Phone – iPhone App of the Week
This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.
This week’s App is Phone.
To make a call on iPhone, tap a name or number. That’s it. You can tap to call from just about anywhere: a name in your contacts list, a number on a website or text message, even a phone number on a map listing.
Sometimes you find an app that is both innovative and has a real impact. Though most people will get their apps from the App Store the iPhone comes with apps already installed. Some of these are useful such as the Calculator and YouTube and some which are less useful, Stocks and Weather.
One app that does come with the iPhone is quite revolutionary and enables something extraordinary to happen. That app is the Phone App.
Imagine if you can an app that allows you have a synchronous real time live conversation with another person, even when that person is not in the same room, even the same building, or even in the same country. Unlike other communication apps, this app doesn’t require the other person to have an iPhone, another mobile phone or even a computer. The app works even if you don’t have wifi or aren’t in a 3G area.
The process is that you, using a numeric keypad enter a number, this number usually identified to a person (but not always) allows you, using the Phone App, to create a unique secure connection that enables you to have a real time live conversation. These conversations can be as long as you like, as long as you have enough battery. The cost of these conversations is dependent on a plan you purchase from a service provider.
Not only that, but your iPhone has a unique number of its own, so that other people can create a connection, akin to calling across a room, to you, this calling though is not restricted by geography. It is possible to be “called” from anywhere in the world.
It’s not all good news though, I have found that the app can stop working and as a result you lose your conversation. It isn’t always possible to reconnect and continue your conversation. Interestingly the way in which you hold your iPhone can have an impact on how this app works!
As you may realise, the ability to have real time voice conversations has a lot of potential for learning, however you may think that any conversation would be restricted to just two people, but not so. It is possible to have more people in what is called a conference call, and this is provided within the App and as a result you have the ability to talk with up to five different people. The potential of discussions and seminars via the iPhone become a real possibility. Other learning ideas including talking to learners about progress on their course, attendance and other issues.
Yes, you can buy thousands of Apps in the iTunes Store, but this included free app is the only one that has the functionality to enable real time secure conversations without the constraints of geography, check it out.