Hi Lifehacker, My parents live overseas and I’m so frustrated with Skype calls dropping out every two minutes, slap back echo, and other general annoyances. I know it’s free, but will this stop if I use their paid-for service and buy Skype credit to call a landline or mobile phone? What are the best alternatives out there to make a cheap international call?
We all know the feeling, you’re chatting with your friend or even your boss over the internet and you interrupt them awkwardly. A silence ensues as you both try to let each other talk. Then you interrupt each other again and face another awkward silence before sighing collectively at the failure of modern technology to make our modern lives as modern as we want them to be.
Just days after being purchased by Facebook for a cool $19 billion and saying nothing would change, WhatsApp is promising one change later this year: “free” voice calls . Support for voice is a useful addition to any messaging platform, but remember: it won’t be free. Anytime you’re using 3G or 4G, you’ll have to pay for the data.
Android: One of the biggest problems with VoIP apps on mobile phones is that they require you to juggle multiple different apps for calling based on how the person you’re talking to will receive it. Bolt simplifies that by using VoIP when talking to another Bolt user and your regular mobile lan with everyone else.
Chrome: Low-cost calling service Keku has a new Chrome App that gives you the power to assign “local” numbers to your international friends. You can make super-cheap calls one on one or in a group setting, right from your browser.
Skype has added a new video messaging feature to its suite of apps. You can now leave video messages free of charge for any of your contacts.
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.