updated 12:30 am EDT, Fri September 16, 2011
Works with 3G or Wi-Fi, requires Line2 account
Popular VOIP and telephony app Line2 has released a Line2 HD version for the iPad that lets users make or receive calls as well as text-message using Wi-Fi or 3G. The app requires an existing Line2 account (due to App Store restrictions, users must get the account from the website rather than within the app) and allows users to port over existing phone numbers, supports Visual Voicemail and generally turns the iPad into a full-fledged mobile phone.
Users can sign up for a plan based on their needs, but the company offers a $10 standard monthly plan that includes unlimited U.S. and Canada calling, unlimited texting in the U.S., conference calling with up to 20 people, visual voicemail, voicemail by e-mail and U.S.-based customer support. For those willing to commit to a yearly agreement, plans start at $100. A business plan with additional features is available for an extra $5 per month.
Because the service works with both Wi-Fi and 3G and even works with cellular voice service and does not require contracts, users are often free to reduce their mobile phone plan down to a minimum level of voice and data and use Line2 instead, particularly for services like text messaging. In some scenarios, users would not even need cell service at all, saving more than the cost of the Line2 plan in most cases.
The iPhone version of the app has proven popular, and the iPad version will let users work with headsets and Bluetooth devices as well. Additional features such as auto attendant, call screening options and U.S.-based 800 numbers are also available. Line2 HD for iPad requires iOS 3.2.2 or later -- the app itself is free, but users must sign up for a Line2 plan on the website prior to use on the iPad.