FriendCaller

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FriendCaller
Logo of FriendCaller.svg
FriendCaller WebPhone 1.8.12.png
FriendCaller WebPhone 1.8.12 running on Windows 7
Developer(s) C2Call GmbH
Initial release August 2008 (2008-08)
Written in Java, (iOS, Mac OS X), (Linux), (Android)
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in Multilingual
Type Voice over Internet Protocol, instant messaging, videoconferencing
License Proprietary
Website www.friendcaller.com

FriendCaller /ˈfrndkəlr/ is a Video and Voice over Internet protocol developed by C2Call GmbH based in Werl, Germany.[1] Its proprietary Voice-Over-Internet technology was originally created by Michael Knecht and Martin Feuerhahn.[2] It was a first prototype developed by Actai Networks GmbH in 2007; the technology was then transferred to C2Call GmbH[3] in 2008.[4] Later on, FriendCaller was launched in 2009[5] as a website and as an iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) app.[6] FriendCaller establishes peer-to-peer connectivity[7] and allow users to communicate one-to-one or in groups via Video Chat, Voice over IP, Instant messaging, Texts/SMS, and phone calls.[8]

Calls to other FriendCaller users within FriendCaller are free of charge, while calls and SMS to phone numbers and mobile numbers within the PSTN network are charged via debit-based user account system. FriendCaller also became popular for its advanced mobile features like multi-point video conferencing with up to 7 participants who are displayed simultaneously in one live stream.[9] Unlike most VoIP service, FriendCaller operates in any desktop browser without prerequisite software installation[10] and works across Multi Operating System Platforms.[11] The browser-based capabilities are Java-based[12] and do not require Adobe Flash[13] and is hosted completely on Amazon's cloud.[14]

Currently, FriendCaller has over 11 Million registered users as of September 2013.[15]

Features[edit]

FriendCaller apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and Facebook offers instant connectivity and shows cross-compatibility with all the popular Internet browsers.[16] Calls and text messages for FriendCaller-to-FriendCaller users are at no cost,[17] though for international calls to landlines and mobile phones, the calling rates cost as much as few cents per minute.[18]

Voice Calls[edit]

The users can call other FriendCaller users as well as traditional phone numbers including mobile phones. FriendCaller-to-FriendCaller calls are free of cost, however, calls made abroad is charged as low as US$0.02 per minute.[19] These international calling rates may vary depending upon called destination, as mentioned in the Pricing Table.[20]

7-Way Cross-Platform Group Video Chat[edit]

FriendCaller on Microsoft Windows (2000, XP, Vista, 7), Mac OS X and Linux offer free Group Video Chat[21] feature. FriendCaller introduced Conference calling and Group Text Messaging to its different platforms back in January 2012[22] and now supports Seven-way LIVE, real Cross-platform Group Video Calling and Group Messaging between 27 participants (7 Video participants and 20 Audio members),[23][24] on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android, and its popular Web Phone.[25][26]

In January 2013, FriendCaller launched FriendCaller HD for Android™ Tablets and the iPad™.[27]

Personal US Phone Number[edit]

The users get a personal US phone number,[28] which can be used as a second line to receive and dial International Calls worldwide.[29]

Global Text Messaging / SMS[edit]

The clients can send SMS / text message to any mobile number across the world.[30] Costs per text is as low as 5 US dollar cents.[31] Messages sent to phone numbers can be set to appear as coming from the sender's mobile number.

Instant Messaging[edit]

FriendCaller supports Instant Messaging, where clients can communicate with one another in Real-time over the Internet without any charge.[32]

Caller ID[edit]

The users can set their Caller ID, set-up verification involves sending a text message / SMS to a selected mobile phone number, or the device receives a Voice message via IVR where the Pin code is read out to them.[33] The verification allows the user to send texts without anonymity.

CallMe-Link[edit]

The unique CallMe-Link,[34] allow others to make instant calls to FriendCaller users within their Internet browsers. The link can be embedded into emails, shared via social networks and can be sent as an instant message by copying the HTML or BBCode. Users can also integrate as a badge in Outlook Signature. To start the conversation with FriendCaller users, non-FriendCaller users only have to click this link.[35]

Free Credits through OfferWall[edit]

Users can earn free calling credits by watching a short video or downloading their favorite apps with "OfferWall" feature available for all iOS[36] and Android devices.[37]

Facebook Connect for iOS, Android and WebPhone[edit]

Besides registering for an account; iOS, Android and WebPhone users can also log into FriendCaller using their Facebook ID via Facebook Connect.[38]

Contact list Management[edit]

FriendCaller's easy to manage contact list shows all the contacts and friends merged into a single directory. Users can sync Facebook friends and see their friends' Facebook display pictures.[39]

Call History[edit]

FriendCaller keeps the records and histories of all the calls and text messages so users can retrieve them later.

