Much like Skype, iCall offers calling from your iPhone without minutes counting against your phone plan, for a fee. Monthly plans cost $9.95 and include unlimited domestic calling, while pay-as-you-go minutes start at 2.1 cents per minute (considering AT&T’s cheapest calling plan breaks down to 11.25 cents per minute for domestic calling, that’s still a bargain.) You can also make international calls for rates that closely mirror Google Voice’s (read: cheap).
Editor’s Note: Thanks go out to our commenters for a heads up on these two VoIP apps, which were not included in the original roundup!
The mobile app from this well-established provider of VoIP-based landlines offers one of the most polished iPhone apps we’ve seen. For instance, it allows you to dial directly from your iPhone’s standards contacts without any “import” process, making it feel familiar in many ways to the standard iPhone dialer – without the high rates. Per-minute prices closely mirror Skype’s, but Vonage offers only one monthly pricy service plan: unlimited “world” calling for $24.99 a month. Although this place includes access to over 60 countries compared to the 40 or so available through Skype’s $12.95 world plan, both seem to offer the same spotty restrictions on international cell lines (you’ll pay extra to call cell phones in some countries, and not in others). The most notable exception that might warrant paying almost double for Vonage versus Skype: landlines in Mexico are included, while Skype’s unlimited world subscription only discounts Mexican landlines to 4 cents per minute.
Similar in many ways to Fring, Truphone allows access to IM clients like Yahoo, AIM and Gtalk, also works with Skype, and offers outbound calling plans through its own service. Truphone offers three service tiers: basic per-minute calling with no monthly fees, a $4 monthly subscription that uses discounted per-minute rates, and a $17 monthly option that includes unlimited landline calls within its most popular countries, and to mobile lines as well within the U.S. On the no-subscription model, per-minute rates are generally higher than many competitors (for instance, domestic calls are billed at 5.1 cents per minute while Skype and iCall will both make them for 2.1).