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This article was published on July 12, 2008


Truphone VoIP app for the iPhone: not bad for a first try

Truphone VoIP app for the iPhone: not bad for a first try
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

After using an oldtimer phone for too long, I feel liberated today due to my recent acquisition of the iPhone. Ok, I realize this might sound awkward, as the shiny object is one of the most lockedin devices of this era – yet some of the new phone possibilities just really turn me into an even happier guy than I normally am. The most recent example? Truphone’s latest iPhone app.

Truphone is a similar service like Nimbuzz, Fring, and a dozen of other mobile VoIP start-ups, and the first one to launch a VoIP application for the iPhone 3G. This is absolutely marvelous, as it allows you to save a stack of euros on calls abroad. Calls to any landline anywhere in the world are just 6 cents per minute, to mobile is 15 cents per minute. Note please that we’re talking about dollar cents here, so we basically get a 30 percent discount on the fare. On one condition though: you need to have access to wifi, as iPhone VoIP apps aren’t allowed to use 3G.


Screenshots from iPhone app store

After the simple activation process – confirm a call, login on the Truphone site, and validate email – I gave the app a shot. To keep it simple and clear, here’s a list of pro and cons.

Pro’s

  • Truphones merges into the iPhone seamlessly, as it has almost the same UI as the iPhone’s phone application
  • The sound quality is really good, sometimes crystal clear.
  • Contacts are imported, so you can easily dial up your friends
  • You get a four dollar credit to start with, thanks Truphone!
  • A friend told me that when I called him with Truphone, he saw my regular number on the screen.

Cons

  • When you receive a regular incoming call, your Truphone conversation is instantly killed
  • Your elite contacts, “favorites”, aren’t imported
  • No speaker phone option

Although the pro’s list is somewhat longer, the first con really sucks. I have to start every Truphone conversation with apologies, as the call might be terminated by an incoming call. Hence I won’t use the Truphone application for important calls abroad.

All in all, the Truphone iPhone app is a first good try and it will certainly help you to save money, especially when you live in Europe. Let’s hope they can find a way to stop those incoming calls, so Truphone can say they’re the iPhone 3G VoIP winner.