Thursday, April 18, 2024

iPad Makes Free Phone Calls

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Early on, someone at Apple leaked the little secret or some smart cookie figured out and reported that it was actually possible to turn the iPad into a VoIP phone — and make free phone calls — by plugging in a USB headset using the optional Camera Connection kit.

The Camera Connection kit, a $29 accessory, includes two adapters that plug into the iPad’s lone connectivity port. One is a smart card reader, the other has a USB port. You plug in the USB adapter, then plug a headset into it.

We discovered that in fact you don’t need adapter or headset. With the right software—such as Skype or Toktumi’s Line2 for iPhone—the iPad’s built-in microphone and speakers turn it into a workable, if not great, speaker phone.

The whole notion of iPad as VoIP phone does beg a couple of questions, which we’d better deal with before going further. First, why would you even want to do this?

Who needs this?

We would argue that with the addition of a wireless Bluetooth keyboard, the iPad makes a viable laptop replacement for mobile workers with very light computing needs.

If all you need to do is check e-mail, do a little Web surfing and maybe review documents, the iPad is perfectly adequate. That it lets you watch YouTube, read e-books and listen to iTunes as well is a nice bonus.

Read the rest at VoIP Planet.

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