VoIP on the iPhone and iPod Touch - a security warning

by Ruben Email

iVoIP clientsAt first sight, using any VoIP client on the iPhone or the iPod Touch (a.k.a. iDevices) may seem like a uninteresting thing. The reason for this is that Apple does not allow 3rd party applications to run in the background. So when a user close down his iVoIP Client he will not be able to receive any calls at all, thus defeating the reason for using VoIP on these devices in the first place.

However, if we take a look at some of the VoIP clients offerings available we notice that a few of these clients have the ability to receive incoming calls, even when the software it self is not running.

At first sight this seems to be a Good Thing - however, there are severe security implications by doing this. Users will in fact willingly, put them self under a man-in-the-middle attack.

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VoIP on the iPhone and iPod Touch - a comparative review

by Ruben Email

iVoIP clientsBack in August 2009 I did a guest appearance on the VoIP Users Conference speaking about VoIP clients for mobile telephones. I briefly touched on to a few offerings for the iPhone and iPod Touch (a.k.a. i-Devices). This inspired Randy a.k.a @voipusers to do a review of a few of the available offerings on i-Devices.

His article, along with my Fianceè buying herself an iPhone, prompted me to take a closer look at a few of the offerings available.

I have given SIP clients on the iPhone and iPod Touch a generic name: iVoIP Client(s). Likewise, an iDevice is a generic term for both the iPod Touch and the iPhone.

The following clients have been tested:

  • iPico from MailVision Ltd
  • iSIP from VNET Corporation
  • WeePhone from Justin Bray
  • Acrobits Softphone from Acrobits
  • Media5-fone from Media5 Corporation

For completeness I have also taken a quick look at the SIP function in both Fring and Nimbuzz, two free (as in beer) offerings available for the iDevices.

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What now G.722? SILK Speech Codec to rule them all?

by Ruben Email

Some good news from the read worthy Skype Journal: Skype SILK codec in the IETF standards process.

This IS major news. As Phil Wolff points out, one of the three obstacles for Skype is now being solved. In my opinion, the codec issue has been one of the most difficult for Skype - along with the Joltid issues.

From my perspective, one of the good thing about the SILK Speech Codec being put through an ITEF track is that the codec is now becoming open and usable for more than Skype users.

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Review of the Citel C-4110 IAX (and SIP phone)

by Ruben Email

Some time ago I did a posting about VoIP Supply announcing that they would begin to sell a IAX phone. At the time of release, they had a contest where one could win one of these phones. Usually I am not very into contests, but when someone asked me nicely if I was willing to write a "Why is IAX {cooler,better,more suiteable} than SIP", and submit this to their contest, I did oblige.

Given that VoIP Supply is one of the few companies around that I consider myself to be a fan of, I had no problem doing this. VoIP Supply are very good, and if they did ship their hardware with Euro-type power adapters I would probably be buying most of my stuff from them. Unfortunately they do not.

Now back to the Citel C-4110 VoIP Supply sent me back in May 2009.

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FreePBX growing up is good for you

by Ruben Email

After the initial feedback on lack of Asterisk support for FreePBX, the dust have now settled.

But let's take a step back in time - approximately 15 months. Back then, the Trixbox people decided to spawn off their own version of FreePBX. I then stated that I really hoped that the FreePBX developers would not loose faith over this decision.

Fast forward to the last days announcements regarding version 3.0 of FreePBX.

Granted - it does not yet have Asterisk support, but keep in mind that this is a developer release, this means the support will eventually be there. As I will show in this article, is really does not matter if there is no Asterisk support yet.

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FreePBX version 3 - no support for Asterisk - yet

by Ruben Email

According to Todd Barr, FreePBX version 3 will not support Asterisk when released. The support will be added "at a later stage".

On the good side, FreePBX now support FreeSWITCH.

In sum this really is good news for the FreeSWITCH crowd - finally they are getting a GUI that is well known in the Open Source VoIP community.

I have not yet tried FreePBX on top of FreeSWITCH - but if it does indeed deliver what it has done so far on Asterisk, FreeSWITCH will be a easier beast to configure.

Currently FreeSWITCH is quite messy to configure if you come from an Asterisk background. Even if you do not come from an Asterisk background, configuring FreeSWITCH for the first time is a daunting task.

Even if I have not yet seen version 3 I am a bit reluctant to jump up in joy and happiness. In my experience, when software becomes agnostic, it loose edge. In reality we are now going to have a GUI with the common lowest denominator, instead of having a GUI that is tailored 110% for a given architecture.

For contenders to FreePBX, this is possible the best news this year - these contenders now get the chance to really excel in this market.

I really hope there are any takers our there - both commercial and Open Source.

iPod touch - a VoIP device to rule them all

by Ruben Email

iPod Touch - courtesy of Apple PR WebThere are some speculation going on regarding a new iPod Touch having a built in microphone and some more memory (i.e. 64 GB).

Ken Camp have written an excellent piece does not believe that the VoIP on iPod Touch will become a VoIP hit with pre-teenagers. This may be true in the US, but on this side of the pond I have more than one indication that Andy Abramson's views are very correct. It is true that youngsters do text a lot - but they still make a lot of phone calls. I take the bus to and from work each day and have the "luxury" of observing how the younger generation uses their mobile phones.

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