Sunday, August 30, 2009

International calls - potentially useful information here

So the search started when my Dell laptop's hard drive crashed a couple of weeks ago. Since it's only a couple of months old, it's a semi-nice laptop with the requisite webcam/microphone built in that I've been using my Skype calls on from home/café/McDonald's parking lot. The difficulty is that to call Dell technical support, I have to call the USA. No one in their right mind is going to call another country on a prepaid cell phone and pay an astronomical rate and risk getting cut off, since Dell tech support calls can take forever. I didn't have a headphone/mike for my desktop computer, and Adina's little laptop with the 5'' keyboard...well, I don't care to use that one, although in a pinch, it could work. So...how to call the US with the computer I usually use on the fritz?

Skype has a mobile option, for smartphones, so I downloaded it to my HTC cell phone purchased in the US. Try to dial...but guess what? The configuration for most smartphones, unless Skype is already installed, doesn't allow Skype access to the mike and earpiece on the phone! How in the world am I supposed to use the phone if I can't use the mike and earpiece???

The search was on again. I searched far and wide, ended up buying a bluetooth earpiece that does work for cell calls, but not for Skype on the phone (didn't know that when I bought it). Went to Office Depot and bought the headset/mike set, which works for the computer, solving the problem mostly, but now I was curious how I could get the crazy Skype mobile version to work. As SOON as I got home from Office Depot, I saw a web forum referencing Fring. Checked it out, downloaded it, and I can use Skype through it just like a normal phone call! It probably doesn't work for all phones, and the call quality is a little bit less than desired, and a small delay (yeah, that's a lot of "ifs"), but now I can be sitting anywhere there's wifi and use my cell phone to call anywhere in the world! What a relief. And no, I'm not getting any money from Fring to post this. It's got a bunch of other uses, too, but this is main one I'm interested in. Check it out.

1 comment:

  1. Ben, at 4 cents a minute from the cell phone I haven't bothered to try to make Skype work on my blackberry. At the laptop, sure, but otherwise it seems like a hassle.

    ReplyDelete