Last week, just the mention of VoIP over a smartphone was something that raised some eyebrows, given the controversy over Apple's rejection-that-wasn't-really-a-rejection of the Google Voice app for the iPhone.
This week, at the CTIA conference in San Diego, word about AT&T's announcement yesterday that it is opening the iPhone to VoIP services has spread quickly. And so, folks were interested in what companies like FriendCaller.com are showcasing.
The site, which works through a browser and now some mobile apps, allows users to "request" a phone call via the browser or app. What's interesting about this model is that users aren't actually placing calls. Instead, they're sending a "Call Me" link to the person they want to speak with. When the person on the other end clicks that "Call Me" link, it rings the browser or the app that sent the initial request.
Did you follow that?
It's an interesting concept but it feels like there's still some concessions being made to deal with the issues of VoIP on a mobile device. They're already addressing outbound calls with a Skype-Out type of strategy, allowing users to purchase credit for outbound calls.
But, seeing how this is a young company - less than a year old - and it's already advanced itself to run on multiple PC operating systems and browsers and is already expanding into mobile apps, it's not so hard to imagine that the service will become easier to use - and understand - soon enough.