updated 09:15 pm EDT, Wed September 10, 2008
Newber iPhone app
FreedomVOICE has launched a beta program for Newber, a combination iPhone app and cellular service. The software allows users to have an additional number on their iPhone, enabling users to have a "business" line without revealing their personal iPhone. Users can also redirect calls meant for the iPhone to nearby cellular or landline phones to either help conserve battery life or in the case of landlines, offer improved reception; users key in a number at a particular location, and the iPhone then marks the place through GPS, allowing calls to be switched over whenever a user is in the vicinity. FreedomVOICE claims that the service is ideal for people experiencing bad reception, and that calls can be handed off without interruptions.
In addition, users have the option to automically send calls to the alternate number directly to voicemail without any call screening.
The software integrates with the iPhone contact list and uses a similar interface to display missed calls, incoming calls, and (visual) voicemail on the phone for the alternatve number.
It requires special Newber number and users can choose from a variety of numbers during the sign in process; Newber costs $5 per month, with a rate of 2 cents per minute in the US and more elsewhere. The company said that it is currently considering additional features and plans, depending on feedback during the beta period.
The final version of the software is expected to debut "soon" (likely next month) at the App Store, and will add Contact Finder, which dials all of another person's numbers in order without having to manually select them. If the app encounters voicemail, users must tap a button to move to the next number.