Home VoIP Over 3G Comes to the iPhone – And Maybe Even the iPad

VoIP Over 3G Comes to the iPhone – And Maybe Even the iPad

Yesterday’s iPad launch continues to dominate the tech news today. Besides announcing the iPad, however, Apple also quietly announced a major change to its iPhone policies yesterday: Apple now allows developers to use a 3G connection to make VoIP calls. The first application to make use of this is iCall (iTunes link), but chances are that Skype, Truphone and other VoIP providers are already working on updated iPhone apps as well.

Until now, Apple’s iPhone SDK prohibited developers from developing VoIP-enabled apps that used the carrier’s 3G network. Developers who wanted to use VoIP in their apps had to restrict themselves to using this feature over Wi-Fi connections only.

This restriction was purely Apple’s decision. AT&T had already lifted its own ban on VoIP apps over 3G last October. Back then, Skype’s CEO, Josh Silverman, praised AT&T for this move and called it “the right step for AT&T, Apple, millions of mobile Skype users and the Internet itself.”

In our own tests, the iCall application worked just like advertised, though we did experience some lag and the application wasn’t 100% stable.

VoIP and the iPad?

While the iPad won’t have any built-in telephony apps, some versions of the device will come with optional 3G connectivity. Thanks to today’s change in Apple’s iPhone SDK policies, the iPad – which features a built-in microphone – now has the potential to work as a VoIP phone as well. We still have to wait and see if Apple will allow this, however.

See also: ReadWriteWeb’s complete coverage and analysis of the iPad on our iPad topic page.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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