Talkatone - free phone calls and SMS texting app with Google Voice - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Talkatone - free phone calls and SMS texting app with Google Voice

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CNET Editors' review

With so many people ditching their landline phones in favor of their smartphone, the minutes can rack up fast, costing you a hefty bill at the end of the billing cycle. Talkatone aims to alleviate sticker shock by offering unlimited free calls and texts without taking up any of your minutes. The app worked as promised for phone calls, but the calls weren't exactly crystal clear, and the recipient may not know who is calling based on the caller ID info provided. Text messages are another story.

Once Talkatone is installed, it will ask for access to your contacts. Also, Talkatone uses Google Voice to make the calls, so you have to be logged into your Google Account. (We have to wonder what Google thinks about the app makers using and profiting from its service, but that's for another time and place.) The interface will look familiar to you, with very similar Keypad, Contacts, Recents, and Favorites menus to select. Talkatone does introduce a Settings menu that includes Network Preferences for adjusting your call quality, though you'll have to pay for an upgrade to make certain changes. To make a call, we had to activate Google Voice or invite our contact to Talkatone. Activating Google Voice involved signing into our Google account through the app, and then clicking on the link that Talkatone sent to our e-mail, which we had to do on our computer. We went to our Contacts list and selected someone to call. The call to our recipient showed up as a mysterious number from Escondido, Calif., which is nowhere near our location. Once our caller picked up, we talked as usual, but couldn't help but notice the noise in the background. We then tried to send a text, but the app went through the same process of having us activate Google Voice, which we had already done. That being said, we were never able to get the app to work to send a text message.

The app does include a banner ad at the bottom of the screen, so you have to be careful not to tap on it. There is an option in the Settings menu to hide all ads, but it requires payment to upgrade. Talkatone works okay for regular phone calls -- that is, if you can get your recipient to pick up from a caller they don't recognize. However, if you're looking free text messaging, we recommend sticking with Apple's iMessage.

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All User Reviews

Results 1-3 of 3

  • 4.0 stars

    "It's great to catch calls while on your tablet!"

    June 12, 2013  |   By dnagirl

    Version: Talkatone - free phone calls and SMS texting app with Google Voice 2.2.3

    Pros

    If I want to make good use of my Google Voice account and my cell # while I'm pseudo occupied on my tablet, this is the answer. We can do that without emphasizing the uber nerd that I am, in public. 8). A free subscription or $1.99/mo won't kill you - you're being efficient.

    This is real cool. 'cause it looks to be the only tablet VoIP app that doesn't require the people you're communicating with to install it for everything to work.

    Cons

    I'm still experimenting with it, but the call quality leaves something to be desired.

    Summary

    I was thinking about unsubscribing, but for the price, I can't say no; it's too good of a deal.

    Reply to this review

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Great idea, but you get what you pay for"

    September 16, 2012  |   By ohmeohmy777

    Version: Talkatone - free phone calls and SMS texting app with Google Voice 1.5

    Pros

    It's free.

    Cons

    Outgoing local calls: poor voice quality and the person that you call can hear their own voice as an echo. In addition, there is an annoying lag in the conversation.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4.0 stars

    "Great option for traveling abroad"

    March 29, 2012  |   By tw1975

    Version: Talkatone - free phone calls and SMS texting app with Google Voice 1.3

    Pros

    1. Very easy to setup
    2. Even works for the iPad, iPod Touch and other select portable media players (Android based)
    3. Perfect for global travelers who don't have a SIM based cell phone but can use WIFI to make calls.
    4. 100% FREE! (That is unless Google decides to charge subscription rates for Google Voice someday)

    Cons

    1. Unable to receive incoming calls to non-smartphone devices (iPad, iPod Touch, etc), or deactivated smartphones.

    I have an Android phone that is currently not serviced by a carrier, but it can do everything else via a WIFI connection, including make calls over WIFI via Talkatone. But it would great if it could receive calls. As it stands, you can only setup your current, active smartphone to receive Google Voice/Talkatone calls because it requires the use of your cell phone number to forwards the calls to.

    Summary

    I leave the call quality off the Pros & Cons, because it really depends on the internet connection at the time of the call, so everyone could have different call experiences. Personally, I've had good and not-so-good sounding calls, but the good have certainly outweighed the bad ones. It's not perfect, but it serves a purpose and does it well.

    Updated on Mar 29, 2012

    CORRECTION: I must delete that previously mentioned CON! You absolutely CAN enable an iPod Touch, or iPad, or my case, an off-service Android phone to receive incoming calls. So now, this Droid has become my home phone.

    :-)

    Updated on May 2, 2012

    CORRECTION: You absolutely CAN set it up to receive incoming calls to non-smartphone devices (iPad, iPod Touch, etc), or deactivated smartphones.

    My mistake! :\

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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