If you’re a Google Voice lover, there is a pretty good chance you’ll jump at the opportunity to install the latest leaked version. Not only does it contain ever-exciting unspecified changes since it’s a new version, it also brings homescreen widgets. Something most people have been waiting for, the widgets allow shortcuts for composing a text message, seeing your Google Voice calling balance, settings access, and the ability to toggle Google Voice. It all comes from the leaked ROM for the T-Mobile G2, made by HTC, that’s been making the rounds lately. Going to give a go? We’re loading up the .apk now! More →
According to recent survey, New Yorkers literally don’t have time to talk on their cell phones. In terms of rank, New York is #15 in the nation for total number of calls, yet almost dead last in terms of actual call durations. If you’re from New York, you’re probably shaking your head in agreement as we’re most likely to take a call while doing seven hundred other things; say what we have to say, and jump off. What state would you guess holds the title for most prolific cellphone users? That would be Georgia. Because everyone is friendly in Georgia. Some more quick data from the study: teens send almost 3,000 text messages a month, and women talk on the phone 22% more than men. Though I doubt anyone is surprised by those last figures… More →
Google hath tweeted that their new integrated Gmail calling feature announced yesterday has already seen 1,000,000 phone calls placed in just under 24-hours. The new service allows users to place VoIP calls — right from within the browser — to the U.S. and Canada free of charge and for very affordable rates to other countries around the world. We’ve been playing with the new feature and we have to say, it’s pretty impressive. Have you tried it? Thoughts? More →
Well that didn’t take long. This morning we told you about a rumor that Google was working on a feature that would allow Gmail users to call residential and mobile phones right from within the web-based email client. Now, five hours later, that feature has become official. As Google explains:
Starting today, you can call any phone right from Gmail.
Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year and calls to other countries will be billed at our very low rates. We worked hard to make these rates really cheap (see comparison table) with calls to the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan—and many more countries—for as little as $0.02 per minute.
Dialing a phone number works just like a normal phone. Just click “Call phone” at the top of your chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name.
We’ve been testing this feature internally and have found it to be useful in a lot of situations, ranging from making a quick call to a restaurant, to placing a call when you’re in an area with bad reception.
If you have a Google Voice phone number, calls made from Gmail will display this number as the outbound caller ID. And if you decide to, you can receive calls made to this number right inside Gmail (see instructions).
We’re rolling out this feature to U.S. based Gmail users over the next few days, so you’ll be ready to get started once “Call Phones” shows up in your chat list (you will need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already). If you’re not a U.S. based user—or if you’re using Google Apps for your school or business—then you won’t see it quite yet. We’re working on making this available more broadly—so stay tuned!
Hit the jump for a funky, promotional video explaining just how far phone technology has come. More →
One of our Verizon Wireless sources has just forwarded us an internal email detailing some data issues in the Midwest. According to the email, the issue affects only data, not voice, and is currently happening in over 3 states. Additionally, it looks like there is an issue with “RIM’s Switch” that is playing with the emotions of all carriers nationwide, not just Verizon. How you looking out there BGR friends? Phones working ok?
Today, Vonage announced the Vonage Mobile application for Facebook. The new app will allow users to, “make free mobile calls to all of their Facebook friends who [also] have the app [installed], anywhere in the world, directly from their friends list, with a single touch.” The application is currently available for the Android and iPhone platforms, works on Wi-Fi as well as 3G/4G, and — obviously — requires a Facebook account. The Vonage Mobile app will automatically import and categorize your Facebook friends-list by who is available for voice calls versus text chat. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Skype is going World Cup crazy by offering a promotion to help football fans the world over stay connected. Offering free landline calls in multiple countries (more on that in a second), U.S. residents will get a bit of extra love with free mobile calling for a month. Thirty countries are included in the promotion, and depending upon which country you call you will receive 60, 120, or unlimited free minutes of calling, so be sure to check out Skype’s blog for the full details. More →
Look, we’re pretty sure most of you out there have tried this a couple times or are at least familiar with the concept — you use a VoIP service which routes your call through a server that’s usually using Asterisk — you can have any number show up on the outgoing caller ID. Unfortunately for you malicious and deceiving individuals out there, Congress has just passed the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2010, and it makes it 100% illegal to use a service like this. Here’s the breakdown:
To cause any caller ID service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, with the intent to defraud and deceive.
There are exceptions for blocking your own caller ID and for law enforcement usage. In the past, as we’ve understood, this was a grey area, but it was still considered against the law to spoof someone else’s number. Though, we had heard that if you spoofed your own number, it wasn’t illegal (say you’re at the beach drinking a Mojito and need to call a client, you can spoof your office phone number from your cell phone), so we’ll have to see how this pans out. Sorry, SpoofCard.
In addition to T-Mobile also waiving long distance charges to call Haiti from the U.S., we’ve been told Verizon is actually going back and crediting customers who have called Haiti since last Tuesday. Nice one, VZW.
Seriously… Crushed. MetroPCS is among a handful of smaller carriers here in the US that continues to make waves and this morning the tiny scrapper knocked one clear out of the park. If you live in a MetroPCS-covered area of the US and make any international calls whatsoever, you should be very interested to learn of the carrier’s new $5 unlimited international calling plan. $5 — unlimited to over 100 different countries. Untouchable. The new unlimited international add-on requires an unlimited national calling plan of $40, $45 or $50 per month, which is hardly unreasonable. MetroPCS CEO Roger D. Linquist had this to say:
Unlimited international calling at such an affordable rate can dramatically reduce monthly long distance costs and is yet another example of MetroPCS’ commitment to providing industry-leading value to consumers in today’s tough economic climate. MetroPCS is eliminating the worry of high international calling fees, counting minutes and dialing a connecting number, typical of traditional calling cards. With MetroPCS’ international calling, consumers are truly unlimited now more than ever.
Verizon Wireless is moving right along with its integration of Alltel. As of yesterday, January 16th, Verizon Wireless customers can now call and text message certain Alltel customers for free as part of Verizon’s IN Calling and IN Messaging. To find out if the Alltel number is supported, Verizon customers can go to Verizon’s new Mobile to Mobile web page. Unfortunately, Alltel customers will continue to be billed according to their current plan for calls placed to Verizon customers until the two companies have merged operations. Starting February 15th, Verizon will also drop the “IN” moniker and rename the service as Mobile to Mobile calling and Mobile to Mobile messaging. Say goodbye to all those catchy “IN” slogans!
MyGlobalTalk hit us up to let us know about their new VoIP application for BlackBerrys. Since they are just getting started and really want feedback from the community, we’re exclusively giving away 1000 free accounts, each with $50 of international talk time on them! We doubt they will last long, but it’s open to any BGR reader. Just jump on over to their site, install the app, and you will have $50 already in your new account. Not too bad huh? We’ve just started playing with the application but the concept is great. Hey, who could say something bad about $0.02 cent calling to London? But if you do download and install the app, make sure you give them feedback so they can polish everything and make it better, ‘kay?