Call me on my iPod Touch – Truphone releases app for the kids

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UK-based Truphone, a VoIP service provider for Wifi/data enabled handsets, today unveils a special version for owners of the latest version of the iPod Touch. The move is significant. The software effectively turns the Touch into a mobile phone, if limited to calls over WiFi. But there will be plenty of young people and college students who will use the Touch now for calls over their campus networks.

For not only is the software free (available from the Apple store here), but the calls will be too: to other iPod touch owners, to customers of Truphone’s Internet telephony service, and to Google Talk users. Other features are planned like calling to normal landlines, calling and IM to Skype and MSN, as well as Facebook and Twitter integration.

To make calls the Touch needs a headset and microphone like those for the iPhone or a microphone adaptor (Truphone will also be marketing an adaptor).

Truphone announced a £16.5 million ($32.7 million) second round of financing in April, adding to the £12.5 million($24.5 million) they raised a year ago. The $50+ million is in part used to fund free very cheap calls initiated from between Wifi/data enabled handsets and/or computers, or cheap VoIP-to-anywhere calls, something which carriers have had an issue with, though they’ve been winning against carriers in court. Truphone has a technology advantage that allows for better sound quality and longer battery life.

Update: Of course competitors such as Jajah and Fring offer a similar kind of service to Truphone, though in particular Fring is going to attempt to offset costs and keep the service cheap by putting advertising onto chat screens. Plus some would argue that Fring’s service is better as it also connects to Skype and works on Windows devices.

  • Evan Sims

    This will probably only work with Touch v2, as the original doesn’t have mic support. =(

    • bogie

      big =(

      in fact, sad pirate ;(

  • Brady Brim-DeForest

    I wonder what other mobile platforms they are planning on building out Truphone for?

    • FutureVision

      I have a couple good contacts at Truphone …. ipod touch is just the beginning … ambition high … technical capability higher … innovation x 10 to come ;-) watch this space!

  • YHO

    Fring has been doing exact same thing for a while now, what’s the big deal??

    • Mike Cerm

      Fring also lets you use Skype, so if you pay $3/month for a SkypeOut account, you can make unlimited calls. However, the Fring app is a little buggy.

      Nimbuzz does the same thing. I’ve found it to have slightly better Skype call-quality (than Fring), but it has it’s own quirks as well.

      Try both, see which you like better.

  • 3amjosh

    You can do this with Fring and Voipstunt and have been able to ever since the second gen iPod touch came out. This is not new news and is limited to only ipod to ipod calls, fring lets you call landlines and cellphones. hmm..

    • VoipBoy

      Fring doesnt let you call landlines and cellphones … it **isnt** interconnected voip …. ie it has no connection to the traditional PSTN telephony network … instead they use skype out as a method to terminate calls to the public network…..Truphone is a much better experience … a high quality application that really has thought about the user …. i bet skype interopoerability will follow …. ;-)

  • Desire Athow

    I reckon you can use it as a PAYG phone. It would cost you 3p to call a landline or a mobile. That’s per minute. Smashingly good if you are in a WiFi region

  • Fumin

    There you go, forget about AT&T and it’s massive phone bill.

  • Gina

    I wish Skype had this. All my contacts are on Skype so no chance of me switching to truefone

    • coldbrew

      Just use fring and connect to your skype account.

    • FutureVision

      Wait ….. tick tick tick tick …………. tock ;-)

  • Vaibhav Domkundwar

    Mike, there are lots of options similar to this today and unless direct calls to PSTN is supported most of these are only marginally better than the solutions available today. The real killer apps is free calls to all numbers, but I am not sure if that’s going to happen anytime soon.

  • VoipBoy

    Look beyond fring, look beyond what has been …. Truphone has built a visionary platform … with a unique user interface … to compare is apples and pears …. they have made a platform that will be built apon … watch this space and watch innovation at the cutting edge …. PSTN is the next chapter in a trilogy … a trilogy of multiple chapters of innovation …

    • DJ

      visionary platform?!?! are we talking about the same thing?

      fring does the same for months now.
      fring to fring calls? if both on iPhone/iPod touch/ Nokia… if they’re all on the fring network they can all call each other for free.
      where’s the visionary platform?
      (and it’s ok… you can tell us who pays your salary… we won’t tell anyone)

  • Kevin

    The Itouch never ceases to amaze me. Acutally the developers for it, this could help in lowering wireless monthly fees in the future as adoption to services such as Truphone.


  • James

    From what I understand the latest software update allows external mics with the v1 Touch. All you would need is an external mic and headphone combo and this should work for the original as well. Someone should come up with a bluetooth dongle for the touch – that would be cool.

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  • nicholas grindall

    I think we should all just go get the iphone 3g, it would be so much esaier.
    I have one there are fantastic. !!

  • Steve

    I know one system that always works. Two tin cans and a string.

  • Jesse

    I seen a video on Youtube about IPod touch you can send text messages on the touch. Know they have make a call. On my website you can online text for free and create a contact list of friends. Just click on my name to see.

  • Yasser

    I would love to give this a go, love the user interface from the screenshots, voip lines are usually buggy but this is a great alternative. Looking forward to this.

    Check out the JobsTAXI page on Crunchbase

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  • exapted

    I’m waiting for an ipod touch with a built in mic and bluetooth support. I’m sure by that time there will be an application with something like SkypeIn and SkypeOut support. That way I can use an ipod touch + bluetooth headset as my phone in my apartment. And it would have been simple for Apple to include those features! Until then, it is easier to just fire up my macbook pro and run skype. And I won’t buy an ipod touch until they include those features or i need one for development.

  • Sean Seah

    Hey, you guys should check out Apple App as well. It is a neat Call-back application that saves you tons on oversea calls also.

    But i think you have to pay to use it though.

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  • Yasser

    I tried it, and i say stick with fring.

    Check out the JobsTAXI page on Crunchbase

  • Alexander Straub

    I have not yet had the joy of trying it, beside in the ((truphone)) offices. However I run ((truphone)) on my brand new Nokia E71 and it is a killer app in my opinion. I use ((truphone)) for business day in day out and it is a killer, it integrates with my address book, I do not have to bother with skype, I just dial the people in my business environment. When it comes to more casual dialing of family and friends most of them around the world are ((truphone)) converts and my SMS and voice call reach them free as they are on the ((truphone)) platform. No matter if you dial via WiFi, via the call through option ((truphone)) anywhere over GSM or totally FREE on IP when both party are connected to the ((truphone)) servers the voice quality is next to none. It is fully ready for any call which I have been lacking with some of the competitors. I have tried many services on my mobiles, ebuddy the leader in the Java download market, EQO (unfortunately they had to shut down), Fring, Mig33, Nimbuzz only to find that the deep integration ((truphone)) provides on the Nokia, blackberry, iPhone and now iPhone Touch application is just ready to fly. So I am surprised about the comments above. I can only explain it with the fact that people actually play with the solutions but not fully use them in day in day out situations. As said before ((truphone)) is just ready for mass market adoption if you got the right hardware platform.

    PS: As you can see from my website , I am a ((truphone)), supporter since day one. Nevertheless I love to use all of the competitor product and have a fair judgement on the strength and weaknesses. Stefan at Straub Ventures will probably blog his opinion and I would love what he has to say.

    • Alex van Someren


      I’m surprised at your comment that EQO has shut down, as I was speaking with Bill Tam the CEO the other day and he seemed to be very much in business. What made you say this?

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  • Alan Paton

    There are a lot of new providers with mobile call-back, call-through, and mobile voip not just the few mentioned here. Have a look at for a much more complete listing (and rates comparisons!).

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