Content of the material
What Youll Need
What you need is actually kind of obvious, but here's a quick overview:
- An iPod touch – We'll be concentrating on the latest (4G) hardware, but in most cases this guide will be applicable to any iPod touch.
- A VoIP App – We've already mentioned Skype and Line2, but we'll take a look at additional options
- A Constant Wi-Fi Connection – If you're looking to have a fancy home phone, your home Wi-Fi network will do just fine. We're going to take it a little further, however, and take a look at actually using your iPod touch no matter where you go.
- Extra: An iPod-compatible Headset – Because the iPod touch isn't supposed to be a phone, you'll want to make sure you have a headset unless you don't mind always talking on speakerphone. Apple only includes earbuds, so you'll have to go out and buy a pair (of Apple's or anyone's, Bluetooth or wired). While you can technically use newer iPod touches without a headset, it's not designed to be a phone and a headset will make everything much better.
Once you've got it all, it's time to get started. Here's a quick list of what we're going to cover in case you want to jump to a particular section:
- Getting Phone and SMS Service
- Maintaining Constant Connectivity
- Other Options (Jailbreaking, etc.)
- Is It Worth It? Pros and Cons
How to set up phone service:
Once you are confident in staying connected, you can turn your iTouch into a phone. Skype is a popular service that is used to stay in touch when phone service just does not cut it. However, Skype can only be used on the 4th generation iTouch at this time.
Skype allows users to make calls all over the world for a fraction of the cost and it is all done via computer. By downloading Skype onto your iTouch, you can sign up for an account and use it to make calls.
In order to use Skype on an iPod Touch, you have to buy a compatible headset. These are mini-jack headsets and can be bought at a variety of retailers. This is the most expensive part of turning your iTouch into an iPhone, but if you are serious about using it as a phone, this is the way to do it. Once you have a compatible headset, you can login to Skype to begin making and receiving calls.
When using Skype on an iPod Touch, you will only be able to make and receive calls. You will not be able to use the video phone service or share calls with others using a traditional phone. You will be able to make free Skype to Skype calls from the get go and if you opt to make Skype to phone line calls, you will have to pay for the service to take advantage of that feature.
Most Versatile: Fring
Fring was the first-to-market app with various features like VoIP calling, video chat over 3G, and more. What's great about Fring is that it works with all kinds of communication tools you probably already use. Got a GTalk account? Great! It'll work. Do you subscribe to a service that uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol, or more basically a protocol that makes two-way communication possible)? You're covered! While Fring won't offer you SMS text messages, you can communicate through several instant messaging services (AIM, MSN, ICQ, etc.) as well as social networks (Twitter and Facebook). Call quality is pretty good, and if you have a SIP account you can actually use it as a phone app. The nice thing about Fring is that it gives you a lot of choice. What you pay depends on the services you choose. Although your needs will dictate whether it's the right "phone" app for you and your iPod touch, it's certainly a usable option.
Fring via the iTunes App Store
Not all iPod touch devices are compatible with conventional earphones and headphones. You must have the appropriate compatible accessories. You can use the built-in microphone and speakers of the device; add Apple EarPods or similar ear buds or headphones that incorporate a mic for privacy.