iOS/Android: Free messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Viber are handy for free messaging to other people with the same app installed, but what happens when you want to make a call to someone on a regular number? FooTalk is a newly-launched VOIP app which offers relatively cheap rates for calls.
Prepaid calling cards can be a good way to use the landline for international calls when you’re staying with family at Christmas, but you need to make sure you pick the right one. An analysis of calling cards by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) found that 40 per cent of cards on the Australian market had “significant problems”.
One argument sometimes used against voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone services is that they don’t always identify your location when you make a call to the 000 emergency number. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is taking TPG to court for a more fundamental problem: a six-month period where some of TPG’s phone subscribers apparently couldn’t access 000 at all.
One of the key requirements under the new Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code is for mobile phone providers to specify how many 2-minute calls you could make on each plan they offer. That won’t be a requirement until March 1 next year, but we can easily perform that calculation ourselves right now.
Primus has two new phone plans, Passport Easy 50 Countries and Lingo 50 Countries, that offer “unlimited” calls to international numbers in 50 countries. Are they good value? We’ve crunched the numbers and checked the conditions.
iOS: Calls to 13 and 1800 numbers are cheap from a landline, but cost a lot if you have to call from a mobile. App 13save automatically looks up the landline equivalents for common 13 and 1800 numbers so you can call them at lower standard rates.
If you want to send an email or text message to one of your contacts, you probably head into the contacts app to do so. In fact, you can contact your friends from nearly any app that accesses them, just by tapping their contact photo.
The integration of phone calling into Gmail was supposed to be a US-only feature, but it turns out that anyone who sets their language to US English in Gmail can also use the service to make calls (including free calls to US numbers). However, be careful when using Gmail for calling or you might accidentally switch it off.