Vonage Targets Skype Users with New Free Video Calling
Vonage now offers video calling with the Vonage Mobile app on iPhone, iPad and Android, a move to take on video calling giant Skype.
Starting this week, Vonage users can place video calls to others using the company’s Vonage Mobile app free of charge. Updated versions of both the iOS and Android Vonage Mobile apps with video calling, are already in their respective app stores.
This new video calling feature will work regardless of the type of internet connection the user is placing the call on WiFi, LTE or 3G. Previously, users of Apple’s FaceTime and Microsoft’s Skype were restricted to only placing video calls on the iPhone when connected to a local Wi-Fi connection, restrictions that are no longer in place.
According to Vonage, users are able to switch between audio and video calls at any time instead of having to end their calls, to switch to just audio or vice-versa.
Text messaging and audio calls are also free for Vonage Mobile users as well, though users who need to communicate with traditional landline and cellular phone numbers would have to purchase credit from the service.
Read: Vonage Goes Android
In its entirety, the service isn’t unlike Skype, which also allows you to place audio and video calls to other Skype users. That service, which was purchased by Microsoft and also allows for the purchase of a mobile phone number specifically for use with a Skype account, has become the default standard for VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol applications or put another way, applications that help you connect to friends and family over the internet.
While Vonage is cheaper than Skype when calling traditional phones, Skype is available on nearly every platform a user could possibly be on including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry 10.
Vonage’s move into a full communication suite comes just a month after Microsoft began integrating Skype into its offerings. Skype for Windows Phone recently left beta testing after a final round of bug fixes and also has plans to replace its Windows LIVE Messenger application with Skype. Microsoft is also close to bringing Skype to users of its Outlook.com service as well.