No matter how far mobile phone technology evolves, its core functionality remains the same. New features and capabilities can be added, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the basic idea of a mobile phone — smartphone or otherwise — is to be able to make and receive calls, a function that has not only survived even with the advent of text messaging, but continues to evolve in its own right. Rather than making and receiving calls the “old fashioned” way that’s dependent on the carrier, a growing chunk of calls and even messages are sent via a rapidly expanding number of apps on the market.
UppTalk is one such app. UppTalk (formerly Yuilop) is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain and was created by Jochen Doppelhammer in November 2010. Currently the app spans Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and legacy BlackBerry devices. UppTalk should work well over any 3G, 4G, or WiFi network.
Over 200 countries around the world can make use of UppTalk and its unique features to stay connected at no cost. In fact, 5 million users around the world already have, most of which reside in the United States, UppTalk’s newest market that was just launched last year.
UppTalk “frees users from their wireless carriers” by offering “limitless communication” in the cloud
Doppelhammer told TruTower that UppTalk “wanted to keep the service free” for all users and find a way to offer “limitless communication” by “freeing users from their wireless carriers.” By not depending on carriers, UppTalk is able to provide the calling and messaging services to users for free that carriers would normally try to bundle with data and charge more for. Upptalk helps customers not only save money, but also helps streamline their expenses so they only need to worry about one plan with one carrier.
Think of UppTalk as a “global SIM in the cloud.” There is no hardware involved, only software. Multiple “real” phone numbers can be purchased and used in a single UppTalk account, which allows anyone from around the world to connect with a user without paying international long distance charges. It also prevents “bill shock” by preventing exceedingly large phone bills such as this one.
So how does it compare to other apps on the market such as Skype? Well one of the obvious points is that it’s free. While Skype in particular charges you a monthly subscription and a yearly fee to have both one number and the ability call landlines in the United States on an unlimited basis, UppTalk provides free calling and text messaging.
For international calls, UppTalk also offers free or low rates and provides opportunities for users to earn free global calling credits. The majority of UppTalkers replaced their national carrier plans with the application, but it’s likely some internationally minded travelers will find some usefulness here as well, especially with the ability to have multiple phone numbers for local calls.
Calling and messaging features work whether the recipient has UppTalk or not
Most apps also require each user to have the same application downloaded to take advantage of free calling or messaging, which can (and has) created wide fragmentation in the OTT space. With UppTalk, users can utilize calling and messaging features in any case, regardless of whether the person you’re calling or texting has UppTalk or not. It’s also worth noting that the person who is receiving the call or message via their carrier is not required to have an internet connection. With Google Voice this opens up an even greater realm of possibilities.
Of course, as is the case with many messaging apps, UppTalk is not all about the talk. UppTalk also offers multimedia messaging with pictures, videos, location, audio and more. The app also includes a visual voicemail feature that delivers voicemails to your smartphone as downloadable audio files.
The WebRTC version will allow users to login, call, and message from any browser
For those who are more interested in the flexibility side of things, Doppelhammer also informs us that a “WebRTC version is coming” which will allow users to “login from any browser.” Of course, this also means no installation is required, sidestepping one of the biggest annoyances that many new users of any application have to endure.
UppTalk certainly has a lot of potential, and there’s more to come; Doppelhammer has hinted at the possibility for UppTalk to “morph into an area where it can provide access to the internet in a seamless way.” If UppTalk sounds like it could be the much-needed replacement for your national carrier that you’ve been looking for, you can download and start using the app right now.