Since the first VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telecommunications systems were first designed for smartphones, a number of different companies have developed their own apps for Android-based handsets. Discovering which are the best Android VoIP apps is not an easy task in this congested marketplace, so in this article we take a look at some of the best free VoIP Android apps and discover which of all the apps available make our top three.
Positives: Fring is one of the better known Android VoIP apps and it has a host of features which make it an attractive download for the user. It not only offers free calls to other Fring users, but also unlimited live chat between Fring users, as well as users on other networks such as MSN Messenger, GoogleTalk and AIM. Another positive is the group video chat option and the ability to connect via 3G, 4G and WiFi from anywhere in the world.
Negatives: Some users have reported that their video camera image is ‘upside down’ on many devices and others have complained about a serious lack of call quality when making paid calls to landlines or other mobile users.
Positives: Since Skype has been ported over onto Android it has become very popular with users who are familiar from the brand name. This popularity has ensured that it has become a popular download for many Android users, thus increasing its usability. Skype also offers caller ID and a voicemail service for its users and is most popular for being able to send instant messages between account holders, as well as video calling from your mobile.
Negatives: The call quality and video quality can be adversely affected at times too. Video calling is only supported on a small number of handsets (Samsung Google Nexus S, HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro, HTC Thunderbolt)
Positives: Rebtel offer many of the features that their competitors do above, including free calls to other Rebtel account holders, WiFi and 3G calling etc. However where Rebtel really scores over its rivals is in three key areas, firstly there is the “Keep Talking” function which allows you to continue a call even if you go out of a WiFi or 3G area by using your local minutes. Secondly, new users get 5 free minutes to try out the service completely free of charge and lastly the company offer outstanding call quality at outstanding low prices.
Negatives: Rebtel isn’t as widely known as Skype at present, but it is the second most popular VoIP provider in the world today. 3G call quality can sometimes be poor, but the Keep Talking function does negate this problem somewhat.
In essence, it is important to remember that the services most VoIP providers offer is essentially the same; the ability to make telephone or video calls over the Internet. As such, the real difference between the best and the rest is that they make this interaction easier, cheaper and of a higher quality than others. The three companies highlighted here certainly can boast that and with continual modifications being made to their software and products on offer, VoIP services for Android look likely to be the cheapest way to stay in touch with loved ones for many years to come.
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