Your first thought may be, “Hey, who are you trying to fool? iPods don’t even have an ear piece like an iPhone, it wasn’t designed to make calls”. Technically that’s true, but iPads and iPods have a microphone, they can connect to bluetooth headsets/devices and can even utilize earphones with a mic.
TextPlus is a free app available from the App Store that allows you to make and receive phone calls as well as send and receive text messages. It works on iPods, iPads, iPhones, Androids, Windows Phones, Nokias and Kindle Fires.
It’s really fast and works great on 3G, 4G (LTE) and Wi-Fi connections. I’ve throughly tested out this app, the phone calls are clear and loud, and the text messages are received almost instantaneously (around the same time frame as iMessages). Also it’s incredibly cheaper than regular cellular phone services. One downside however is there is almost always an advertisement located at the bottom on the app window. It’s not that bad though since it’s none intrusive and doesn’t get in the way.
Once the app is installed on your iOS device, you create an account and you receive a free phone number. That’s right, a real phone number than can be used to call anyone and receive calls from anyone, even people who aren’t using TextPlus. It asks you to select your location so it can get you a number with the same area code as everyone around you.
TextPlus also implements an ingenious way of paying for all of this greatness. You can buy more minutes or watch short ads to gain free minutes.
All calls between two people who are using TextPlus are free and don’t consume any minutes.
Currently the prices are:
- 75 minutes for 1.99
- 400 minutes for 9.99
- 1000 minutes for 19.99
All purchases of call minutes are made via in app purchase. This means you don’t need to enter your Paypal or Credit Card anywhere else. Simply confirm payment by signing into your App Store account when asked. To buy more minutes select “Get Minutes” and tap one of the listed amounts of available time.
That’s not the only way to get minutes though, TextPlus also lets you watch ads and complete offers to gain free minutes. Most of the videos are around 20 seconds long and will give around 1-2 minutes worth of talk time. The offers can sometimes offer a lot more minutes. As I’m writing this I see an offer that will give me 29 free minutes simply for registering an account on Tapjoy.com. To get free TextPlus call minutes select “Get Minutes” then choose between watching videos or completing offers.
TextPlus lets you call pretty much anywhere worldwide, however international rates differ. More information on their international rates at http://textplus.com/rates/
How to use TextPlus
To make a phone call in TextPlus, tap the little “Make a Call” button, enter in the phone number and call. It also uses the contacts that are already in your iOS device. This means that your native Contacts app will still handle all the contacts, and continue to back them up to iCloud or iTunes. To access the contacts, tap the contacts icon located at the upper right.
TextPlus is not limited to just making calls, it can also be used to send text messages. These text messages can be sent to anyone no differently than if you were texting someone through your carriers text messaging service. They appear as your designated phone number no differently than when you call someone. To text someone, simply tap the text message button located at the bottom right and enter in the phone number or select from the contacts list. TextPlus also allows you to send multimedia like photos and videos to your friends through text message.