Something that interests me more than any other in the context of communications is VoIP. Voice over IP is pretty much what it sounds like: transmitting and receiving voice over Internet Protocol. Okay, okay, exactly what is that? VoIP is generally assumed to mean the ability to make and receive telephone calls over the internet.
You’re probably familiar with VoIP, although not by that name, it’s the technology that allows services like Vonage, Skype, and Google Voice to work so well, and at prices much lower than their “conventional” alternatives.
Another VoIP company that you’ve probably heard of is MagicJack. Unlike Vonage (which requires an external box connected to both your broadband internet and your phone) MagicJack uses a USB dongle that you plug your phone line into. Unfortunately this means that you have to leave your computer on all the time (or at least whenever you want to be able to use your phone). Magic Jack’s advantage? They’re ridiculously cheap. How cheap? For the price of one month of service through Vonage you can get an entire year of service with Magic Jack.
But what is one to do when the “computer” they want to use their MagicJack on is their Android-powered phone? Those crazy folks over at XDA-Developers have done it again! (Is there anything they can’t do?)
First off, you’ll need a SIP app for your Android. That’s basically a VoIP dialer that you plug some account and server information into which enables you to make VoIP calls via your Android’s internet (WiFi, WiMax, 3G, or even EDGE). The app recommended by the post at XDA-Developers is CSipSimple (available in the Market or via a link in the XDA post).
Next, you’ll need a MagicJack account, which will run you around US$20/year.
Lastly, you’ll need to configure CSipSimple with your MagicJack information.
Username: E yourmagicjackphonenumber 01
Your password is a twenty character string that looks something like this: 2345GH45TDRF35THY234 (the XDA post links you to how to find your password, too).
Now all we need is data-only wireless plan and we’ll be set!