Vonage

“Hey Siri, call Sébastien on Skype”

Apple’s made a rare move of publishing multiple blog posts to whet our appetite for Siri’s upcoming third-party integration on iOS 10. We already detailed how Siri will work with popular messaging/payments apps and allow you to search photos inside third-party apps like Pinterest, just by using your voice.

Now, we take a closer look at how Apple’s personal digital assistant can interact with VoIP apps like Skype, Vonage and others.

New Vonage iOS App Promises 30% Lower Rates Than Skype

Vonage has come out fighting in its ongoing battle with the king of VoIP, Skype. The company has just released a new iOS app along with a low calling rate that is sure to put the frighteners on Skype.

Available to download for free right now, the Vonage app allows VoIP calls between Vonage users across iOS and Android as well as cheap calls to traditional landlines, too.

Vonage claims to be 70% cheaper than traditional telcos, and 30% cheaper than Skype…

Vonage Offering Free Calls to Facebook Friends

So you’ve probably added all your old friends from your hometown via Facebook. While it’s fun to “like” their latest pictures and status updates but you really don’t want to waste your minutes on them, your problem is solved. Vonage has teamed up with Facebook, creating an app for your iPhone, (& Android), entitled Vonage Mobile for Facebook that allows free calls over Wi-Fi or 3G to anyone domestic or overseas, for free.

After you download the free app, just sign in with your Facebook account and you’ll see a list of your friends who’ve done the same, and are ready to be called for free. You will also see whom you can chat with over IM. If you don’t have unlimited 3G, or a Wi-Fi subscription, your first move should be checking with your carrier to figure out any charges that may apply to you.

Of course the program has its own Facebook page, which will allow you to invite your friends to the download the free app. This all sounds great, but I have one question. How many people are actually going to do this? Are you?

How to Get Vonage on Your iPhone

I originally signed up with Vonage because it was inexpensive and it gave me unlimited calls to France (and other countries) where all my friends and family still are. As my fiance and I are planning our one-year trip around the globe, I started looking into getting Vonage on my iPhone so I can make calls from my iPhone, either over 3G or wifi, using my Vonage plan.

There are many reports showing that Vonage is currently working on an iPhone app but it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. By digging a little more, I found an article that shows you how to set up Vonage on your iphone by using your Vonage line as a SIP line.

First, you have to find out your Vonage SIP credentials. To do so, open your internet browser from your house and point it to:

https://im-config.vonagenetworks.net/config?&login=USERNAME&password=PASSWORD&type=1003

Replace USERNAME and PASSWORD by your Vonage account username and password.

This is going to open a page with a bunch of information. The information we need is at the top of the page. You are looking for something like that:

[SIP 2.0]
ProxyUserName=iphoner
ProxyUserPassword=Y0ur1Ph0ne5ux
ProxyDomain=a.vonim.com
ProxyPort=10000

Next step is downloading an SIP client for your iPhone. I recommend using Fring as it can be downloaded for free from the App Store. If your iPhone is jailbroken, you can also download SIPhone from Cydia.

Launch Fring then sign up or login with your existing account. Go to More > Add-ons > SIP > Other.

Fill out the required fields as follow:

User ID = ProxyUserName
Password = ProxyUserPassword
Proxy = a.vonim.com:10000

Save these settings. You can now place a call from your iPhone using your Vonage account, assuming you have wifi connectivity. If your iPhone is jailbroken, download VoIPover3G from Cydia and you will also be able to use Vonage from your iPhone over 3G.

It works great but for some reason, I can’t have it place international calls. Every time I try to call France, it gives me an error message. It’s still pretty awesome that you can use your Vonage account to place calls for free over wifi and 3G.

That’s a pretty sweet hack, eh! What do you think?