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Apps for calling overseas?

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nakatago
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Postby nakatago » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 5:46 am

zzm9980 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Thanks guys, lots of options to try. But from what all the comments it appears the good old calling card way is still preferred compared to apps like Skype, Viber Out, Vonage etc


Wrong... much better calling prices with Skype than any calling card.


And better than Skype, Google Voice. It's generally much lower than the competitors.


Isn't that still a US-only thing? Hangouts dialler recently came out but I haven't tried it since almost everyone I need to call ends up using an internet based messaging solution anyway so it's data-to-data point-to-point. For everything else, I still use Skype because I still have around 13 bucks in it.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 8:55 am

Skype and Google Voice calling rates are basically unpredictable and they can not be generalized. They (I guess) depend on the individual agreements with domestic country operators.

For example, Skype to Poland has a flat rate 2.3c (USD) for any provider while for Germany it is 2.3c landlines and 6c for mobiles.
For GV: Poland, 2c and 3c to 19c (depending on the mobile operator) and Germany, 1c and 4c.

But let's be realistic, with an average calling duration for my family ~1h a week the difference Skype vs GV would be like S$10 a year so probably not worth time to download, install and register/configure GV software. This time can be much better spent eating some food or fighting people on an Internet forum.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:11 am

x9200 wrote:Skype and Google Voice calling rates are basically unpredictable and they can not be generalized. They (I guess) depend on the individual agreements with domestic country operators.

For example, Skype to Poland has a flat rate 2.3c (USD) for any provider while for Germany it is 2.3c landlines and 6c for mobiles.
For GV: Poland, 2c and 3c to 19c (depending on the mobile operator) and Germany, 1c and 4c.


Yup; I agree that there's no blanket X is cheaper than Y across the board. They all depend on deals with the local telcos.

x9200 wrote:But let's be realistic, with an average calling duration for my family ~1h a week the difference Skype vs GV would be like S$10 a year so probably not worth time to download, install and register/configure GV software. This time can be much better spent eating some food or fighting people on an Internet forum.


I just checked; I think Hangouts dialler IS Google voice now and I have 11.33 USD in credit. I'll try that when I call the Philippines next time.
Last edited by nakatago on Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:12 am

x9200 wrote:Skype and Google Voice calling rates are basically unpredictable and they can not be generalized. They (I guess) depend on the individual agreements with domestic country operators.

For example, Skype to Poland has a flat rate 2.3c (USD) for any provider while for Germany it is 2.3c landlines and 6c for mobiles.
For GV: Poland, 2c and 3c to 19c (depending on the mobile operator) and Germany, 1c and 4c.

But let's be realistic, with an average calling duration for my family ~1h a week the difference Skype vs GV would be like S$10 a year so probably not worth time to download, install and register/configure GV software. This time can be much better spent eating some food or fighting people on an Internet forum.


It's very easy to compare the rates before committing. Yours is the first example I've seen where it was so close or favorable for skype. But then I never compared Europe (where Skype started). Every case I know of between the two (mostly Asia, India, and South America) GV was half the price or even less.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:14 am

nakatago wrote:Skype and Google Voice calling rates are basically unpredictable and they can not be generalized. They (I guess) depend on the individual agreements with domestic country operators.

For example, Skype to Poland has a flat rate 2.3c (USD) for any provider while for Germany it is 2.3c landlines and 6c for mobiles.
For GV: Poland, 2c and 3c to 19c (depending on the mobile operator) and Germany, 1c and 4c.


Yup; I agree that there's no blanket X is cheaper than Y across the board. They all depend on deals with the local telcos.

x9200 wrote:But let's be realistic, with an average calling duration for my family ~1h a week the difference Skype vs GV would be like S$10 a year so probably not worth time to download, install and register/configure GV software. This time can be much better spent eating some food or fighting people on an Internet forum.


I just checked; I think Hangouts dialler IS Google voice now and I have 11.33 USD in credit. I'll try that when I call the Philippines next time.[/quote]

Previously all you had to do was tell Google you were in the US (pick a zip code, any zip code. Everyone knows 90210) and you could activate a GV account. You could change your location after and never lose it, and you could charge it via Google Wallet with any payment method you'd like.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:26 am

zzm9980 wrote:Previously all you had to do was tell Google you were in the US (pick a zip code, any zip code. Everyone knows 90210) and you could activate a GV account. You could change your location after and never lose it, and you could charge it via Google Wallet with any payment method you'd like.


I used Google Voice before though desktop only which didn't require a number. I briefly had it on my phone because I had a US number. I then forgot about it because I didn't had to call as much, if at all; like I said everyone I had to call had some IP-based contact anyway and thought I already used up my credits.

