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Android WiFi VoIP with Sipdroid

When Skype Lite launched on the Android Market back in January, it came as a mixed blessing. While it was a great solution for making international calls with your G1, it cannot use WiFi and forces you to use your minutes/data plan quota, essentially double charging you since you’ve got to pay for the Skype fees as well. But what about folks who want to make WiFi VoIP calls?

A clever reader (thanks Nikotttin!) pointed us to an application called Sipdroid. While it started as an open source project, it since has moved to closed development in the Alpha Stage, leaving non-sherlockes hopeless. But a little digging reveals a lot, for example this Sipdroid demo on YouTube published last week:

As you can clearly see, the And Dev Phone 1 (or rooted G1) he is working on is utlizing the Internet connection from the computer in the background to call the second phone he is holding, all with the Sipdroid application. Furthermore, comments on the YouTube video indicate that Sipdroid should be hitting Android Market by the end of May at the latest!

Of course there ARE still a bunch of question marks. First off is the fact that this morning, we learned Google banned tethering apps from the market. And while a VoIP app using WiFi isn’t related to tethering it DOES have something in common: the potential to piss off carriers. Using a VoIP application over WiFi means less mobile minutes used by customers which means less income from the carriers.

It still remains to be seen whether Google will ban apps only on certain carriers or if there will be carrier targeting or what, but VoIP apps like Sipdroid could certainly fall victim to the priorities of carriers. Seeing as how Android follows the “open” mantra, you would HOPE this would find a home on the market, especially since you can now get Skype over WiFi on the iPhone – a traditionally more closed platform.

Of course Skype could surprise us and launch a full version of Skype on the Android Market well before Sipdroid releases and we wouldn’t complain. We just wanted you know that options are on the way.




  • http://visir.is mime

    can this app be downloaded somewhere for testing or is it just a work in progress at this stage?

  • Rob Jackson

    work in progress

  • Gav

    It’s weird that they would make you use on 3G when Apple’s policy is the exact opposite; they are fine with VoIP over Wi-Fi but not over 3G.

    I assume that Apple’s providers don’t want their customers making free and/or very cheap calls over an unlimited connection.

  • Miguel

    T-Mobile’s restrictions have nothing to do with making less money because user’s use less minutes. It has more to do with the Skype service competing with T-Mobile’s @Home service which is essentially the same type of service, but for which you pay T-Mobile $10 per month. All of which benefits T-Mobile because they make their $10 a month and they lessen the load on the towers.

  • Sam

    This just means I buy an I-phone instead of a G1.

  • Mike

    “This just means I buy an I-phone instead of a G1.”

    Why? An iPhone doesn’t do what my G1 does, and Skype VoIP, which one has to pay for anyway, will not change that.

  • Dinah

    We’ve been using Skype for a few months and love it! We have enough confidence now and disconnected our Wired service. Lovely to save that $50 a month. We do have cable internet and I think this is a must for reliability. I’d love to make voip calls on my cell but free is better.
    Dinah, SIP

  • StarLog

    Unfortunately the website at PBXes.org does not work, as it constantly gets INVALID CAPTCHA while registering. What a waste of code.

  • M4ce

    Unlike with iPhone, it doesn’t really matter so much if Google’s market bans an application, because the market is not the only way to get apps. Anyone is free to set up an alternative market (there are some good ones already) or to host app downloads on their own site.

    Market is just a Google-provided convenience.

  • alexk-il

    November 14th – the “Invalid captcha” error is still preventing from registering (more then 2 months). I guess they are not interested in new users, otherwise they would have fixed it long time ago.

  • kurt.hewett

    Why is it always about the carriers?
    Phones aren’t the only thing with android you know,

  • doug

    PBXes.org still does not work, as it constantly gets INVALID CAPTCHA. Is there a work around? This has been reported since September.

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  • C

    Works great with my Google Voice and Gizmo5 accounts for incoming calls. Still working on the outgoing solution.

  • Martin

    In order to avoid the “INVALID CAPTCHA” error, just don’t use Internet Explorer.

  • Phil

    I use Sipdroid on my HTC Hero with a Luxembourg number via a Luxembourg VOIP provider through WiFi and 3G/EDGE in Tallinn, Estonia. It works beautifully. I recommend this package unreservedly.

  • Tom

    Phil

    Some details would be much appreciated! I would like to make this connection as well

    Thanks!!!

  • Peter

    Works great on my HTC Hero and 12VOIP

  • http://www.onsip.com Robert Wolpov

    Hey –

    As a SIP service provider, we are excited about the future of this software. Here’s an unbiased sipdroid review in the context of the SIPDroid replacing a desk phone for use with a hosted pbx service.

  • Anydroid

    @ “INVALID CAPTCHA” posters

    Works with IE

  • Jesse

    Its May 24th, gettin my Android by the 26th, has anyone heard if any WiFi VoIP apps are out NOW, that work with the ‘Droid?

  • Frrd

    Fring, fring, fring, fring. That’s the sound of Free Ringing.
    I have just started to use fring as a skype client. There is a delay in it but it works on the android over edge and wifi. Going to look atsip droid now to compare.

  • Pat D

    I have a skype-out account. I installed Fring on my HTC phone but don’t see anything on the screen or menu to call skype users or land lines over Wi-fi? What did I miss?

  • red2erni

    Ive got fring running on my HTC Incredible(Verizon), and my SGVibrant and MT4G bothon THo without any minutes. Just remove the SIM cards. They are all full price, rooted and except the 4G, they are unlocked. Same on my Galaxy Tablet. Also running Tango video calls over MyWiFi (SBC DSL) without being charged minutes. Video calls between the 4G and the GTab over Tango are awsome. Fring cant see one of the front facing cameras. But they are working on it.
    Cheers
    red2erni

  • lanscorp

    Instaled Sipdroid on galaxy S, looks OK, but can’t connect
    All log in details are correct.
    Can any one help?
    Thanks