Rating: You can still send and receive texts from your featurephone mates
Here at GoMobile Towers we thought that the market for VoIP mobile apps was already overcrowded. However, it seems that Voxofon has come up with a bit of a new angle. It claims to have overcome the ‘SMS Gap’. Plenty of other VoIP apps allow their users to swap text messages (usually for free). But what happens when you come across a mate who is stubbornly sticking to his or her featurephone (and so can’t run Voxofon)? Voxofon has developed the technology to enable smartphone users to chat with non-smartphone users seamlessly at (obviously reasonable) VoIP rates.
Instead of rerouting the messages with link-throughs, like Rebtel does, the latest Voxofon apps send and receive messages through a single chat window.
There’s another advantage to Voxofon. There’s a Windows Phone 7.5/8 version of the app as well as the usual iOS and Android ones. There’s even a Windows 8 version.
However, BlackBerry owners seem to have been left out but GoMobile News assumes they can take part by going through the company’s web portal Voxofon.com.
Now most of our readers would probably think that the SMS Gap matters.
Well it does, particularly if you are a featurephone user abroad and want to reply to a text which has originated from a Voxofon user.
Plus there are the numbers …there were some six times as many non-smartphone (featurephone) users as smartphone users worldwide according to Morgan Stanley researchers back in 2011.
Which is why Voxofon decided to tackle the issue. “We are proud to be the first app to offer seamless and cheap smartphone to non-smartphone messaging,” said Alexey Goloshubin, Voxofon’s CEO.
“Our users need to communicate with those abroad by texting smartphones and non-smartphones. We allow them to do that easily and at an affordable price,” he added.
Voxofon didn’t actually give much guidance on pricing for the VoIP texts it charges for other than to say it offers rates that are 50 per cent less (on average) than Skype’s PAYG rates.
Texting between Voxofon users is naturally free. Otherwise there are rates for over 850 destinations.
The latest version of Voxofon, 3.5.0, is available for free through the Windows Phone Marketplace, the Windows Marketplace, iTunes App Store, or the Google Play Store.