Back in September 2009, I wrote about Line2 — a startup that offers similar functionality to Google Voice, but with a focus on catering to businesses and ‘prosumers’ (it offers easily-accessible phone support among its included features). At the time, the company was getting off to a difficult start: it took Apple three months to initially approve the app, largely because of the dispute between Apple and Google over Google Voice.
But they finally made it into the store, and things have gone very well since.
Two years later, Line2 has 50,000 paying customers (plans begin at $9.95/month) and forty employees, and is very nearly cash flow positive. The app is available for both iPhone and Android, and today it’s launching for the iPad — you can find the new app right here. The iPad app looks good, in part because Line2 received input from Apple, which nudged it toward making an iPad version. From a functionality perspective it’s identical to the service’s iPhone version, but that’s not a bad thing.
To start using the service you’ll need to sign up for an account, which needs to be done via the Line2 website. You’ll be able to pick a new phone number that you’ll use as your ‘Line2’ or you can port an existing one. After you’re set up, you can place and route calls, send messages, and browse through your message history for each contact directly from your iPad. Calls are placed over VoIP when possible, or you can elect to route a call to your regular phone.
Line2 founder Peter Sisson says that the company decided to make the app after it found that the iPad was its top-converting platform, despite the fact that it only offered the 2x scaled view of its iPhone app (in other words, it looked pretty bad, but people were still using it). So they took the hint and built an HD version from the ground up to take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen real estate.