For owners of the iPod Touch, your iPod can now double as a phone. You can save money by not having to pay for monthly phone service. The only draw back to using your iPod Touch as a phone is the need for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Home networks can create their own hotspots, but outside your home, you’ll need to locate local Wi-Fi networks. For instance, coffee shops, restaurants and even hotels, when you’re traveling often provide free Wi-Fi.
Many versions of the iPod Touch hack mention jailbreaking the iPod. However, with this method, there is absolutely no need to jailbreak your iPod Touch. The first thing you need to do is to update your iPod Touch firmware to version 2 or higher. While connected to a Wi-Fi network, search for new updates. Download the latest version of the firmware for your model.
Next, you’ll need to purchase headphones with a microphone. This is the only cost portion of the process for turning an iPod Touch into a basic phone. If you choose to subscribe to certain texting features, you may need to pay for software or a subscription service. Some texting applications and services are free, however. You can purchase most any brand of headphones, as long as they include a microphone. Note that you can also purchase microphone adapters to use with your existing headphones. Headphones and microphone adapters can be purchase online and anywhere headphones and computer electronics are sold.
There are some issues with using microphones with the original iPod Touch. Line-in capabilities are not supported through the headphone jack. Any microphone you use must go through the docking station. There are options available, however.
Now it’s time to install the software that actually turns your iPod Touch into a phone. You have several options. The first and most popular is Fring. The second most popular is Skype’s application specially made for the iPod Touch. You can choose either, or another application of your choosing. Some applications have problems with crashing, so download another application or version to see which works best for you. The rest of this article will focus around using Fring.
Visit Skype’s website and set up a free account. You will need this to use Fring. While connected to a Wi-Fi network, open the App Store in your iPod Touch. Search for Fring and download it. Install the application and register for your free account. Choose a user name, password and enter a valid email address. Connect Fring to your Skype account. Skype is used for outgoing calls. Any contacts you have on your Skype account will be added to your contact list.
In addition to Skype, you’ll need a SIP provider. The most recommended free one is Voip Stunt. This allows you to make free international calls. Link your SIP provider to Fring as well. Open the Fring application to make a call. Click the Dialer button and enter the number you wish to dial. Click either SIP or Skype Out to dial out. For texting, install the AIM client on your iPod Touch from the App Store. Enter a new buddy contact with their mobile phone number preceded by a plus sign, complete with country and area code. You can then click a buddy, enter a message and send it to your friend’s cell phone.
Turning your iPod Touch into a phone takes less than an hour and your only cost is a microphone. Free applications are available from the App Store for calling and texting. Why pay extra for a cell phone, when you can you turn your iPod Touch can double as a phone without the fees and contracts?