Friday, June 06, 2008

iCall: A Feature The Original iPhone Had That AT&T Told Apple To Drop

A new application under development through the iPhone SDK is iCall. It's a VOIP (Voice Over IP) application that transfers calls from GSM/Cell Network to Wifi - when the iPhone senses a WiFi connection.

Put simply, it will enable iPhones to switch from GSM to WiFi (when WiFi is nearby) on-the-fly in order to save cell minutes and bypass the hassle of manually changing over.

From the iCall website:

• Make and receive calls over WiFi
• Transfer inbound calls from your cell to WiFi instantly
• Access your same address book
• Customize your voicemail options

When I first saw two prototypes of the original iPhone in September 2006 - the second unit I saw had this feature built in - being able to transfer calls from GSM/Cell to Wifi - seamlessly. It was a little buggy and required a Skype account - this may be the reason Apple dropped it. I assume the reason Apple axed the feature was because of AT&T requesting it be dropped.

This will be useful for those who don't have the unlimited plan on AT&T. If this turns out to be a good program I might try it for one month to see how much I use it and see if I can reduce my plan costs. Right now, I pay $119.99 for the unlimited plan ($99.99 unlimited voice + required iPhone unlimited data plan: $20.00). I would love to get that down by $40 so I can pay for my 3G modem access.

* VOIP allows phone calls over the internet rather than land lines or cell phones

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"When I first saw two prototypes of the original iPhone in September 2006"

Well, there you go dropping names again.

OK, this time it's a product name and not a person, but it still counts. :-)

This thing could be huge.