updated 10:40 am EDT, Tue June 29, 2010
Ooma calling no longer tied to own devices
Ooma broke away from its tie-in to its own hardware on Tuesday through an iOS app, Ooma Mobile ($10, App Store). The app uses an existing Ooma account to make VoIP calls from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to real-world numbers, even over traditionally off-limits 3G. Although it doesn't use Ooma phones like the Telo, it still has the company's own voice compression technique and may help with 3G use by cutting down on bandwidth use.
Using the app needs either the $250 Ooma Telo or the older Ooma Hub. Calling rates also depend on the plan. Without a subscription, calls cost 1.9 cents per minute inside the US; Premier subscribers at $10 per month normally get 250 minutes for free each month within the US, and those who add an international plan get 750 US minutes.