Rich Media Messaging[edit]

FriendCaller brings Rich Mobile Communication experience for FriendCaller desktop, mobile platforms and tablet models.[40] The complete communication suite of Rich messaging [41] allow the users of Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to record or send media from the phone gallery. These consists of pictures, videos, animations, links, location information, calendar entries, etc.

History[edit]

C2Call was founded in 2008,[4] by the collaborative efforts of CEO Martin Feuerhahn and CTO Michael Knecht with the purpose of developing mobile internet solutions for various Mobile Network Operators and Internet Media organizations.[42][43] In 2009, the collaboration resulted in the launch of FriendCaller,[44] a modern browser-based VoIP solution that defied all the pre-existing VoIP based technologies.[45]

FriendCaller's early success has given C2Call a raise of $2 million in series[46][47] - A funding from Original Skype investor Bill Draper of Draper Investment Company[48] High-Tech Grunderfonds and Klaus Wecken, co-founder of KHK Software (now taken over by Sage Group).

Platforms[edit]

FriendCaller supports all Java based Internet browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome etc.[49] It is compatible with leading operating systems like Windows, Linux, and Macintosh.

FriendCaller WebPhone[edit]

WebPhone supports instant video calls straight from the browsers.[50][51] Connecting with anyone does not require the other party to have FriendCaller installed on their operating systems. One can contact FriendCaller user via CallMe-Link.[52]

FriendCaller Android App[edit]

The Android App turns Android device into a real phone providing its users a platform for Free Video Chat.[53][54] Users can download it for Free and can make FriendCaller-to-FriendCaller Voice and Video calls with cheap call rates to landlines and mobile phones.[55] Also includes Texting/SMS to over 400 Global networks. The app supports Direct Inward Dialing, Multi-lingual aid and IM's which are possible during a LIVE Video Call.[56] The app is accessible to over 1022 Android devices.[57]

FriendCaller iOS Apps[edit]

FriendCaller's iOS Apps use Java-based[58] technology, turning the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a fully featured Wi-Fi VoIP phone. Knowing the fact that Apple's iOS software is not compatible with Java; a separate client was developed that possess the same capabilities to ensure instant connectivity via CallMe-links directly from any web browser.

FriendCaller Facebook App[edit]

With FriendCaller Facebook App, users can text, chat and call at the same time.[59] No downloading and installation required. Clients can use this app directly from their Facebook account. FriendCaller Facebook App shows compatibility with Facebook Connect. Users can login to FriendCaller using their Facebook credentials.

WebPhoneFX[edit]

Users can also download and install WebPhoneFX on their desktop PC, Mac OS, or Linux. It's an installable version of FriendCaller's WebPhone to call anyone directly.[60]

Nokia S40-SIP Technology[edit]

Functioning of FriendCaller app on Nokia S40[61] requires SIP client conversion by using Internet telephony installation Wizard.[62] Free FriendCaller to FriendCaller and low cost International calls to landlines and mobile phones can be made using compatible Nokia phones.

FriendCaller is fully compatible with SIP (RFC 3261) which is used and supported by major VoIP providers and companies like Cisco, Vonage, Comcast, Motorola, Nokia, Huawei and many more. The technology used by FriendCaller is hosted by a SIP-compliant backend infrastructure with media relay, presence services and SIP proxy. Customized SIP-based VoIP apps are also available from FriendCaller, such as the SIPPhoneFX (SIP Phone FX), which is especially developed for SIP providers.[63]

FriendCaller BlackBerry App[edit]

RIM BlackBerry now supports VoIP so FriendCaller's BlackBerry App[64] is coming up soon.[65] Users will be able to use this app via Wi-Fi and BlackBerry Internet Services over 3G.

FriendCaller TV[edit]

FriendCaller app is also available on TV, where clients can make cross-platform group voice and video calls with other friends in real time.[66]

Versions[edit]

iOS[edit]

FriendCaller Video Chat[67] (formerly known as FriendCaller Pro) is compatible with any iOS 4.0 or later device and supports iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (1st, 2nd and 3rd generations).[68] Latest version, 5.5.4, provides multi-lingual support and possesses cross-platform Group Video Calling feature.[69][70]

For older iOS 3 devices, another version, named FriendCaller[71] is also available.

Both versions can be downloaded from iTunes App Store Free of charge.[72]

Android[edit]

The latest version for Android, 3.1.10, FriendCaller IM & Video Chat, supports more than 1000 Android devices,[73] with Android OS 1.6 or up. Users can download current version for free from Google Play,[74] Amazon App store and other leading Android App market places.

Achievements[edit]

  • Over 9 million worldwide users.[78]

Competitors and rivals[edit]

VoIP and telephony[edit]

FriendCaller competes with other VoIP and Instant Messaging services, such as:

References[edit]

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External links[edit]