Thursday, March 22, 2012

Turn your iPod Touch into a Phone

This was kind of a fun little project, so I thought I'd share. Just a heads up, before you get too far along, this is not free. I know Google is in the habit of giving away things like free phone calls, but this stuff (like making real phone calls) generally costs money.

First, you'll need an app for that. I downloaded the Bria VoIP SIP phone app. (It is also available for the iPad.) This handy little app turns your iPod touch (or iPad) into a VoIP phone -- in other words, you can make phone calls over WiFi or a data connection.

Next, you'll need a phone number (also called a DID). There are a lot of service providers out there but I've used Flowroute, a company with servers in the southeast, for my interconnect. They charge about 1 cent per minute for calls to anywhere in the US plus $1.40 a month for the number. Needless to say, you can make a lot of long distance calls on the cheap.

Lastly, you'll need to configure your Bria app to work with Flowroute. To do this, log into Flowroute and click on the "interconnection" tab. There you'll find the info you'll need. Then start the Bria app on your iPod and go to "settings" and click the plus sign to add a new account.

Bria SettingFlowroute Setting
"Display as"Your phone number (eg, "15551230000")
"Username"Your phone number (eg, "15551230000")
"Domain""SIP Registrar / Proxy"
"Out. Proxy""SIP Registrar / Proxy"
"Auth Name""Username & Auth Username"

And that is it. Easy peasy. Click "Register" and your portable Apple device is a VoIP phone and you can make reliable, clear phone calls on the cheap. (Note: You'll need a pair of headphones that have a mic built in, like the headphones that come with the newer iPods.)

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