Talkatone is one of the latest VoIP apps to enter the already crowded market.
The app was designed to make it easier for users to “talk” to anyone the world over, at little or no cost.
Pros of Talkatone
The biggest advantage that Talkatone has over other VoIP apps is that users can connect by texting, calling, chatting and other social services even with those who have not yet installed the app. Users of Viber can only communicate with other users who have the app installed on their mobile device. Skype users can communicate with users who do not have Skype installed on their phones, but have to have a Microsoft ID. Talkatone is, therefore, the only app, for now, that makes it possible for users to communicate both out-of and in-network.
After installing Talkatone in your mobile device, the app will require access to your contact list to enable functionality. The app interface has several similarities to your phone’s major functionalities, such as Contacts, Favorites, Keypad and Recent menus. Therefore, using the app will not require much, if any, assistance.
Cons of Talkatone
To make a call to someone who does not have the app installed on their device is time-consuming. Each time, you will be needed to log into Google Voice by activating your Google account through Talkatone.
The Caller ID displayed to recipients of a call placed through Talkatone is generic. The app does not yet have person-specific caller ID and instead indicates to the recipient that the caller is an unknown user from Escondido in California. Therefore, you will have to warn your recipient in advance to expect a call with an Escondido, Californian caller ID or hope that he is curious enough to take the call.
The voice quality of the calls placed through the app is not crystal clear. Some users have mentioned hearing background noise, a stutter or a slight breakup on their calls. If you are not thinking about it, however, this will not interfere that much with the call.
Text messaging requires users go through the same process of signing into their Google accounts to activate Google Voice, which may be quite frustrating, if you had already done so before, to make a call. Therefore, if you count the number of usernames and passwords you have to enter, plus the actual text message you intend to send, you may as well have been sending an email.
The app displays banner ads on the bottom of your screen that may not be distracting as long as you do not pay attention to them. Every so often, the ad will be a full-screen display, which is usually easy to cancel to continue using Talkatone. However, users have the option to pay $9.99 to upgrade to an ad-free version of Talkatone.
That said, Talkatone if mostly free – in-network calls are completely free, plus an additional 10 free minutes for out-of-network calls that is provided every month. Therefore, for that level of functionality to be offered at almost no cost to users, it is a great idea.