Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mobile VoIP apps suck!

Yesterday Fring released their latest iPhone version with full iOS4 compatibility. They did not just add iOS4 multitasking support, but they also added video calling capability to the iPhone 3GS and the rest. Yes, the 3GS doesn’t have a front facing camera, but you could use the main camera for video calling. That’s better than nothing.

But later, they had to disable Skype completely because they couldn’t bear the network traffic caused by this video calling. Now the Fring client is almost useless. Without Fring’s Skype video calling support, it is nothing. That is the main reason most people use the phone for. I mean, they didn’t just disabled Skype on the iPhone. They took it down from all of their clients, on Symbian and Android as well.

Now, I found out that you can do video calling on the native Fring protocol. But how stupid are they, that they don’t have a PC version of their software. So whenever I need to make a video call to Ama, I have to come online on the phone. And this is not even tested yet. We tried to test it, and then I couldn’t see her in my contact list and the battery on her phone died, so it was a failed attempt. I will surely try it again, because this could be the only way that we can make video calls in the future. Of course I can’t see her because her phone doesn’t have the traditional front facing camera, but at least she can see me.

And this doesn’t end here. The Skype client on her phone has gone haywire. It doesn’t work anymore. I don’t know what is wrong with it. The Skype client wasn’t supported on the phone anyways. But we could install it and it worked well when it worked. It gave the best delays. Now it doesn’t work anymore.

So there are two more clients. Nimbuzz and Fring. Fring was the only option for video calling. Now that it doesn’t work (at least the way it used to) there is not preference. But I can still talk to Fring through google talk and the quality it pretty good. Google is the next stupidest of them all. They have video calling on gmail website, but the binary client doesn’t support video calling. How stupid is that? Usually people give the lesser options to the web version of their apps. I guess it is the other way round with Google. They are without a doubt the rulers of the internet.

Couple of more things about Fring. Ama cannot make a call from her phone to me whenever she is connected via Fring. I have to make the call from my end. And the other thing is that it takes ages to connect to the service. When Skype was working, and when she was on Fring and I was on the PC, it might sometimes takes 10 minutes for her to appear on my contact list. You can’t make a video call whenever you want. So what I did was, I talked with her on GTalk and when she appeared on my Skype, I would disconnect the GTalk call and make a video call. Sucks!

With Nimbuzz (and Skype when it was working) this was not a problem. She could make the call. But today in the morning when I tried Nimbuzz, I could not see her, but she could see me and she made the call. I couldn’t make a call because she didn’t appear in my contact list. So weird.

The issues with Nimbuzz doesn’t stop there.

Sometimes in the evening when Ama connects to Nimbuzz, there is a huge delay. You might think this is like 5 seconds or something. LOL! I’ve got delays as long as 1 minute!! Can you imagine that? None of the other clients give that much delay. Fring’s delay is pretty awesome. Nimbuzz sucks in the department, and “sucks” is being too lenient. The other issue with Nimbuzz is that I cannot make calls from GTalk to it. It never connects. I don’t understand why.

Basically everything sucks when it comes to mobile VoIP calling. On the PC, Skype rocks and it is as steady as one can be. I just hope they will bring iOS4 supported version soon and with video calling as well. But, we won’t be able to make a video call because that would mean installing it onto Ama’s phone. That won’t work.

Best thing to do is to make her get internet at home and use a PC!!! But she will be away from home for another 4 months. >_<

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