Cross posted here and in my blog:
Vonage is again moving into the mobile voice space with a new app that makes it easy to talk and exchange text messages with contacts - either free or for a very low cost. Vonage Mobile is available now as an iPhone calling app or Android calling app. Sadly, no Windows Phone version is available yet.
I was invited to try the mobile app for myself, so I fired my test Android device and installed the Vonage Mobile app from the Android Market.
Vonage Mobile scanned my contacts list, identifying anyone who is already using the mobile app. Those were automatically added to a tab "Free Calls". This means any call I place to these contacts through Vonage Mobile will not be charged by Vonage (mobile data charges apply of course if your mobile is connected to the mobile data network). Since I have my smartphone connected through WiFi, they were virtually free.
You can place calls to standard phones as well, and call costs are very low. For example a call to a New Zealand landline costs US$0.022 per minute, a lot less than the NZ$0.49 per minute I would pay if using my mobile plan.
Calls between Vonage Mobile app users are encoded using a HD (High Definition) codec. This means the voice sound is much clearer. So much so that when I tested a call to another Vonage Mobile user I was surprised how different it sounded from those highly compressed low definition standard mobile voice calls.
Text messages are sent between Vonage Mobile users, and the interface is pretty similar to what you'd expect from an instant message app.
Some people on Twitter asked me what makes Vonage Mobile better or different from Skype for example. With Skype you have to add people to your contact list, and you have to remember what's the username/alias someone is using before you call. With Vonage Mobile you can search your contact list from within the app and place the call.
Another difference is that Vonage Mobile allows you to topup your account (for standard phone calls) directly from the app, charging your Google Android Market or Apple iTunes accounts - this is without leaving the app.
For a limited time Vonage Mobile calls to numbers in the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico are free from anywhere in the world.
Users do not need to be a Vonage customer to use the app. All topups are done through the Android Market or iTunes.
When you install the app you will receive a SMS with a code to authenticate your mobile number. This means your mobile number will be used as the Caller ID when calling a landline or mobile.
Download Vonage Mobile now (iPhone calling app or Android calling app) and check it out. Invite your family and friends so you have someone to text or call, then let us know what you think.
This is a sponsored blog post, but I have used the Vonage Mobile app.