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Making Free Calls on The iPad

Using VoIP to Make Free and Cheap Calls on Your iPad

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Apple Unveils Updated iPad In San Francisco
Kevork Djansezian / Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you are one of the users of Apple's iPad (Compare prices), then you want to make the most of the investments you have made on your new piece of technological jewelry. Using VoIP on your iPad can make you save a lot of money and save you from using your expensive GSM minutes to make calls. You can use the iPad to make free local and international calls just like you would using a simple computer with an Internet connection, because the iPad has something of both a computer and a phone.

When Apple launched the iPhone, VoIP wasn't most welcome on board, due to resistance from Apple's network partners fearing loss of benefits to VoIP. Also, the phone itself was not open to every VoIP possibility in terms of applications. With the iPad, things are different, and it seems that Apple has known better.

The Requirements of VoIP over the iPad

What you normally require to make and receive voice calls on a computer are an Internet connection, a VoIP application and service, a voice input device (microphone) and output device (earphones or speakers). The iPad fortunately provides all that (could it not?), minus the VoIP service. But the latter can very easily be found - you will even have difficulty to choose in the near future.

Internet Connection on the iPad

One of the main hurdles to the adoption of VoIP on Apple's portable machines lately, namely the popular iPhone, was the restriction on using AT&T's 3G network. And you know that 3G is in many places the only wireless wide-area network available.

On the iPad, 3G is clear and can be used with VoIP. The machine also supports Wi-Fi and GSM. This means that you can make VoIP calls within your local area wireless network and also while on the move. Most of iPad users already pay a monthly bill for a 3G data plan. Using VoIP over 3G is a way of making up for the cost.

VoIP Applications and Services for the iPad

You need a mobile VoIP service in order to make VoIP calls on the iPad. Most of these services provide an application that you can install on your computer or phone and use as a softphone to make and receive calls. In these early days of the iPad, only a handful of applications and services are supported on the iPad, but a lot of others are likely to crop up like mushrooms in the near future.

Apple's development potential for applications isn't as large as for Linux and Windows, but Apple has updated the iPad's SDK (software development kit) such that anyone can develop VoIP applications for it.

So far, iCall works for the iPad. Skype just got its green light and will be launching and iPad client soon.

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