Who knew the answer to the AT&T problem would cost just $0.99!
It can save you money. It can make calls where AT&T’s signal is weak, which tends towards EVERYWHERE. It can even turn the coveted iPod Touch into a full-blown cellphone! (Can you give me an “AMEN”?!)
The new Line2 app by Toktumi (yes, like “Talk to me!”) has pitted capitalism’s virtue of competition against the monopolist grip that AT&T has had over iPhone uses since its release in 2007. While previous apps like Skype and TruPhone promised similar consolation, Line2 is a far cry from their limited capabilities and more likely to be the source of frustration amongst AT&T execs.
Line2 gives your iPhone a second phone number – a second phone line, with its own voice mail, contacts list and the like. On their website, Toktumi imagines that you’ll distribute the Line2 number to business contacts, while maintaining your regular iPhone number to friends and family. Your second line can even be an 800 number or you can transfer an existing number.
To that end, Toktumi offers a raft of Google Voice-ish features that are intended to help a small businesses look bigger: call screening, Do Not Disturb hours and voice mail messages sent to you as e-mail. You can create an “automated attendant” (“Press 1 for… ”) that routes incoming calls to other phone numbers. Or, if you’re pretending to be a bigger business than you are, route them all to yourself (which is something I’d do…).
Line2 also turns the iPhone into a dual-mode phone. That is, it can make and receive calls using either the AT&T airwaves as usual, or — now this is the best part — over the Internet. Any time you’re in a wireless hot spot, Line2 places its calls over Wi-Fi instead of AT&T’s network.
For most, this is the greatest plus. Where, after all, is cellphone reception generally the worst? Right! Inside that burning building when I tried to call 911 that one time. Well, assuming the place isn’t burning down, you are most likely to have Wi-Fi in your house or your office building — meaning clear and reliable reception indoors.
Line2 also runs on the iPod Touch. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, your Touch is now a full-blown cellphone, and you don’t owe AT&T a cent.
The “cash money,” however, is where Line2 differentiates itself from other similar apps like Skype and TruPhone. Line2 is the first app that can receive incoming calls via either Wi-Fi or cellular voice, so you get the call even if the app isn’t running. Moreovoer, let’s say you’re on a Wi-Fi call using those other programs, and someone calls your regular iPhone number, your first call is disconnected whether you like it or not. Conversely, Line2 offers you the chance to decline the incoming call without losing your Wi-Fi call. Not to mention, those rival apps also lack Line2’s call-management features, visual voice mail and conference calling with up to 20 other people. AND Line2 is the only app that gives you a choice of call methods for incoming and outgoing calls.
With SO many features for $0.99 (and a $15/month), it’s unbelievable that AT&T isn’t putting up more of a fight. Granted, Toktumi only released Line2 this past February, they are well on their way to making AT&T feel a little hot under the collar.
Move over AT&T! Mine Kapitalism is here to stay!!!
What do you think about this new app? Will you be getting it (to replace a competitor’s app or supplement your iPhone)? Let us know what you think!