anime - amatsuki - smile - summer

Adventures in international calling...

I signed up to Tel3 back in 2004 and I've been using that on both my sister's and my own mobile phones. Calling Dubai landlines is 10 cents a minute and my dad's dubai mobile is 25 cents a minute - which is def cheaper than most other options when calling on the phone. Phone cards might be cheaper but with Tel3 we never have to worry about making a 2 minute call or a 40 minute call - the charges are standard.

Still in the long run, it adds up like hell.

Now that I'm in Canada, I have the Tel3 local number on MY5 so I can make international calls without worrying about minutes at least. Have to worry about charges when calling my sis in Dallas now too though.

My sis however, just got Vonage as her landline so she can call me for free at home. However, that way I lose minutes and I'd rather just call *her* on her Vonage phone and pay for it via Tel3, than lose my minutes (which are just 300 per month)

The biggest problem is that when my sister calls dubai, she loses both minutes and gets the Tel3 charges. She can't use Vonage for Dubai at all, since the charges would be closer to 30 cents per minute.

My mom and dad use SmartVoIP on the PC (with a headset) to call my sis and I on our phones for free - however, we still lose minutes.

The only exception is if calls occur on weekends or after 9PM (unlimited minutes). Unfortunately, I can't call my sister after 9PM in Vancouver since by then, she's sleeping (11PM in Dallas).

Yes, the time difference kills us all.

Ultimately, with all the moving around over the years, my sis and I have no patience for headsets on the laptop. On the other hand my mom and dad have been using it for over a year now 'cause of SmartVoIP.

Since I've got an Android phone (HTC Dream) and my sis has an iPhone, I had her install Fring and we called each other via that app. It's a mobile phone VoIP program basically, that doesn't use the phone service but the wireless internet instead. So that fixes the issue of call charges between Canada and USA.

My dad doesn't have internet on his phone though (too expensive in Dubai) so I had my mom install an instant messenger (she ended up with Skype). After I signed up and added her as a buddy (via my laptop), I then finally entered my Skype login info on Fring.

She confirmed me as a contact tonight and then called to tell me to try it out. Gave her a ring on Fring and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL \o/ Super clear (as long as I didn't walk around a lot) and then she called back via Skype multiple times and my phone rang every time :D :D

The catch is that she needs to be on the computer when my sis and I call (we can always do a quicky call via Tel3 and have our parents go on the PC) - since dad and mom A) Do not keep the PC running all day and B) don't have computer speakers, just the headset.

Bottom Line: The great news is that if our parents are calling us via messanger program, our mobiles will ring and we can pick up - anytime, anywhere. And as always Fring is FREE on both sides and no minutes ever lost \o/

Th sad thing about VoIP these days is that while calling to some places might be free, others like Dubai, Australia, India (basically, all the ones we actually WANT to call) always cost money. I hope at some point in the next decade or so, we have a standard system in place for cheaper international calling.
It'll happen, just look at the hoops you jumped through. :D

So, are you loving your new phone? Because it's either that or an iPhone for me if Verizon ever gets it. October is the deadline for me.
The HTC Dream can't be upgraded to the latest android OS (2.0+) due to limitations on the RAM etc but I do definitely recommend an android phone.In future I'll be keeping an eye out on a newer android phone with a qwerty keypad but even with OS 1.89, the Dream is awesome :3

The iphone may be very shiny but google tends to be less proprietary about software that you install and I do think in the long run the android os will be developed a lot more too.

Developers can go through hell to get some apps onto the iphone market and google is much easier is that sense. While the android market has fewer apps simply because it so much newer, most developers don't have a problem making alternative versions that run on android.

And just looking at google's navigation maps (which are freeeee \o/) makes me realize that google is looking to make the android the best OS solution for products on the move - and it's very likely to work since its for both the consumer side as well as for businesses.
ARE YOU SURE YOU DON'T WORK FOR GOOGLE? :D

Ah yes, the Fanboy icon. I was just going to rec another Mac app, too. :P

Anyway, yeah, as much as I'd rather fangirl all things Apple, they're going to have to pull another rabbit out of their hat to compete with the Android OS. But if anyone could...

I need a slutty Mac!ho icon.
Hahaha I'm sure in another decade or so, Google and Apple will do a turn face so we'll look back wistfully on the days of Microsoft's monopoly XD

Ultimately do think it comes down to Apple and them wanting people who are using their products to keep using their software too - so developers lose out when making something that could replace the apple browser on the iphone etc.

And Android will most likely end up on a lot of stuff beyond mobile phones so its going to be more versatile. There are times when I do get pissed off with google but whatever they do, they focus on productivity so I kinda see them going a lot further in the long run on the software side.And someday I expect I'll be able to get a new cheaper end phone and have android on it - don't think apple will churn out alternatives at the same price rung tho.