I like to surf the app store to check out the new free apps… I tend to keep most of the ones I try and, on the odd occasion, do upgrade from a lite version to a full fat app.
A couple of nights ago I checked out Fring because it looked promising… with the potential to bring VoIP (voice over IP aka using your data connection to transmit your voice) to my iPhone. I run a podcast with a good friend in Texas and we use Skype and Twitter to make it happen.
Fring gives you access to MSN, Gtalk, AIM and Yahoo Messenger as well as the ubiquitous Twitter and Skype… via your iPhone or iPod Touch. It also provides access to other less well known VoIP too (to me anyway) such as SIPNET, EuteliaVoIP, VoIPVoIP and VoIPTalk… which is cool.
The messengers and Twitter only need a data connection… whereas it needs wifi for Skype and the VoIPs to work… but still… it looks awesome… and brings to the iPhone some long requested functionality.
So far I have conducted a gtalk IM conversation with Chris (see pic) and a Skype call via my iPhone… again with Chris.
The IM conversation was sweet… clear and concise onscreen with an unique “ring” when the message arrived.
The Skype call was good too… albeit there was a satellite delay. I put this down to the difference between London (where Chris is just now) and Motherwell where I am based… afterall London is so far ahead of everywhere :-)
What gets me about Fring is the number of devices it supports… it isn’t an iPhone only deal… in fact, they have established themselves prior to creating their iPhone app.
In addition to the iPhone app, they support Symbian 8 and 9, Windows Mobile, and UIQ. They also have a “mini” version for J2ME phones and support Linux too. Their support for Nokia and Sony-Ericsson phones (including my old phone… the fab K800) is pretty extensive, which significantly extends their userbase… although they don’t appear to support the Crackberry… which leaves a gap, I suppose.
They also provide functionality that isn’t included with the iPhone app – Facebook… vTap… Orkut… and a Gmail notifier – for the other devices. Personally, I think we’ll see great things from Fring when the Gphone is finally in the open.
Well worth checking out.