telephony

Phone Amego for Mac review

Phone Amego for Mac sits on your menu bar and interacts with your phone for a number of functions, monitoring and controlling calls, blocking unwanted callers, doing Web reverse lookups, and setting calendars. It works well and proves useful, but doesn't support Wi-Fi.

Pros

Intuitive interface: Configuring Phone Amego for Mac does not take long. Everything is clearly presented on the application's different panes. Setting your communication logging parameters, for instance, is as easy as ticking check boxes.

Works with AppleScript: You can use AppleScript to automate your interaction with connected phones, which means you can place calls … Read more

Skype for Mac review

Skype for Mac allows you to call your contacts and video chat with them, as well as make phone calls to landlines or cell phones. It's also capable of hosting conference calls and group video calls, and offers an accessible text messaging platform. Overall, this is one of the best and most appealing communication apps for OS X.

Pros

High quality: Skype for Mac's innovative VoIP technology provides high-quality audio and video communication. During our extensive use of Skype, with both local and international calls, we have consistently had positive experiences with the clear communication that this application … Read more

Communicate, it's simple

If you're looking to make free voice or video calls worldwide, Skype is a great start. Its clean and user-friendly interface makes interaction effortless, so you are ready to go as soon as you launch the app.

During our testing, we were impressed by the video and voice quality of Skype, which uses VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to enable communication worldwide without paying a cent. One of its best features is the chat and mood messages: if you are in the middle of something, you can inform your contacts about it or just type a text message instead … Read more

Line2 HD turns your iPad into an iPhone

It was just over two years ago that I wrote about Line2, a clever VoIP app that adds a second phone number to your iPhone.

Now developer Toktumi has released Line2 HD, an iPad-specific version of the app, which should prove popular among business users. It not only turns your tablet into a full-featured phone, but also provides a nice hub for managing calls and messages.

To get started with Line2, you need to sign up via the company's site. (Unfortunately, there's no longer an in-app sign-up option.) You can test-drive the app and service with a free … Read more

Integrate your phone and your desktop

Phone Amego is a clever little menu-bar app that integrates your iPhone--or other Bluetooth phone--with your Mac and with the Google Voice service. At its most basic, Phone Amego provides onscreen caller ID (a small window on your Mac displays incoming callers, and you close the window to send the call to voice mail, or you can program it with AppleScript to respond when you speak the name) and enables you to call contacts from your Address Book with just a couple of clicks. There are also basics like a call log, timer, and a hot key for answering calls. … Read more

Skype-Facebook: Like peanut butter and chocolate?

Strip away the tracts of FarmVille land, the politics of tagging and untagging photos, and even the near-vestigial "poke," and you have Facebook at its core: this is what has become, for hundreds of millions of people around the world, the next generation of the phone book.

So it's understandable that even in the age of the text message, telephony would become a part of Facebook at one point or another. Except you won't find it on Facebook.com. Instead, the social-networking site is baked right into the latest version of VoIP service Skype, which was … Read more

Skype makes Cisco executive new CEO

Skype has appointed former Cisco Systems Senior Vice President Tony Bates as CEO, the company announced today.

Bates, who has been running Cisco's enterprise division, comes to Skype with more than 20 years of experience in enterprise solutions. The networking giant said he managed Cisco divisions totaling more than 12,500 people and generating $20 billion for the company annually. He currently holds nine patents and has served on YouTube's board of directors.

Josh Silverman, Skype's current CEO, will be leaving the company, though he said that he will work with Bates to help with the "… Read more

Google: 1 million Gmail calls during first day

Google Wave and Google Buzz may have had troubles attracting usage, but the new ability to place calls from Gmail appears to have caught on quickly.

"Over 1,000,000 calls placed from Gmail in just 24 hours!" Google tweeted Thursday, evidently pleased with the number.

For comparison, there are somewhat more than 300 million people in the United States. If the average person makes 10 calls per day--research in 2008 put the number at 208 calls per month--that means about one out of every 3,000 calls in the U.S. went through the service … Read more

Deal brings Skype to Verizon 3G phones

Skype and Verizon announced a partnership Tuesday to bring the Internet-calling technology to a number of 3G BlackBerry and Android phones starting in March.

Under the deal, the Skype mobile software will be available on a variety of smartphones: RIM's BlackBerry Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition, and Tour 9630 and Motorola's Droid, Eris, and Devour. Customers will need to have a data plan to use the application, the companies said in an announcement at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

Skype, independent once again after an eBay spinoff last year, is … Read more

Hands-on with Google Voice for the iPhone

Google Voice just got a little better on the iPhone, thanks a new Web site for iPhone users, google.com/voice/m. As iPhone users will painfully recall, Apple last year rejected Google's iPhone-native Google Voice app, leaving those who wanted to use Google Voice with what was at first a bare and limited Web-based app. But one of the big advantages of the new HTML 5 spec, which the iPhone's Safari browser supports, is that it lets Web developers bring more application-like functionality to Web apps. The new site is proof of that. (News story)

The new … Read more