Free calls on your iPhone? Just Whistle…
Yes, after you burn up those plan minutes, things get expensive, don’t they? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to use that iPhone to make free calls?
Well, there is. Just open the “App Store” from your iPhone, run a search for “Whistle Phone,” download the app and you’ll be on your way to making and receiving calls for free.
How? Whistle is a VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) application that utilizes your Wi-Fi or 3G connection to make calls over the Internet. The benefits here are obvious — using your free Wi-Fi connection at home or your office or tapping into your data allotment rather than your voice minutes while wandering around can save you some money.
Here’s another benefit — the service is absolutely free. Well, sort of. Whistle is ad supported, meaning you’ll have to see some blasted banner ads on the application or listen to 15-second blurbs before calls are connected. You can send some money (as little as 99 cents) to your Whistle account to get rid of the ads. How many ad-free minutes will 99 cents or $10 or whatever get you? I have no idea as 15 seconds of my time is a small price to pay for a minutes-saving application that will keep me from running over the time I have on my plan and build up those valuable rollover minutes.
Here’s another drawback — Whistle assigns a weird phone number to you when you activate the application and set up an account. How weird? I live in the 501 area code and wound up with an 802 prefix. Indeed, the 501 area code covers central Arkansas and 802 is somewhere in Vermont. That not only looks confusing when I call people and they check their caller ID, but it could mean some people using my Whistle number will wind up with long distance charges.
Again, that’s a minor thing — I figure on using Whistle primarily for making calls rather than receiving them, anyway. People can call my regular number as usual and my savings will come through using Whistle to make phone calls. Those rollover minutes will build up nicely over the months so I won’t be in danger of going beyond my AT&T plan minutes.
A very nice feature of Whistle is that I can use the normal contacts list on my iPhone to select numbers to dial. As for calls I’ve missed, well that’s another matter entirely — I haven’t figured out how to import that list into my Whistle application so I can call back people who have tried to call me on my regular number. Again, that’s a minor consideration.
All in all, this is a heck of a free application. I can use my Wi-Fi connections at my home and office to make free calls and tapping into that 3G service when I’m out and about isn’t such a bad thing. I’ve got a 2 gigabyte 3G plan and have only used about 300 megabytes so far this month as I typically have my phone chained to Wi-Fi, anyway — I’ve got some data to spare, then.
By the way, I searched high and low for this application. I looked at Google Voice at the suggestion of some misguided bloggers, but that’s more of a call management system — it doesn’t allow for VOIP calls on your iPhone. Vonage wants to charge money for VOIP calls as do most other applications I found. Whistle Phone is the one to get, folks.
It’s a great application that offers solid call quality for free I have noticed some problems using 3G while traveling, however, and the quality of phone calls is entirely dependent on your Internet connection — if your Wi-Fi or 3G connection is problematic, you’ll know it when you use this. Want to know something else useful? This application offers free VOIP calling on the iPad and iPod Touch provided you’ve got a microphone and headphones. Cheap international calls are available, too. Download it and geek it up, kids.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.