Google Voice has finally become available for the iPhone after 18 months of bickering and an FCC investigation. It's also offering free calls within America and discounted calls elsewhere. Apple has nothing against Google Voice, but it does upset AT&T who can see the voice revenue that pays for the mobile network tumbling. That' …
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Thanks Bill, that's the best summary of the basic differences between US and European mobile charging I've seen:
"In Europe calls to mobiles cost the caller more, and are identifiable by a mobile area code ("07" in the UK). The caller pays a premium for calling such numbers, while the callee pays nothing. In the US mobile numbers use the same area codes as fixed, so the caller pays the same (nothing if it's a local call) and the callee has the minutes deducted from their bundle."
So now you have Google Voice.
3G? Hows the quality? Wi-Fi? The quality is much better.
So one has to ask... why was Google looking for all of the unsecured wi-fi's and mapping them out?
Sure you can argue that they are just using them as reference points as an alternative to SATNAV.
(You can assume that the wi-fi points are stationary and as you drive around, you can triangulate the fixed position based on your known location (SATNAV) and the signal strength. Do this for enough 'open' wi-fis and even if a point moves, you could use them to triangulate your position.
Now IANAL, but that would be a gray area. Actually one shouldn't care of the wi-fi was open or secured, you're just looking at the SSID which is being broadcast.
But Google was mapping 'open' or rather unsecured wi-fi.
If you believe in Occam's Razor, the only reason to do this would be to hop a free ride.
While one may try to justify their own 'freetard' views of 'borrowing' an open wi-fi connection, it is in fact illegal to actually do so.
I realize that this is slightly off topic, but if one were to make a call using Google Voice, using wi-fi would mean no charges to AT&T for data plan usage.
Of course that assumes that the android phone or the google iPhone app would automatically turn on this feature since wi-fi networks tend to offer better throughput than 1G and 3G on AT&T.
I wasn't sure by what the author meant in ... "Google Voice will do that by intercepting outgoing calls and connecting you instead to Google's servers, which then connect to your destination using VoIP for the longer part of the journey. Callers get your Google Voice number on the caller ID and you pay Google if the call goes outside the USA."
Intercepting outgoing calls and connecting to Google's servers? How? Wi-fi/3G data, or routing cell call to a local google voice switch? (That would make Google a telco).
I think that those in charge (FCC) should take a closer look.
It would be interesting to run a 'Honey Pot' and see what happens...
Well done Apple
I say stick it to AT&T, I'm sick of dropping calls with my iPhone. It's not the phone trust me it's the service.
Its not the phone, its the service
Au contraire, try another phone- you might be very surprised (at how much more feature advanced than an iPhone it is- alongside a vastly different build quality). I've certainly got a new phone on my Christmas wish list.......
I've had 3 phones (one iphone) and 2 service providers in the last 4 year.
More dropped call on Orange than O2. Others will have different and possibly polar opposite experiences.
All goes to show location and provider are more important that the handset.
@Daytime. Well done? That depends on whether you are the one with the.....
........vaseline or not. By permitting this Apple is in practice attacking their own business partner's income stream. Whether or not that is such a smart idea remains to be seen. It will of course depend upon just how much money this actually ends up costing AT&T. In the event that it _does_ cost them a shit-load one can imagine that other service providers who until now would have happily sold their grandmothers into prostitution to be able to offer the iPone 4 on contract to their customers might be very wary of becoming involved with Apple. Why would that matter? It would matter if Apple and AT&T had a "falling out" and Apple discovered that their negotiating hand with regard to AT&T was seriously weakened by other telcos being less inclined to do business with iJobs. It could end up under certain circumstances being a classic example of "what goes around comes around" - to Apple's cost. Doing something simply because you now believe that you can is not always the smartest thing to do.
For the record I have absolutely nothing to do with AT&T in any way shape or form and never have.
I had not known the reason why GV might be an issue in the EU. Now when pesky folks ask, I have a valid response as to why I can have GV and they can't (for now). Simple answer, Google would be charged billions in order to let you place free calls, or, they need to come up with a system to pass that billing through (they do have a way to charge for international, but charging in the EU might be complext based on caller recipient locations).
Whats wrong with the European model?
Just what is wrong with the European model?
We are not blitzed with cold calling like users in the states are- as there is a cost associated with outgoing calls. I don't understand what the issue is? While I accept that GV Connect is not a VOIP client in the strict understanding of what this entails, many European users do use VOIP clients on their mobile phones all the time.
Personally I use Mobile Skype, configured to activate in the presence of any of my preferred networks, and forwarding any inbound voice or video calls via 3G when out of range. I pay for the 3G leg of any incoming calls- to Skype, the mobile operator doesn't hit me, unless of course I'm outside of my home network, in which case I pay the termination fees (now capped at 59c a minute, or if you're lucky a one-time connection charge irrespective of how long the call is).
The big difference between the US and EU is in the states- the person receiving the call pays. In Europe- if you want to call someone, you pay. The EU model seems a lot fairer to me tbh- I don't have to screen my incoming calls to decide whether or not answering is going to cost me (financially).
We do have models based on hybrid Wifi-3G cellular for VOIP here- and have had for over 15 years though- so suggesting its primarily a US phenomena is a fallacy.
As a Brit in Canada, I can't understand why they tolerate paying to receive someone else's call. Cold-calling is rife here and bloody annoying. It's kinda like email spam and getting worse all the time.
Glad I paid for GV Connect
I'm in the U.S. and purchased GV Connect (a 3rd party Google Voice app) when it became available a while ago. I'm glad I did. I downloaded and tried the free "official" version, but it has one glaring flaw... When you place an outgoing call, it takes the number you entered and translates it somehow, calling one of Google's inbound lines, then routing it to the intended recipent.
GV Connect, communicates via data connection that you want to place the call. G's servers then call you, and after you pick up, it places the call to the recipient and connects you.
Why is this important?
The Google Voice service can be set to display either the # of the phone calling you, or your Google Voice # when calling you. I have mine set up to always display my Google Voice #. This allows me to add my GV # to my "A List" (a list of numbers you can place and receive calls to/from without using regular air time minutes from your plan. GV Connect lets me place calls so that they are essentially free for me, the official Google app does not.
Google Voice is not a VOIP application in the most well understood sense. It requires a phone, either landline or cellular. The big upside of this is it completely avoids data charges. It also eliminates quality problems due to poor 3g data connections.
iPod touch use would be handy
Not for calls obviously but for sending SMS and/or at least listening to voicemail, when connected to a wifi network. Oh well.