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Truphone - Truphone

Truphone iPhone App Review.

Skype now has a competitor for the mobile market with Truphone releasing their own iphone app, allowing users to save big on international calls. With its new version hitting the Appstore, it definitely called for a review, especially with its enticing offer for better call quality, a unifying IM and several interface improvements.

Like Skype, it gives you free voice calls worldwide to other Truphone users, instant messaging, and great rates for calls made to landlines and other mobile phones. Like Skype however, calls are only allowed over WiFi, as iphone VoIP apps aren't allowed to use 3G. So, if you and your partner are both in range of a hotspot, jab all you want, it's all completely free. Even calls to landlines and other mobile phones come at pretty low rates. Calls to the US come at 5.1 cents a minute, less if you sign up for one of their monthly plans. It seems like the app works well even when out of WiFi range, by routing the call over the internet using the user's local GSM network.

One of the main advantages over the competition comes however not only from the improved VoIP call quality, but also from its unified IM possibilities. Truphone gathers the most used instant messengers (AIM, Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN and even Skype) under one screen to rule them all. Other social networking services are also placed at your disposal on another of the iphone's screen.

With its new slick interface, almost blending with the native iPhone interface, the user experience has highly improved over the previous version. Contacts are imported automatically, so you can make a call from Truphone just as if you were doing it from the iPhone Contacts. Your favorite contacts are not imported, however. If you're in a VoIP call with Truphone and you get rung on the iPhone, your Truphone call is dropped automatically.

All in all, one more thing to mention is that Truphone makes iPod Touch users just as happy, as the app can be downloaded for free from the Appstore and ran on both devices. If iPoders were outcast because the iPod Touch could do pretty much everything the Apple Iphone could, with the exception of making calls, Truphone leveled the score. With Truphone 3.0 you can see the going rate for a call before placing it, access a call history, and those 5 bucks you get when signing up for an account make it more than worthy for a spot on the Top Iphone Apps and a high app review from us at appbite.

Edit: It seems that we had it a little wrong, as one of the Truphone team members pointed it out for us (thanks by the way), you only get 50c call credit at sign up, and not 5 bucks, which would indeed be nice :) Check out Heath's comment at the bottom of the post for his original remarks.

Screenshots

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iphone-app-review-truphone
Truphone

Developer: Software Cellular Network
Category: Social Networking
Updated: December 2nd, 2010
Price: FREE
Our Rating

4 / 5

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What do you think of Truphone ? Scroll down for our comment section and let us know!

iPhone Review Posted in App Reviews, Social Networking
  • Alex

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  • JThompson

    For a US based user, initiation of this service for use in the UK was easy and service was good. However, when you “unlock” your phone from the US carrier, you will incur a hefty early termination fee (mine was $350). Costs with Tru service are lower than US carrier’s roaming charges while in the UK and Ireland.
    The problem begins with the end of your time with Tru. The week before re-entering the US, Tru customer service told me that once back in the US, when the phone was turned back on, it would automatically find the T-mobile signal and reconnect. It didn’t. After 2 calls to support, they said that my original US carrier still had software on the completely unlocked phone that was “preventing any other carrier from providing service”. I still had $75 worth of service that I had loaded into my Tru account, so I asked for a refund. They said “no”. I presented my case a second time…they said “no” again. Two weeks after stopping all service with Tru, they charged my credit card the monthly rate to have a local # in whatever country that your service was in ($8). I had already stopped this…twice, with the other Tru reps that I talked with upon re-entry to the US.
    Also, whenever they try to contact you by phone, their # shows up as “blocked” or “unknown” so you have no way of knowing that it is them calling. Sometimes, but not always, they will email you.
    I would not use this service again. For any amount of time more than 2-3 weeks, I would just buy a local, pay as you go phone.

  • TJ

    I use both applications on iPod Touch from the USA. Here is a more apples to apples comparison on price.

    skype subscriptions are US$2.95/month for Unlimited USA/Canada; US$5.95 Unlimited Country (pick your country); and US$12.95 Unlimited World (40+ countries). skype calls ala carte to USA are US$0.021 per minute.

    Truphone standard rates to USA is US$0.051 per minute; using TruSaver US$0.021 per minute with US$4.00 per month subscription; TruUnlimited is US$17.00 month for unlimited calls to USA.

    Lots of numbers. Besides price one must look at quality of calls. This is up to the individual and the network they are using.

    Both are good on quality. Next one must look at IM. Truphone incorporates the major IM networks within itself.

    My recommendation is to try out both services. Find out where they excel for you. Keep both because you never know when one will fail when you need to make a call.

  • One more thing - it is 5.1c a minute, rather than 51c a minute, to call the USA.

  • Cut one of my sentences off early...

    Was meant to say 'Just a couple of things that I need to correct you on though, so as not to give your readers any false information'

  • Great post. Thanks for doing the comparison, and we do think we have a lot to offer in our app that Skype simply can't match.

    Just a couple of things that I need to correct you on though, so as not to give your readers.

    1. Truphone 3.0 for the iPhone DOES work when not connected to Wi-Fi, but as you correctly state, not with 3G as this is not allowed by Apple. The app works when out of Wi-Fi by using our Truphone Anywhere technology (http://www.truphone.com/pricin... to route the call over the internet using the local GSM network of the user.

    2. You mention that new sign-ups get '5 bucks' starting call credit, which would be nice, but isn't correct. We give 50c call credit, which is enough for a good-length international phone call to experience Truphone's call quality.

    Once again, great post, and I hope all your readers give Truphone a try.

    Kind Regards,

    Heath from Truphone

  • Lee

    I was one of the big fan of skype but after using Jajah, Truphone and Vopium I believe they are the best competitors and not only offer cheap solutions but their add-ons are also amazing.

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