Vonage, a VoIP service provider, released a new mobile application for Facebook users on Thursday. The service allows users to call and chat with their Facebook friends on their Android or iOS devices. Unlike their residential services for replacing landlines which has associated monthly costs, the mobile app is entirely free.
Getting the application installed is easy as a click. Users can download the app from the Android Marketplace or the iTunes App Store on the respective devices. Vonage’s website and Facebook Fan Page offers links to downloading the app as well. Unlike some mobile VoIP services that require a WiFi network, Vonage Mobile works over 3G and 4G as well. While that’s a huge bonus for smartphone users, it will eat up mobile data, which might be an issue for those with capped data plans. However, it still offers an alternatives for those running low on traditional monthly minutes. The app is fairly easy to use as well. Once a user registers for the service with their Facebook credentials, they are good to go. Since both Android and iOS 4 support multitasking, the app can receive incoming calls even when it’s not running in the foreground.
A list of online Facebook friends appears on the application’s main tab and a Vonage icon pops up besides users that also have the same app installed. While it’s not exactly possible to call friends who don’t own smartphones running the Vonage Mobile app, it is still possible to communicate with them on Facebook Chat. Unfortunately, until this application becomes more popular, there might not be too many registered users just yet. Skatter Tech’s Sahas Katta only found a friend or two with the app on his Android phone.
While Vonage brought affordable internet-based residential calling to homes across the country, it’s hard to tell whether Vonage Mobile will catch on. The tech savvy and the younger generation prefer to text over call these days. However, for those running low on minutes with bandwidth to spare, this service makes for a great alternative. Especially considering that it works across various mobile platforms, through different cellular carriers, and beyond international borders at no additional cost. Is this an app you would use? Let us know in the comments!