It has been a month and a half since Apple released its record-setting iPhone 4S and users are still plagued by a series of bugs that has made the device unusable for some. BGR was one of the first sites to report on a troubling glitch that causes audio to cut out during voice calls when using a headset, and many users continue to experience very poor battery life despite the recent iOS 5.0.1 update Apple released to address the issue. Another bug that has not been widely reported in recent weeks involves static sounds that are heard during voice calls, and the issue may be more serious than initially believed. Read on for more. More →
American adults still prefer communicating by voice over sending and receiving text messages according to a recent survey conducted by The Pew Research Center. Pew surveyed 2,277 Americans ages 18 and older between April 26th and May 22nd of this year, and found that nearly three-quarters of them send and receive text messages. Despite the increased popularity of text messaging among adults in the U.S., however, only 31% prefer messaging to voice calls. More than half — 53% — said voice calling was their preferred means of communications rather than SMS, and 14% said their preference would depend on the situation. Pew also notes that young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are by far the most active users of text messaging, with the average user in that age range exchanging more than 100 messages each day. More →
Google is taking its sweet time adding new features to Google Voice, but it looks like some big pieces of the puzzle are finally starting to fall into place. Google finished rolling out incoming number portability to all users this past January, and now it looks as though it may soon begin tying in VoIP services. Last week, Gizmo5 users began receiving notification emails saying that the service will soon be shut down. Now, VoIP blog Disruptive Telephony has discovered that VoIP calls can be placed to a Google Voice voice number by appending “@sip.voice.google.com” to create a SIP URI. BGR tested the service earlier today and we could not get it to work, suggesting that Google may currently be rolling out the functionality quietly. This is just the first step in creating a full-fledged VoIP service for Google Voice, but it’s an important first step and one that users have been waiting for since Google acquired GrandCentral in 2007. More →
Google announced Monday the extension of a free calling initiative for U.S.-based Gmail users that was set to expire this month. “In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year,” Google has extended free calling in the U.S. and Canada through the end of 2011. The promotion applies to all calls made from within Gmail, and is completely separate from Google Voice, which also affords free calling to the U.S. and Canada. Gmail’s recently added voice calling feature is thought to be a prelude to the eventual addition of VoIP services to Google Voice. More →
TechCrunch is reporting that popular voice service, Skype, is gearing up for a big cloud-based play. This would presumably include web-based voice-calling, and possibly even video and chat services as well. In addition to the web move, it seems that Skype is starting to focus and set the company’s sights on the enterprise world. With Google Voice now available for Google Apps customers (and some sort of Enterprise-styled Google Voice service possibly coming soon), we’re wondering Skype’s next move here. TechCrunch throws out the concept of having Skype possibly integrated into Microsoft’s cloud offerings, or even possibly extending the Skype relationship with Facebook into something much larger. More →
While a new update to the Yahoo Messenger app on the iPhone would be eventful in and of itself, the latest version brings a very special gift — video calling over 3G, and not just phone to phone, but phone to computer or vice versa. Unfortunately in our quick tests, video calling seems to be buggy, not reliable, and above all, pretty low in the quality department when we do manage to get it working. In addition to video calls, the newly updated Yahoo Messenger brings free voice calls to other Yahoo Messenger friends, supports background multitasking, and more. Let us know if you’re feeling the new update, though we’ll be waiting for real FaceTime calling over 3G. More →
While Google isn’t the type to shake in its booties at the sight of a smaller competitor with a rival product, we’ve spent a bit of time playing with a service the Goog might be wise to keep its eye on: Virtual Phone Numbers by 3jam. The company just announced the public beta availability of this new service today and we have to be honest with you, it wipes the floor with Google Voice in a lot of ways. Of course it falls short in some areas as well, but since it’s a brand new beta we’re hoping to see progress come swiftly. Just like Google Voice, 3jam’s offering provides call forwarding with simultaneous ring, “visual voicemail” available online coupled with email notifications/transcriptions, etc. It also offers several key benefits over Google’s offering however, so GV lovers might want to hit the jump and check it out.