Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PhoneGnome on iPhone - making calls when there is no cell service

Have you ever been out of cell coverage and needed to make a call? This happened to me recently, where the place I was staying had wi-fi but I didn't have any AT&T cell coverage.

PhoneGnome offers a nifty iPhone interface which is great for checking voicemails, but it requires cell coverage to make calls. However, there is an answer: the SoftGnome feature and a SIP Phone on your iPhone.

Since PhoneGnome provides open SIP credentials with the SoftGnome feature, you can use any SIP softphone, including those for the iPhone. I installed Whistle, one of the few FREE SIP apps. http://www.whistlephone.com/ http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=322326573&mt=8

The Whistle app is designed to work with the "Whistle service" but I set it up on my PhoneGnome account from http://my.phonegnome.com using the "Generic SIP server" option on the Whistle app and getting my credentials from the http://my.phonegnome.com site under Features / SoftGnome / Edit / View SIP credentials. I never set up a Whistle account - and it works fine without one.

You really have two options here. You can use the SoftGnome SIP softphone setup for your main (home number) PhoneGnome account, or setup an extra free PhoneGnome account for your iPhone. The primary difference is what number the person you're calling will see and whether you want inbound calls from your home number to ring to the iPhone or not.

I primarily needed this for outbound calls, so it didn't make a lot of difference in my case. What was really neat is I did it all "on demand" when I didn't have any cell phone service over wifi. I downloaded and installed the Whistle app, and set it up all from the phone itself, never needing a PC. I dialed **3 and viola - I heard my number and was ready to make my first "real" call. So cool!

1 comment:

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