Did you know the iPad can be used to place phone calls? It might be a little big to consider even the iPad Mini as a replacement for your cell phone, but then again, with smartphones getting bigger and bigger, perhaps the iPad Mini is really where we are headed. So how do you use the iPad to place phone calls? There are a number of apps designed around implementing Voice-over-IP (VoIP), which is a fancy way of saying "Internet Phone Call". I'll detail three ways to place calls in this article.
No doubt, the easiest way to place a phone call is using the video conferencing software that comes with the iPad. FaceTime uses your Apple ID to place phone calls to anyone who also has an Apple ID, which is anyone who owns an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac computer. These calls are free, so even if you are using your iPhone, you won't be using your minutes. You can even receive calls on FaceTime by having people 'dial' the email address associated with your Apple ID.
Skype is the most popular way to place Internet calls, and unlike FaceTime, it isn't restricted to people using an iOS device. And with Skype being integrated tightly with the upcoming Xbox One, it will only get easier to use it as a phone service. Skype on the iPad is a relatively simple process, though you will need to download the Skype app. Unlike FaceTime, there are fees involved with placing calls through Skype, but Skype-to-Skype calls are free, so you'll only pay for calling people who do not use Skype.
FaceTime and Skype are great, both offering the advantage of placing video calls, but what about placing a free call to anyone in the U.S. regardless of whether or not they use a specific service? FaceTime only works with other FaceTime users, and while Skype can place a call to anyone, it is only free to other Skype users. Talkatone in conjunction with Google Voice has a way of placing free voice calls to anyone in the U.S., though it is a little more confusing to set up.
Google Voice is a Google service designed around giving you one phone number for all of your phones. But voice calls placed with Google Voice use your voice line, and you can't do that on an iPad for obvious reasons. Talkatone extends the Google Voice service by allowing calls over the data line, which means you can use it with your iPad. You'll need both the Talkatone app and the Google Voice app.
You'll also need to follow these instructions from Talkatone in order to set up your Google Voice account to place calls from your iPad. As a bonus, Talkatone can also interact with your Facebook friends.