VoIP on your Java phone: Talkonaut

talkonaut-logo.gifMost mobile phone networks now recognise that the next big leap in phone functionality will be towards instant messaging, Push-To-Talk and VoIP internet calls. Programs like Talkonaut give you the opportunity to try these next generation features even if your phone isn’t the latest model.

Talkonaut includes several ways of staying in touch with your contacts. You can chat with buddies on MSN, Google Talk or Jabber, send SMS to Skype or other VoIP contacts or make VoIP calls. It is these last two features which are perhaps the most exciting as they bring some seriously new and interesting features to that mobile phone you may have been thinking about replacing.

Technically speaking, Talkonaut does not offer true ‘Voice Over IP’ calling. That is to say, because of network-related problems, any VoIP call made with the program is not conducted entirely over the internet. What happens when you choose to call a Google Talk contact is that Talkonaut’s network calls your phone, and then connects via the internet with your contact’s Google Talk client. You pay the price of one ‘leg’ of the call (the call-back which Talkonaut’s network establishes with your phone).

This all sounds very complicated but in fact the technology behind this feature is very simple. What’s more, Talkonaut is really easy to use, making all these different steps into a single, seamless process. We did encounter a couple of issues while testing the VoIP feature but saw enough of it working to be pretty impressed. The other features of Talkonaut worked perfectly, making traditional IM chats with your buddies a piece of cake.

Despite our slight problems making all of its features perform as expected, Talkonaut is a well designed and robust application. We’re impressed that it works on such a large number of phones and look forward to even more features as the program evolves.

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