iPhone App Review: Callvine – HD Voice Conferencing

iPhone App Review: Callvine – HD Voice Conferencing

April 9th, 2012 by

The days of Apple locking out telephony apps are gone, letting apps like Callvine’s HD Voice Conferencing give us alternative methods for reaching out and touching someone. Using this free app you can conference in up to 10 callers, define groups and send group text messages, and includes multiple advanced conference calling features like music on hold, HD recording of conference, individual management of conference participants, and more. With a paid premium subscription you can increase the maximum callers to 100 and enjoy more features, like instant tap-to-call of contacts.

How It Works

Setting up a call is as simple as creating a new conference, then adding participants from the contact list. The app will prompt you to send them a group text inviting them to the conference, including the scheduled start and end times and the conference code for them to join. Callers do not need the app to join a conference (the service will call them at the appointed time), since there will be a call-in number and conference code in the text message for them to join if they miss the initial call. You can also create a conference with participants and then manually start the conference immediately, letting the service call all of the participants and conferencing them in right away. With a paid subscription you can simply one-touch to call people using the app.

You have the choice, if you are using the app to join a conference, between using cellular minutes for the call or using your WiFi for the voice connection. The more astute reader may have deduced that if they have an iPod touch and a microphone, they can use this app to place phone calls for free. This would be a correct deduction, as would be the theory that this app turns all of the off-contract and off-service iPhones you have laying around the house into voice communication devices once again.

The Settings tab includes many features like music on hold, recording of calls, caller announcements, and more. There is also a conference dashboard for live calls where you can manage individual callers (place them on hold, drop them entirely, etc.).

Pros And Cons

Callvine has a great app and service here, especially for the price tag of Free. I tested the HD calling quality and it was superb on my iPhone 4, though there was a slight delay between myself and the other party (who was on a standard cellular connection). If we hadn’t been standing in the same room, it’s doubtful that we would even have known there was a delay in the first place.

Setting up and scheduling a conference call is easy, and free for up to 10 people. The group text messaging invite function is nice, though an email option would be welcome (my off-service iPhone 4 was not able to send the text message, so I had to manually paste the info into an email). The other features are rock-solid and work well, and there is a great option to set the threshold for number of callers before the conference actually “begins”.

I’m frankly amazed at how many features and how much functionality the developers have managed to cram into this little app, considering how much back-end support must be needed for managing the calls themselves as well as the internet-enabled telephony. The overall service and functionality provided by this app is stupendous, and provides a cheap and easy way to create a conference call for people at a moment’s notice.

Overall

Callvine’s HD Voice Conferencing is a stellar conferencing app that includes most major features that you would want in a conference calling service, and for a nominal monthly free can handle all of your conference and telephony needs.

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