Sunday, May 30, 2010

google ipad call

Using the truphone app on ipad, you can make and receive voice calls, even with the wifi version, which is what I have. The call rates are reasonably cheap, and voice quality is excellent. However, it gets better than this. You can use Google voice + Gizmo + Truphone to make free phone calls to anyone in the US, right from the iPad. Of course you need a wifi connection, but isn't this cool?

Here is how to do it

1. Sign for a truphone account, and install their iPad app.
2. Sign up for gizmo and set it up to forward it to truphone sip account ( The glitch here is that since google's acquisition of gizmo, new signups have been disabled. I was lucky to have an old account lying around.
3. Signup/ signin to google voice and set it up to forward it to gizmo number
4. Go to google voice page in browser. From the bottom link, select the desktop version, as there is an issue with the mobile version which opens up automatically.
4. Make that call, choosing to let google voice connect you using the gizmo number.

That was how you make outgoing calls. Here's how to make incoming calls.

Now while truphone app is good enough, it is still not supporting push, which means you get your calls from google voice only if truphone is running in the foreground. If you have jail broken your phone using spirit, you can install backgrounder and run the truphone app in the background, which would enable you to get the calls all the time, as long as your wifi connection Is up ( or if you are on 3G already)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

IDN's are here

The English language has 26 letters, which when combined, produce an awful lot of words, and an even greater variety of phrases.Yet, we are running of cool domain names. Forget english words and phrases, even invented words that are catchy and easy to pronounce are in short supply.

Having missed on the first gold rush, I thought the IDNs may be an opportunity to get the kind of domain names I have always wished for. Short for Internationalized Domain names, IDN's are essentially non latin domain names. The first fully IDN domain names made their debut yesterday. This is several months after an article in one of the mainstream Indian dailies recently about Hindi domain names finally making their debut. And yes, Hindi has lost out because of proedural delays, so the first ones are in Arabic.

However, it was quite a surprise for me to know that the non english domain names have really been available since 2001. What is really new is the approval of non english extensions (so you could have the localized version of .com, .net, .tv), but sites like हिन्दीडोमेननाम.com have been around for quite sometime. A lot of issues need to be sorted. For example- how to make sure you get your email with a domain name that looks like line noise to legacy email servers? Nevertheless, I find it pretty surprising that the browsers can handle Hindi and Arabic domain names.

So here is a link to the first among equals http://موقع.وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر/. From my broken reading of Arabic, this is the website for Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Egypt. (At first look, I translated this as Ministry of Publications and Technical Information).