With iPhone apps becoming bigger and bigger, it's no surprise that people are latching onto the realisation that your iPhone can do pretty much everything - from helping you find your way home, to catching up on your favourite TV shows, the list of apps is truly endless and it would seem that there's something for everyone. The iPhone is no longer just a phone and if you're sick of using it to make calls and send texts then here's something that may be of interest to you...
Voxer is a walkie talkie app that more and more people are becoming aware of and it's through word of mouth that I head about this little gem. The app is currently free to download from the app store and takes up a miniscule 6.1MB of memory so you'll still have room for all your games and music.
Have you heard of Whatsapp? I'm sure you have as it's become one of the most successful messaging apps on the app store. Well, this is what Voxer is in essence, with the focus being on voice messages rather than text messages. Voxer essentially flips Whatsapp on its head - where Whatsapp is a text based app with a built in voice messenger, Voxer is the exact opposite.
Downloading and setting up Voxer is a doddle as all that's required is your name and email address. An email will be sent to you with a link and upon clicking on this link your account will then be activated. Voxer will ask you to enter your mobile number, this is the easiest way of connecting with your friends and family, but if you don't wish to enter your mobile number you don't have to as you can search for your friends by name which is a very simple process.
Once you've found people that you know, it's not a 'Facebook' case of adding them and waiting for them to accept, you're able to message them straight away. Messages appear just like text messages and Whatsapp. The layout is incredibly simple and is very easy to navigate so it's not something that will take you a while to get used to, this is something you can download and use straight away with no hassle. Upon downloading and setting up the app you will receive a message from Voxer giving you a quick (and I mean quick) tutorial, but as aforementioned this is so incredibly easy to use you won't need a 200 page manual.
Although you can send voice notes on Whatsapp (which is 69p to download by the way), not only is Voxer free, but it simplifies things significantly. As soon as you click on a contact you're able to send a voice message without having to change any settings or go into a different menu. You simply hold down the bar at the bottom, speak into it and release. This automatically sends the message to the recipient. This can be construed as a slight downside as you're not able to check that your message is ok before sending it unlike Whatsapp allows you to do, however, this can be overlooked when you look at how useful this app actually is.
The app uses your phones speakerphone function so there's no need to hold the phone up to your ear into order to speak or to listen to messages, however, if you want a bit more privacy this function is easily disabled at the top of the screen. Although I predominately use the speaker phone option, I've found that with both speaker on and off the voice clarity is excellent. Having said this, this will undoubtedly depend on what phone you're using this in conjunction with (I'm using an iPhone 4S) as this app is also available on the Android market. Volume on the app has never been an issue and I've found that I only need the volume at about 50% to be able to hear clearly exactly what's being said to me.
Jumping on the bandwagon of other messaging apps, Voxer allows you to send pictures over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection and you're also able to send your location to someone, which is a handy, if lesser used feature on my phone. One of the most brilliant features that I've found is that if sending a voice message is inappropriate, Voxer enables you to send a text message (still over 3G so it doesn't affect your text message allowance).
Like everything, Wi-Fi does provide a quicker connection, but even when out and about using 3G I still find that messages come through with no issues at all.
In the months that I've been using Voxer I've found that more and more people have begun discovering it (a bit like 50 Shades of Grey, but for the app world!) and unlike a lot of the free apps out there, this is genuinely helpful and has a purpose. It's quick and easy to use and as a free alternative to Whatsapp it's hard to fault.