Fring: First iPhone VoIP Client?

Dave Zatz —  April 15, 2008

As I mentioned a few days ago, I was stationed next to the Fring gang at CTIA. And I found the iPhone hidden in the BizDev guy’s pocket a little suspicious given they didn’t support the platform. Well, as of today they do! Fring is a mobile multi-IM client, and one of the few multi-IM clients to include Skype voice chat. So, the first thing I did after installing this on my jailbroken iPhone was give Kevin Tofel a call via SkypeOut (using WiFi). Kevin reports he heard me OK with a little echo of his own voice and, for the first half of the call, I heard him OK as well. For the second half of the call, his voice was garbled unfortunately. But hey, this is a beta client and it looks very promising. We also tried AIM<->.Mac text IM, which worked fine. The new message audio alert is a little too high pitched and glaring though.

(Thanks, Todd!)

12 responses to Fring: First iPhone VoIP Client?

  1. It just hit me that what I was doing while talking could have had something to do with the call quality. I was downloading a very large file at the time… hard to say if that impacted the service quality.

  2. Whoa, I was all “…I don’t remember writing to Dave about Fring…” then I remembered I spilled the beans over on Twitter! ;)

    But that’s cool, yeah, I am VERY interested to know how the extended long term use of Fring for iPhones goes – specifically if anyone sees a significant savings in their monthly minute allotment. Love, love, love being able to call people and talk and not burn any minutes.

    Everyone using Fring on their iPhone, please report back next month and share if you have saved minutes. Enough to go to a lower monthly plan? “Can you hear me now?”

  3. I’m probably not a good test case… I’ve got quite a few activated phones from work (plus this MagicJack eval unit) and AT&T offers rollover (on my personal and works lines). So, I’ll never run out of minutes. I’ll try another SkypeOut test later – maybe to Melissa’s cell where we won’t have to account for file downloads, etc.

    While not recently, I have saved some money by calling Canada from a Skype app on a prior Windows Mobile PPC (6700).

  4. The service at http://rf.com already does this without the need for jail breaking the iPhone and can make calls to internet destinations when the WIFI network is not available. the rf.com dialer has been out since October of last year and is allows you to register multiple existing VoIP accounts you may have.

  5. Does it work with Skype?

  6. It’s not first. SIP-VoIP: http://code.google.com/p/touch-sip/ has been out for awhile now. This program looks like it has a lot more potential though.

    Also, siphon has been out: http://code.google.com/p/siphon/

  7. Guys, this isn’t about being the first SIP client for the iP / iPT. Fring never claims that. This is about Skype, Skype Out, GTalk, AIM, et al – in a native app. Score.

  8. Good job, Fring. but is it nice to have a functional dialer display while I am calling or talking? you know sometimes we need to press the button to choose certain options like the 800 numbers, right? that’s what I need for. thx/

  9. @Zach: I didn’t mean that Fring claimed that; I meant that the title of this blog post implied it.

  10. I put the question mark in the title to convey my uncertainty in regards to fring’s press email alert which said “world’s first mobile VoIP application” for iPhone. Certainly it’s the first Skype+AIM iPhone client, right? That’s why I need it… Honestly, first isn’t so important and as you can see I didn’t bring it up within the post.

  11. anyone have a clue if this works internationally? does it save money cell to cell? i am a total VoIP illiterate, so any help would be appreciated. I have the iphone and am trying to figure the cheapest way to talk to holland. Nimbuzz is based in holland, but dosnt work on iphones… we were gunna try that, but nope… so hopefully this will solve our problem.
    be gentle with me guys..not techo inclined here …LOL
    HELP!!

  12. Not sure on the various SIP clients, but SkypeOut is fee based. They vary nation to nation (both originating and ending countries). Here are some rates… and it looks like about 2 cents a minute from the US to the Netherlands.