some people with a limited number of minutes (or none at all, if you’re without a phone but have an iOS 4 enabled iPod or iPad laying around) the delay in sound is likely no big deal. (A silver lining with the delay is that it’s very hard to be interrupted during conversation.)
This is just me being picky, but it would be nice if the calling feature worked with the Edge network. As with most new data-heavy communication apps, you’ll need to be on 3G or WiFi for this to work properly.
My verdict is that this app is a must-have for any Google Voice using iPhone owner. I’d also go so far as saying this is “download right now” app for anyone with an iOS 4 enabled iPod Touch that wants a Google Voice-style “land line” or WiFi-only phone.
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