1sml.jpgYesterday Fring released an iPhone version of its great mobile VoIP and Instant Messaging application. This is the first native application providing real VoIP on the iPhone, via WiFi, of course. Fring is compatible with Skype, MSN, GTalk, ICQ and Yahoo! and provides calling and messaging to your friends on these popular networks. It also provides VoIP calling using the SIP standard, so you can use any VoIP provider to call for very cheap rates using WiFi.

Fring works very well on the iPhone thanks to the great WiFi support Apple built into it (one of the best connection managers around, choose a network and access it automatically the next time). Fring has been available for a while on Nokia phones, but WiFi support built in those smartphones is less sophisticated, so Fring had to add several features like WISPr, to connect to already known hotspots, and its WiFi roaming feature, to let you automatically switch from a WiFi network to another, or from WiFi to 3G.

The best way to use Fring on the iPhone is of course with iFON, FON’s WiFi connection manager for the iPhone, which scans available WiFi networks and automatically connects you to FON signals, without having to enter your login details. So when you are abroad you can use your iPhone to easily find a FONspot and call home via Skype or SIP.

Call quality with Fring on the iPhone is very good, better then on Nokias in my experience. Instant Messaging is of course another great addition to the iPhone, a much needed one. It’s very intuitive and the iPhone’s huge multitouch screen offers a very good experience. You know already about the iPhone’s keyboard, you get used to it and you’ll still be faster then with T9.

Fring stays active while the iPhone is in sleep mode or if you press the “home” button on your iPhone and do other things with it. This way you always get notifications when you receive an instant message or when a call comes in.

You can install Fring only if your iPhone is jailbraked, but this is just a pre-release. Once the final version will be ready it will sure be available on Apple’s App Store for every iPhone out there (in June, when the new firmware will come out).

Here is a video my friends at Fring just made to present this release

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

Charbax on April 16, 2008  · 

Are you sure that Apple will tolerate VOIP on a non-jailbroken iPhone?

It seems Apple will be deciding who is to be allowed to develop stuff for the iPhone. And VOIP certainly conflicts with Apple, AT&T and other telecom partners that are selling the iPhone and sharing usage revenue with Apple.

3.0 rating

Miroslav on April 16, 2008  · 

FRINGland has recently launched Fring partner program (its free) and it would be great for FON to apply. Fring has a built in WISPr, but since only the first 4 symbols (FON_) of FONspots SSIDs are the same, Fring is not able to connect automatically to new spots.
Thanks in advance.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on April 16, 2008  · 


Over one third of the iPhones are not using the official software… and yes Apple said VoIP on the iPhone is ok over WiFi. Here is a link:

Jordi - FON on April 21, 2008  · 

Miroslav, Fring is already working on it so “FON_” will soon also work on their brand new client.
Jordi – FON

3.0 rating

Jano on October 4, 2008  · 

Sounds like the killer application for Fon. Way cheaper than roaming!

3.0 rating

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