The world seems HUGE and unexplored to me, but in terms of technology, the world has become a small place.
Now, the farthest corners have been exposed not just for tourism but for anyone to travel and job hunt no matter where, even if it is thousands of miles away from their homeland and family.
Remember, I’ve been there and done that in New Zealand, but staying in touch was one if the hardest things I faced.
Yes, it was difficult, but with the advent of marvelous glass brick everyone is glued to, AKA smartphones, apps for making international calls are now abound and available on iPhones and Android.
Take a look at the best apps for making international calls.
Google Voice not just offers cheap international calling rates and voicemail with transcription, but you also have options for personalizing voicemail messages for callers, and forwarding calls to different phones.
Sadly, Google Voice App is still largely restricted to users in the US, and thus isn’t the best option if calls need to go both ways. Or connect with a travel fling. Google Voice has official apps for Android and iOS, and an unofficial option called GoVoice for Windows Phone.
Rebtel offers applications compatible to nearly devices including the iPhone, iPad, Android, Android tablets and Windows phones. The new Rebtel’s calling app 3.0 for iOS phones is not just stylish but is also practical as you can switch between local and data minutes for Rebtal calls. Besides, with Rebtel, calls between their own customers are free and cost of international calling too isn’t too expensive.
Skype is one of the best available VoIP options available in the market today. With internet hubs at every corner, and free wifi in some cafés, video chats with both the users having Skype can be an hourly affair. Even the per minute rates for international VoIP calls are quite low, and this is one way I called home while in New Zealand.
The only hitch is the sound quality at times. It can get a little unpredictable at times and business travelers with crucial conference calling do prefer apps with equal or better connectivity. Skype apps for international calls are available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
Vonage is similar to Skype, however without the video chat feature. Vonage too offers cheap international rates, free calls to other Vonage customers, and uses HD audio for VoIP calls, so the audio quality during calls is great. The Vonage app is available for Android and iOS, and if you are a Vonage home customer, you can use the Vonage Extensions app for Android or iOS to use your home plan on your mobile device.
Fring is an original app that got a jump start on Skype in the mobile market. It offers the same video chat, messaging, and VoIP calling options as Skype. The downside is that Fring’s mobile apps have poor, buggy performance at times. The fring app is available for Android and iOS.
Viber is another app that allows cheap international calls and free calls using WiFi between Viber users. The app scans your contact list, and notes those who already have the Viber app on their own phone. The downside is that incoming calls on the mobile carrier network usually result in an in-progress Viber call being dropped.
Buber is huge internationally and most backpackers I met used it.
There are Viber Apps for: iOS (iPhone), Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
Try out these apps if you do not wish to spend heftily on international calls, because every penny (if your country uses pennies still) matters. They are user friendly are compatible to a range of devices available and used largely in the market. Some offer lower rates, better connectivity, or more flexibility with rates so you’ll have to find the right one for you.
Now keep in touch, I’m sure Mom, Pop, and friends miss ya!
Any other apps that you use to keep in touch? Share!