There are many VoIP clients out there for Android, such as Skype and Viber. They save users from having to place calls over their cell network, potentially using up minutes that they may not have. This behavior eats into carriers' profits, so it's no surprise that they'd prefer if we avoided putting these apps on our phones. It's more surprising, though, to hear that one carrier has chosen to make one of these apps themselves. Today Orange is launching Libon in the US, bringing over a product that was previously only available in Europe.

Libon1 Libon2

Libon3 Libon4 Libon5

Libon supports free calling with other users over both WiFi and cellular data. Users can also place calls out to standard phonelines and send SMS messages from within the app. Like Google Voice, the experience is integrated enough to serve as your primary means of communication, if you so choose. Why has Orange produced an app that potentially threatens its core competency? It wants to stay relevant, and it views this service as a way for it stay ahead of the competition. That's pretty forward thinking.

Orange has also squashed a battery draining bug that was previously plaguing users of the Android version of their app. If you want to encourage this type of behavior from other carriers, it might be worth giving Libon a spin.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Bob G

    This is my dream for Hangouts.

    • Wyatt Neal

      Don't worry, I think it's going to be coming down the pike very, very soon.

      • Tacomonster

        Why? Do you have some inside info?

      • catpunt

        The only reason keeping them from having done so already is business-related. I agree that's the way it's going, but I don't think it will be soon... too much money at stake

    • Freak4Dell

      In some ways, Hangouts/Voice is still better than this. Voice gives you a real phone number, so you can call more than just other Voice users. This seems more like a regular old IM network than anything else.

      The only feature I see this having that Hangouts/Voice doesn't have is calls over WiFi/cell data in the app itself.

  • hp420

    This is a nice app, but both parties need to have a libon account. Until you can call any number and have it use VOIP rather than your carrier's voice plan this app is completely worthless to about 99% of users