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Postby aster » Thu, 16 Oct 2014 1:50 am

x9200 wrote:For example, Skype to Poland has a flat rate 2.3c (USD) for any provider


That's really good - 1-2 years ago Skype was charging a lot more to call mobiles, which is when I noticed I was being charged substantially less when using a UK VPN.

I just use Skype over Google as I tend to make calls from my iPhone, and as yet I haven't seen an official Google app for its voice service...

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 16 Oct 2014 2:34 am

aster wrote:
x9200 wrote:For example, Skype to Poland has a flat rate 2.3c (USD) for any provider


That's really good - 1-2 years ago Skype was charging a lot more to call mobiles, which is when I noticed I was being charged substantially less when using a UK VPN.

I just use Skype over Google as I tend to make calls from my iPhone, and as yet I haven't seen an official Google app for its voice service...



Google Hangouts is what it is called now.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 16 Oct 2014 6:17 am

zzm9980 wrote:
aster wrote:
x9200 wrote:For example, Skype to Poland has a flat rate 2.3c (USD) for any provider


That's really good - 1-2 years ago Skype was charging a lot more to call mobiles, which is when I noticed I was being charged substantially less when using a UK VPN.

I just use Skype over Google as I tend to make calls from my iPhone, and as yet I haven't seen an official Google app for its voice service...



Google Hangouts is what it is called now.


And make sure you also have Hangouts Dialler in there as well (you can think of it as a plugin for Hangouts).

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 16 Oct 2014 7:09 am

I use skype also for the reason of having a physical phone number in the other country so I can be called by anybody from any standard phone.

I also have a skype phone integrated with a dect phone. When somebody calls me over skype it is like a normal call and can be received via any of the handsets (unfortunately not the other way around).

Having these two in place I am essentially a part of the other country telephone network what is completely transparent and all incoming calls ale like this other country local calls.

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Postby aster » Wed, 22 Oct 2014 2:58 am

x9200 wrote:I use skype also for the reason of having a physical phone number in the other country so I can be called by anybody from any standard phone.

I also have a skype phone integrated with a dect phone. When somebody calls me over skype it is like a normal call and can be received via any of the handsets (unfortunately not the other way around).

Having these two in place I am essentially a part of the other country telephone network what is completely transparent and all incoming calls ale like this other country local calls.


This works very well - I used to do it for a long while (with the local overseas number in Poland for people calling us) even though most family calls were about seeing the kids, so we were mostly just using direct Skype calls in order to use the camera.

Skype also allows you to get a local number for... outgoing calls. This can be particularly useful when going abroad if you get a prepaid SIM with lots of (or unlimited) local calls... but limited (or no) data. Then you just make Skype calls by dialling the local access code first instead of via the internet.

What is Google Hangouts like? I must say their web page is absolute crap. 5 links to download the app... and not a single one to get more info on their product (or prices).

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 22 Oct 2014 5:55 am

aster wrote:
What is Google Hangouts like? I must say their web page is absolute crap. 5 links to download the app... and not a single one to get more info on their product (or prices).


https://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/

Eh?

I see three links: one for Android, one for iOS and one for Chrome.

Granted, looking for the rates takes some work: https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/rates?hl=en&p=hangout

But hey, I heard Google has a good search engine.

Anyway, video Hangouts is better than Skype; at least in my experience in those instances I've tried both with the same person. That is, you can actually make out the person's face. I haven't done exhaustive testing but this would of course depend on the internet connections of both parties.

FYI: I just recently learned that with Skype instant messaging, your message won't be sent until the receiver is online WHILE you are online as well...which makes for some weirdly-timed chat sessions.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 22 Oct 2014 7:49 am

Hangouts are quite nice compared to Skype. It's my prefered platform when using my laptop or when chatting with multiple people or sharing screens.

Nothing beats Facetime for complete ease of use, as long as both parties have iDevices.

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 9:10 am

It seems that Google is now marketing Hangouts for calls. First minute to calls to any of 25 countries is free till 2014 ends (I got an app notification this morning).

http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/10/27 ... d-of-2014/

Australia
Belgium
Brazil
Canada: Most calls will be free. A few destinations will cost USD 1 cent per minute after the first minute.
China
Dominican Republic
France
Germany
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Netherlands
Norway
Peru
Poland
Russia
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States: Most calls will be free. A few destinations will cost USD 1 cent per minute after the first minute.

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 9:30 am

Now that I am in the windows camp and Skype is preloaded and they have given me free unlimited world subscription for 3 months, although it doesn't cover India, I tried calling SG phones and the quality is pretty good. I guess I will buy some Skype credit and stick with it.


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