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My Insane Phone System

(For those RSS readers who didn't check out the comments on yesterday's post,yes, it was an April Fools day hoax.)

As you probably know, when I get into anything I take it to an extreme and often unreasonable level. Now my phone is no exception.

I already had a pretty cool phone setup. I ported my cell phone number to callcentric.com, a VOIP provider, who then forwarded it to my local cell phone. There were three problems with this, though:

You know what FaceTime is. What the heck is FaceTime Audio?

On Productivity - Technology - Video

If you’re an iOS or Mac user, chances are good you’ve used or regularly use FaceTime — enabling video calls between Apple devices. With the release of iOS 7 Apple added a FaceTime feature that hasn’t received much fanfare. It’s called FaceTime audio. Rather than saying to Siri “FaceTime my lovely wife” to have a face to face video session including audio, you can instead enjoy a voice only call over FaceTime. You would instead say to Siri “FaceTime audio (insert friend’s name here)”.

A FaceTime Audio call a enables a voice over IP session without using your minutes if your on WiFi or uses your data plan if your on 3G or 4G mobile networks. Using this feature provides high bandwidth audio which delivers voice quality that is much better than traditional cellular carriers provide. I notice this most when talking with AT&T cellular customers where the audio quality sounds very thin and compressed. When you then try a FaceTime Audio call on its heals you’ll immediately notice it sounds 3-4 times better.

Its not all smooth sailing as much depends on the data networks involved for both parties, but if they are solid, you’ll have a far better experience. You can also bump it up to a full FaceTime session with video anytime you choose. Also like FaceTime itself, you can’t conference or do other handy tricks like calling other phone numbers. Only iOS or Mac users can play along, but there are enough of those to make this solution a contender to meet a portion of your voice needs.

In your contacts, when you open a contact entry you’ll see a FaceTime section that now not only includes a camera icon but a handy phone icon too. Siri voice commands also will do the trick.

Talk it up… It’s free or next to it. Give it a spin and reply back with your thoughts.

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