Remember Google Voice? Google's first stab at a voice-over-IP system is still up and running, though much of its functionality has been absorbed or augmented by the SMS and calling functions of Hangouts. It's a bit dusty in the Voice closet - the desktop web version of the service looks like a relic, and the Android app has only received a couple of maintenance updates in the last year and a half. But users who still rely on Google Voice as their primary phone number (like me!) have reason to be hopeful that the service hasn't been completely abandoned. Read More
Skype is one of the most common ways to make video and VoIP calls, but there are a number of annoyances that seem to be carried over from traditional phone calls. It doesn't need to be this way, though, so Microsoft announced a few months ago that it planned to modernize Skype. Now, the first wave of changes are set to roll out, and they'll be coming to the Android app in the next few weeks. Read More
I'm going to be perfectly honest: I avoid Skype like the plague, because its Windows client is legendarily awful. I actually install it and immediately uninstall it every time I need to talk to someone who only uses Skype. Perhaps the Skype Windows developer team should accept a little help from the mobile side, because the latest release looks really good, especially on tablets. The Skype blog announced a revamped tablet user interface in version 7.0 of the Android app. Read More
Netflix is a pretty straightforward service, but sometimes things go wrong. Whether it's trouble with accounts, billing, or stuff failing to stream despite a strong Internet connection, occasionally folks need to ask for help.
The latest update lets you place calls directly inside of the app. This was a feature we saw listed as "coming soon" in a previous changelog. Read More
Skype means business, and towards the end of the summer, it let people sign up to test a preview of the upcoming Android app. That testing period is over. The official Skype for Business app is now available in the Play Store. Read More
After a series of shootings and explosions occurred in Paris Friday evening, Google has made calls to France via its Hangouts service temporarily free. Callers can use the Hangouts app on Android, iOS, and the web to place calls to the country without incurring the normal international charges. The Google+ post making the announcement did not specify any particular countries, so presumably free calls are available from any location where Hangouts can be used. It's not clear if Google Voice users are also being given free calls. Read More
The Skype app is getting a bump to v5.5 today, and it comes with a pair of improvements. No, it's not going material—you can't have everything. What you do get is a faster way to sign in and link previews in chat.
Airtel is the largest mobile carrier in India, but even that kind of market position wasn't enough to push through a change the carrier desperately wanted. After announcing last week it would begin charging extra for VoIP data, Airtel has backed down in the face of bad press and angry customers. VoIP calls will continue to be billed as regular data, at least for now. Read More
Bharti Airtel is the largest cellular carrier in India with roughly 200 million subscribers. Basically, it has some weight to throw around, and it's using it to strike a blow against net neutrality. Airtel has amended its terms and conditions to stipulate that its data plans cover standard internet use only, meaning increasingly popular VoIP services like Skype are not included. If you want to make VoIP calls, it costs extra. People are not pleased.