Okay Canada, this one’s for you. We were shut out of the Google Voice app in Canada, but a new app has hit the App Store that will let you make free VoIP calls via Google Talk. Called Talkatone, you can now make calls over 3G/WiFi from your iPhone using your Google Account. Here’s how they describe themselves:
Talkatone is truly social. It helps you to chat, talk or exchange location with your GTalk friends and it’s extremely lightweight.
We designed and created it for ourselves. We wanted an iPhone GTalk client to communicate freely and instantly. And our friends loved Talkatone. That’s why we want to share it with you.
Exchange messages on your iPhone or call your friends if you need a voice communication. Invite your friends to Talkatone, they will love it.
Talkatone is free. It’s a Social Phone, pure and simple.
iTunes description with instructions on how to set this up:
Can you talk over GTalk?
Talkatone is a free Google Talkâ„ and Google Voiceâ„ client with iOS4 backgrounding and local notifications which offers exciting Instant Messenger, Voice Calling over WiFi and 3G, and Location Sharing features. In less technical terms:
âž¤ Backgrounding and Local Notifications mean the app is always on, so when your friend sends you a message, youâ€™ll get it right away (even if Talkatone is in background). Because really, who wants to receive a message about the most exciting game that is on TV right now, only when it is almost over (as push does)?
âž¤ Voice Calling over WiFi and 3G is, well, just that. Chat with your tech-savvy friends via GTalk about the great restaurant youâ€™ve found or use Google Voice to call your bank to confirm a credit card charge. Or vice versa – if your bank is fancier than your friends (we hope not).
âž¤ Location sharing means you can send your actual location to your friends, and those of your friends who are cool (i.e. use this app) can send their location to you. No more wandering around the neighborhood looking for the restaurant where your date is (im)patiently waiting – just share location with each other and get to the exquisite food in a pleasant company in minutes!
A few important things to know:
â˜¢ Using Talkatone requires an existing GMail account (Google Apps accounts supported too). You donâ€™t need any â€œspecialâ€ Talkatone account to use the app.
Some key features:
âœ† Making calls to regular phones requires an existing Google Voiceâ„ account integrated with Google Talkâ„ and is available for U.S. and Canada users – please read below (Google Talk is available worldwide).
âž¤ Login using your GMail account directly to Google Servers over a secure connection.
âž¤ Portrait and Landscape modes supported.
âž¤ Voice Calls over 3G and WiFi with advanced codecs for superior voice call quality.
âž¤ Share your location in real time with your peers.
âž¤ Unique double-side coverflow navigation with support of swipe gestures for quick switching between open windows.
âž¤ Basic Bluetooth headset support.
âž¤ Double-tap top status bar to show the “Quick Menu”.
âœ† To setup Google Voice to Google Talk integration you have to have Google Voice registered with your GMail email address.
â‘ Login to your GMail account on Mac or PC and sign in to chat there
â‘¡ Make at least one phone call from there using “Call phone” button. If you don’t have “Call phone” you may need to install Google Video chat plugin first.
â¸ Optionally: To receive your Google Voice calls in Talkatone as VoIP you may login to your Google Voice account and click “Forward to Google Chat”.
Google Voice to Google Talk integration is available for all U.S. and Canada based GMail accounts and Google Apps accounts transitioned to the “New Architecture”.
For international availability of Google Voice and calling rates please contact Google, Inc directly.
âœ† We do not recommend placing/receiving Google Voice VoIP calls over cellular (3G) networks, please use WiFi if possible.
Limitations of the current version – we work hard to eliminate them, but it just takes time:
No Video yet.
* Only 1 account at the time [yet].
* No Group chat [yet].
* No dedicated iPad interface [yet].
* We provide only basic VoIP Google Voice calling. For advanced features please use the official Google Voice application.
I tested this app with one of my Google Accounts and was able to call numbers with Talkatone. Your friends receiving your call will show caller ID for incoming Google Voice calls. The quality had a bit of a delay, but for a free call this is pretty neat.
What about security and logging in with your Google Account credentials? Talktatone says it’s completely secure:
We want to deliver a clear message which should not confuse, but help to understand details.
In short, we DO NOT collect any usernames or passwords on our servers and we DO NOT share them from Talkatone app. They only used to communicate with Google servers over secured connection.
Talkatone reminds me of Nettalk for making free calls to landlines. We’ve seen other amazing VoIP apps like Viber. Also, Tango will enable FaceTime over 3G/WiFi to other Tango users.
Click here to download Talkatone and let me know what you think. It’s free!