New iPhone developer toolkit allows VoIP apps

Could Apple’s iPad double as a phone even if Apple offers it with data-only 3G plans? A press release from third-party VoIP firm iCall certainly suggests so. iCall writes that the new version of Apple’s iPhone developer toolkit, released yesterday, allows voice-over-IP applications to operate over cellular networks.

iCall already offered a VoIP app for the iPhone, but that only worked over Wi-Fi. Now, the firm claims to have "the first and only VoIP application that functions on the iPhone and iPod Touch over cellular 3G networks." iCall invites users to grab the app from Apple’s iTunes App Store through this link.

If this news is accurate, then it signals a notable shift from Apple’s prior position. Apple blocked the official Google Voice app last July; at the time, the online press surmised that the move had to do with AT&T. TechCrunch wrote about the subject, "Google Voice scares the carriers. It allows users to send free SMS messages and get cheap long-distance over Google Voice’s lines. It also makes it trivial to switch to a new phone service, because everyone calls the Google Voice number anyway."

Since then, of course, Google has managed to bypass Apple’s restriction by releasing Google Voice as an HTML5 web app. Lifting the restriction in the iPhone SDK could lead to a plethora of other, native VoIP applications, though.

Comments closed
    • wesley96
    • 10 years ago

    You don’t need the new SDK to get VoIP on 3G. Fring can place calls via 3G without any app update RIGHT NOW. It was simply Apple restricting the function from server side, and the switch has been flipped off.

    • Mr Bill
    • 10 years ago

    I wonder if Apple will now release an unlocked 3G IPod touch? The $30/month ATT data plan is better than my phone plan.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      If the next iPod Touch has wireless n with wireless syncing, USB 3.0 and a 128GB model I’ll probably get one. Assuming a similar trend with flash capactiy as the past that would make it a $400 device but for what you’d get it would be worthwhile to me – a wireless network MID, media player with tons of capacity even for high bitrate lossy files, and various apps for organizing etc. I only have a basic phone not a ‘smartphone’ so it would serve many smartphone purposes for me.

      If they add a 3G plan like the iPad has and VoIP is a standard supported feature that could replace my cell too and it would sell bigtime. They already have bluetooth so a bluetooth headset would be nice. It would be nice if it wasn’t just AT&T though 🙁

    • Xenolith
    • 10 years ago

    Just need a bluetooth earpiece and a google voice VoIP 3G app… and off you go.

    • Hattig
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah, the iPad has microphone and speakers.

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    Hmmm, slightly more than 24 hours – much longer than I expected.

    Wait – does the iPad even /[

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      Yup, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t.

      Adi

        • eitje
        • 10 years ago

        market segmentation – that’s a pretty apple-y reason. 🙂

          • derFunkenstein
          • 10 years ago

          even the $199 iPod Touch has a mic input.

        • Kulith
        • 10 years ago

        theres no reason why it wouldn’t have a camera either.

          • blastdoor
          • 10 years ago

          Cameras cost more than microphones.

            • adisor19
            • 10 years ago

            Boff, in the quantities that Apple will sell this thing, a camera wouldn’t have added much to the price. No camera is either a gen 1 missing feature or simply : market segmentation :s

            Adi

            • blastdoor
            • 10 years ago

            I’m not so sure — the $499 price point probably required a pretty delicate balance of features. A camera probably just didn’t make the cut this round.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Or market gen2eration – people will buy the gen 1 device because Steve says it’s teh bestest at everything! And the gen 2 will come out and they’ll have to get that because of the added features! Rinse, repeat, roll around in piles of money.

      • Corrado
      • 10 years ago

      It does have a mic built in, and can use the earphone/mic combos that come with the iPod touches, as well as bluetooth headsets.

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