Talkatone iPhone App, a review of the app that replaced my cell phone company

As I blogged about previously, I cancelled my cell service and decided to use apps on my iPhone 4S to make calls and text over wifi. Here is an update.


There are many apps available for communication in the App Store. Some require that both users be logged onto the app in question, and then users are only allowed to call or message within that app. This does me no good because I want people to be able to use my google voice number as if it were a regular number.

There are several apps that will let you send texts and make calls using your google voice number.

But there is only one app that will allow you to RECEIVE calls on your device as push notifications, in a similar manner to the way the native phone app works. This app is TALKATONE.

One week into my no-cell-bill experiment, the app crashed. And I couldn’t get it to stop crashing.

I contacted Talkatone via their blog and twitter. And eventually I started trouble shooting with them over email. They worked with me to get the app working. And now I can receive calls like normal again!

I’m glad I didn’t give up.

The people at Talkatone were extremely supportive.

Kudos!

The only bad thing I have to add, in the interest of full disclosure, is that the call quality is splotchy at times. I have had people I call regularly comment about it. If I’m going to be on a longer call, however, I can always use the Google Voice app directly; calls are much clearer through it.

By Erin
6/14/2013

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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11 Responses to Talkatone iPhone App, a review of the app that replaced my cell phone company

  1. Nicole September 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi Erin,

    I was wondering how you are getting along with just using TalkaTone for your voice services.
    Do you just have a data plan with a wireless company?
    I thought in order to use the Google voice app, you had to have a voice plan, no?

    • ekwetzel September 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      I have been meaning to do a follow-up post on my “no cell company” experiment for some time now. I have no data plan and no cell plan. I just use my iPhone as a device, and I use my Google Voice number for messaging and phone calls through the Talkatone app. In a nutshell, I would say that the quality and reliability of talkatone rates at about a B minus, but it’s good enough for me. Eventually I want to look into prepaid plans that would let me use my iPhone device and prepay for a year or two in order to avoid the overpriced month-to-month structuring of most cell plans. But, for now, I’m happy!

      I don;t use the Google voice app. It’s clunky, compared to talkatone.

  2. Dan December 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Hi Erin,
    I was wondering if you have the free version or the paid version of Talkatone? I heard the paid version has much better call quality. Thanks.

    • ekwetzel December 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      I’ve just bee using the free version. As long as I have full wifi signal, the call quality is just fine.

      • Camile Howerton June 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

        Hello. I enjoy your blog and your artistic talents! I have an iPhone6 & am planning to follow your example to use WiFi for calls. I have a few questions: Are you still using The ‘free’ version of talkaphone with your Google Voice number showing to those you call? When people call your Google number are you able to answer the call with the Talkatone app on your iPhone? Also are you limited to how many incoming calls or outgoing calls? I use Google Voice for texting already & hope not to add another phone number so I’d appreciate your feedback on how the configuration of iPhone and apps you’ve tried worked for you. Warm Regards Camile

        • ekwetzel July 4, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

          Hi Camile –

          I finally bought a cell phone plan a few months ago. I will answer your questions to the best of my understanding, but it’s possible things have changed since I have used these apps, so take my input with that understanding. šŸ˜‰ I used an iPhone 4S at the time.

          I had 1 number: a google voice number.

          I used the google voice app for texting. I really liked that I could use google voice to “text” from my laptop from here: http://www.google.com/voice. You can’t use google voice for phone calls, because google stopped offering that support. I also know that some people use google hangouts for texting.

          I could still use iMessaging with people, but the messages would look like they were coming from my email address. If someone texted my pone number, it would go to the google voice app.

          I used talkatone to place & answer calls, and the number that would show up for people would be my google voice number. The quality of the calls wasn’t great, but it was free, so it was good enough for me.

          I recommend setting up all these apps and getting used to them before you cancel your plan. This is especially important for setting up Google voice verification on your cell phone.

          I don’t think there is a limit on calls, but I never made that many calls, anyways. I mostly texted, or used social media.

          I hope that helps!
          ^_^ Erin

  3. Curt January 8, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    I loved, yes “loved”, Talkatone. However, it assigned me a number which belonged to a David Slate. And that is not my name. Whenever I called others, their Caller ID would show that “David Slate” was calling them.
    I contacted (twice) Talkatone to have that problem corrected. On the second e-mail they told me to contact GoogleVoice, who would charge me $10. To assign me a new number.
    At that point I just deleted both the Apps for Talkatone and the GMail.
    Sorry, but I will have to use my MagicJack App to make and receive calls on my iPhone.
    Hopefully others will have better luck than I did with Talkatone.

  4. Ed March 5, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi Erin,
    Like you I was tired of paying Verizon for basically nothing.
    I bought 2 tracfones from hsn for $80 each and received 2 new Motorola
    Phones, kept my old numbers and got 2200 minutes on each phone good for 515 days.

    This will last my wife and I the full 515 days. Once you set up your voice mail
    You can retrieve it from a landline for free on the Tracfone.

    I now use Talkatone for all my long distance calls and test messages,
    I have a new number with them and so far so good.

    This will save me about $1200 dollars or more. Next step is getting rid of cable tv
    Use netflix and love it.

  5. liza September 29, 2015 at 12:28 am #

    Hi Erin,
    I just want to know, how safe is it to use talkatone? I’ve read the privacy terms n agreements, I never fully understand exactly what they say. They go on and on and repeat the same things differently. But is it really safe for you to use this app? Can it be easily hacked? Or should one becareful

  6. liza September 29, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    Or should one be careful of what is said and sent over calls and text? Like the kind of pictures I send my boyfriend or late night talks with him. To my understanding they have a lot of your personal information and keep track of personal info also. On the privacy n agreement it says something like if the company was to go bankrupture the new owner will take over along with all the users info. So can they do what they want with that info? I don’t get it.

    • ekwetzel October 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

      Honestly, I have no idea. >_< I'm sorry I couldn't be more help.