Elita Cheung over at TalkPlus was kind enough to drop in a line to inform me about their iPhone app which was released yesterday. If you are one of those who is carrying another phone with the "jesus phone" to manage your personal and work life then you won’t need it any more with TalkPlus service.
It also seems like an interesting option for making cheaper international calls from your iPhone.
TalkPlus has been a provider of advanced Voice 2.0 services over mobile networks. TalkPlus for the iPhone means that iPhone users can now use the virtual phone-number service that enables subscribers to create additional phone numbers on their mobile phones for placing and receiving calls.
So if you are one of those who is carrying another phone with the "jesus phone" to manage your personal and work life then you won’t need it any more with this service (but for an extra cost).
TalkPlus service comes with as-you-would-expect a phone numbers that be selected from major U.S. metropolitan areas and international cities in 28 countries and each number comes with its own voice mailbox with a customizable greeting.
Some of the features that I liked are as mentioned below:
- You could assign which number should be displayed in the caller ID when you make the call, thus allowing you to work from home and still make calls from your office number from the receiver’s point of view.
- It also offers the iPhone-like visual voicemail feature to identify voicemails and quickly jump to a message to listen or delete for the TalkPlus number.
- TalkPlus also includes advanced call-management features such as:
- Call Screening to send specific callers directly to voicemail or a busy signal
- Call Transfer to easily transfer to another number while on a call
- Conference Calling with as many as 10 people.
- Voicemail Screening to listen in as callers leave a message and pick up the call if desired
- In addition to all this, TalkPlus includes 200 minutes of domestic calls and also offers low-cost international calling which I think makes it an interesting option till true VOIP does not come to the iPhone.
How does it work?
If you curious to find out how it works like I was here are some of the details that was available from TalkPlus’s FAQ which should give you an idea:
"When you get a TalkPlus number, our system forwards calls to that number to whatever number(s) you have specified.
When you make a call using your TalkPlus number, you will use one of our mobile applications or WAP to initiate the call. TalkPlus will then use your mobile phone to place a call to a local number provided by our system, which then will connect you to the friend you are calling. This allows TalkPlus to show the TalkPlus number on your friend’s callerID, instead of your mobile phone’s callerID. This also allows you to place low cost international calls by dialing a local number to connect your call through TalkPlus."
In case of the iPhone it essentially means that they are using iPhone Safari browser’s click-to-call feature to initiate a call from your iPhone to the local number provided by their system which then routes the call to your friend.
So how much does it cost?
From now through Dec. 31, 2007, TalkPlus is offering the service free for the first month and $9.99 per month thereafter (excluding international toll charges of course).
After the first free 200 minutes of domestic calls or in case you want to make international calls you will need to add money to your TalkPlus account. The rate for the additional minutes for domestic calls is 2.7 cent/min and these are the rates for international calls.
One of the drawbacks of the service is that since TalkPlus works over the carrier network, using your existing phone you are essentially using both your carrier minutes and your TalkPlus minutes. So you need to pay the extra cost for the TalkPlus minutes for getting rid of your other phone.
However, though it isn’t the true VOIP iPhone application that we were looking for it indeed could be an option for cheaper international calls and not forget in case you are looking for the advanced call management features on your iPhone.
In case you plan to try out the latest iPhone App, please do let us know how well it worked for the benefit of fellow readers.
Images of TalkPlus for iPhone UI from their website below: