SEPTEMBER 2012: How cool is it to be doing something on your tablet, realize you need to make a call, and then make that call without pulling out your phone?
If you’re not using your iPad or Android tablet to make phone calls, you’re missing out! Here’s how to lighten up on gadgets and save some mobile minutes, too.
All you need is the right app and, for decent call quality, a Bluetooth or wired headset. Here are two of the best VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) apps available — both are free and both work over 3G and WiFi.
Skype for iPad: Skype is the granddaddy of VoIP mobile calling and a fixture on the free-calls scene. Making Skype calls from your iPad is just as easy as making Skype calls from your smartphone, laptop or desktop. Just download the app. Skype-to-Skype calls are free and to make calls to land lines or mobile numbers, you can get a Skype credit card or a subscription (mobile data charges may also apply). You can pair your Bluetooth device with your iPad, use a headset or, if you’re not too picky about call quality, just use the built-in microphone.
Skype offers video chat, too, as does FaceTime, which works with other devices using the Mac operating systems.
Rebtel for Android Tablets: Rebtel, the largest mobile VoIP calling provider after Skype, recently came out with its Android Tablet app. The app is very easy to use, Rebtel-to-Rebtel calls are free, and for international calling, click on the app’s Account tab to view a list of rates for 50 countries. Rebtel also identifies which of the contacts in your address book have Rebtel numbers, and makes it easy to invite those who don’t get on the bandwagon.