iMessage but for calls

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by mopatops, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. mopatops macrumors regular

    mopatops

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    #1
    Just thought I'd start a discussion on what people would think of an iMessage equivalent for making calls. All that's needed is the audio component of FaceTime to run on its own right?

    Maybe in iOS 7 eh? :p
     
  2. GeorgieAcevedo macrumors 6502a

    GeorgieAcevedo

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    #2
    Just FaceTime go to your home screen and it'll pause the camera but the audio will still work. There you go "iMessage" for calls or icalls, maybe..
     
  3. *Calypso*, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    *Calypso* macrumors regular

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    #3
    Even though it is possible to abuse FaceTime for normal phone calls with this trick, it is not very convenient. I would really want an option to automatically use Apple ID VoIP whenever both sides have a sufficient connection (with a fallback option during the call if the data connection turns out to suck). Maybe it's just me, but I'm not willing to pay for phone calls to other smartphones anymore - that's what my data package/WiFi is for.
     
  4. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

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    #4
    This would be a worth addition and as the carriers start to fool with the subsidy they are willing to give Apple I'll bet you see something like it happen.

    In the US the carriers are wise to this and limiting data usage. On my plan mobile-mobile is free as well as any ~5 numbers that I designate. So calling works for me. And I have way too many mins anyway but that isn't the point.

    Skype would be an option I suppose but I find it to be a batt hog and the other party would have to be running Skype. You can call phone #s directly.
     
  5. phr0ze macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    And thats why voice is becoming unlimited (See Verizon's new plans). You aren't going to pay for minutes anymore, and in that case its just easier to use standard calls.

    BTW: I was first hoping this was about automatically calling people who may only have an email address registered with iMessage. ie. call and ipad or touch. In this case seamlessly patch through data.
     
  6. Vizin, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  7. jclardy macrumors 68040

    jclardy

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    #7
    What would be the point? Wifi calling?

    I guess it might be useful in a place with wireless internet but bad cell reception.

    But then if you call out from wireless, does Apple have to route it to a cell tower? Otherwise someone on 3G might be annoyed that they are wasting their data while they have unlimited voice in the first place.

    I don't see it working out. With Facetime, you know you are using your data connection. With a voice call there would have to be a new interface, indicating that you are using your data rather than cell minutes.

    And with data prices continuing to go up with data allotments not moving I don't see this as a particularly wanted feature. Although it would be nice for iPod Touch/iPad users though.
     
  8. *Calypso*, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    *Calypso* macrumors regular

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    #8
    I am glad to inform you that not all Apple customers are US citizens. In Germany for instance you can get data plans for €10 or less (and the last time I checked for the US, there were unlimited data plans that are cheaper than unlimited voice plans - just buy your next iPhone directly from Apple). So why would I be paying an extra €15-50 for voice minutes and SMS if I can use VoIP and WhatsApp/iMessage for free instead? Also, I am pretty sure that even in the US unlimited voice doesn't include calls all around the world. ;)

    It can work just like iMessage, where messages are send as SMS if one or both sides are without internet connection. If both sides are connected to the internet, it uses the data connection, if not it uses the normal voice connection. There doesn't need to be a new interface, just a few options ("Activate VoIP over Apple ID", "Allow instant switching to voice call", ...) and some kind of indicator next to the phone number (like the blue color of contacts with iMessage activated).

    Unlike Facetime, VoIP only uses a fraction of the bandwidth, 64 kb/s should be more than enough for a decent audio quality, possibly even less. So as long as Apple doesn't screw this up (like Viber did), this should be a good substitute for standard voice calls.

    And like I said, it is not normal to have unlimited voice outside the US, so there should be a demand for such a feature.
     
  9. RoboCop001 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    This would be cool. I wish they had iMessage in Game Centre. Should be able to chat with your gamer friends without having to have their number or email!
     
  10. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #10
    Even on 3G it would be cheaper to make a call using data than the paying the carrier's calling fee.
     
  11. phr0ze macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I don't know where I stated only US companies are going to unlimited voice. I used Verizon as a recent example, but I'm sure others will follow. Unlimited data can not survive as these companies realize true voice no longer has value.
     
  12. *Calypso* macrumors regular

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    #12
    Well, you said "voice is going unlimited, you are not going to pay for minutes anymore". So I came up with a counterexample. In fact, I only pay for a data plan and 9ct per minute for voice calls. So yes, it would be a huge financial relief for me to have VoIP built into iOS that works as convenient as iMessage. I tried Viber, but the call quality is a mess even over WiFi and you have to tell all your friends to download it first.

    It doesn't have to be unlimited data, even at prices of $1 per 100 MB (with no fixed costs) it would be cheaper to use VoIP. Judged by the actual amount of data used voice calls and SMS are ridiculously overpriced - even if you pay $50 (or even more) for unlimited voice.
     
  13. mopatops thread starter macrumors regular

    mopatops

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    #13
    I pay £10 a month in the UK for unlimited data, unlimited texts but only 250 minutes. As you can see, this would be a huge feature for me.

    I'm not sure if instant switching to standard call upon loss of data connection would work. It takes a good few seconds to connect when you phone someone.

    Also, I'd have absoloutly no problem with this being wifi exclusive when it first debuts though I know that would be sucky for others.
     
  14. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

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    Jan 22, 2009
    #14
    I want an "iTalk" type feature but I quickly came up with the counter-arguments you have. I guess since FaceTime is moving from Wifi to 3G, the same concept came be applied there (in terms of handling switching from Wifi to 3G, and data allotments.

    The 2 main things why I want this feature is: I have poor reception in my house but I have wifi; so I use Skype a lot flawlessly. Second, the VOIP call quality is amazing. I use Skype, and the quality is insane - it makes me want to never want use AT&T/Verizon or any carrier again for calling.
     
  15. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #15
    So long as they actually provide a service for phones that are data only. I don’t see US carriers ever adopting this - sad to say, I think that Apple considers US based services first and foremost. If US carriers aren’t going to offer such a service, I don’t think that Apple would bother it even if there was a bunch of foreign carriers that would be willing to do it. I don’t see Apple thinking like that.

    If anything, Apple see’s FaceTime as meeting this demand if they see it as such.
     
  16. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #16
    Why would the carriers have any say in it? The call would simply be sent via 3G data just like any other piece of data. What's the difference if it's calls, text, videos, music, photos, or whatever? It's still all data and can all be sent via the data network. I'm sure carriers didn't have to approve every voice messaging app on the App Store, did they?
     
  17. Calidude macrumors 68000

    Calidude

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    #17
    This won't happen until the carriers allow Apple to let it happen...or when carriers all switch to data-only plans that have VOIP calling and VOIP calling only.
     
  18. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #18
    No, but what would be the point of Apple supporting a VOIP service if all their carriers require a voice plan anyhow. If you are communicating with an iPhone user (like iMessage) you can use FaceTime which Apple would argue accomplishes the same thing. Apple would literally have no motivation unless the carriers offered some sort of a motivation for Apple to do it - like a data only plan - something I contend they won’t bother with since they make more money on voice plans. They would also see this as a step backward when they have FaceTime.

    Remember, any such solution that is like iMessage would be about as proprietary as iMessage - it would be limited to iOS devices since Apple isn’t going to develop for other mobile platforms.
     

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