VoIP says hello to the iPhone
Ready to develop, if users want it
UK-based VoIP provider Truphone last night demonstrated its ability to place a VoIP call from an Apple iPhone, as well as some Facebook integration.
Unlike other VoIP demonstrations, which rely on call-backs and the voice channel, this is a real VoIP client, running as a native application on the iPhone (and thus requiring the phone to be unlocked for the installation of applications, though not to be able to use a different SIM).
The Facebook announcement is an extension to its presence capability, embedding an icon into someone's Facebook wall with a "Call Me" button. It's a nice application, and should be launched soon, but was clearly overshadowed by the iPhone app.
The app is very much a capability-demonstration, requiring mucking about with terminal settings and lacking a user interface, but it does prove the iPhone could be a VoIP client, as well as demonstrating Truphone's technical prowess.
Whether Truphone turns it into a commercial product will depend on what proportion of iPhone users decide to unlock their phones for application installation. Apple has remained ambivalent about users doing that, in contrast to its warnings to those who SIM-unlock the handset. It seems likely that Apple is also watching to see how many iPhone users decide it's worth the effort.
Before Mac fans start frothing at the mouth about how easy it is to unlock an iPhone for applications, consider how much of the general population have bothered to make their DVD players multi-region. It may be easy for El Reg readers, but the majority of users just don't bother, and live with the manufacturer-imposed restrictions on their hardware.
Of course, a working VoIP client could well be the killer application which drives users to unlock, but whether Truphone has the resources, or inclination, to take that gamble remains to be seen. ®
Not independent but a nice stunt anyway...
Tim - I like how you point out that "uber-blogger" Andy Abramson shot the video and not Truphone. Andy is employed by Truphone as a PR consultant(http://andyabramson.blogs.com/voipwatch/2007/07/truphone-win-ov.html), which makes the video a Truphone video...not independent as you suggest.
Furthermore using Abramson's blog to suggest it is 'independent' is more than a little misleading, but I guess it is money well spent on Mr Abramson's talents and reputation.
Fair play to Truphone though, a solution for the iPhone is a nice stunt albeit a frivolous one. It's a shame they can't focus on developing their solution for other platforms as number of devices they support is limited.
There seems to be a severe lack of mac fanboy comments on this thread, something I for one find strangely disconcerting. This is an article describing yet another iphone hack! surely these are infidels doing this hacking and they must be attacked.
Now please bear with me as i'm not a real mac boy but will never the less give it my best shot (someone has to fill in for Macboy)
Truphone = poophone how dare they hack a jobs product in this way, do they not understand that in doing this they are messing with job's unearthly 'innovation skills'
if god wanted us to fly he would have given us wings likewise if jobs had wanted us to be able to use Voip on our Iphones he would have preinstalled it? no?
All other phones are rubbish especially windows ones or anything microsoft as it was probably copied from job's homework anyway and pc's are rubbish other than Apple pc's which are of course brilliant.
please read Jobs autobiography 10:300 for further enlightenment.
Hope that was ok, I'm a nubbie so go easy
"...consider how much of the general population have bothered to make their DVD players multi-region. It may be easy for El Reg readers, but the majority of users just don't bother, and live with the manufacturer-imposed restrictions on their hardware"
I don't know about the UK and USA, but in OZ it's been years since region-locked DVD players were sold. In fact you'd have to try very hard to *find* one - and it's not just the Taiwanese/Chinese knockoffs: Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic, etc... (I own both a Panasonic and a Pioneer DVR - no region settings on either, both bought off-the-shelf at a Hi-Fi store).