In this day and age everything from your toaster to your car can communicate seamlessly with your smartphone, however something as simple as making an International call is still a pain.
So far making an international call has meant coughing up hefty sums of money telecom operators demand, or using VoIP services like Skype which are infamous for crappy call quality. Looking to solve this pain point is Ringo, an app that allows you to make traditional offline calls at rates that are far cheaper than telecom operators.
Since Ringo doesn’t require an Internet connection, users save on data bills, while call quality doesn’t suck like VoIP calls. Further, users can call any international phone via the app, without worrying about whether the receiver has it installed on their device.
Using The App
Using Ringo is pretty straightforward. The app automatically pulls up all the International numbers you’ve got saved in your contacts, and displays the country and calling rates alongside. There’s even a dialer so that you can key in telephone numbers that aren’t saved in your phonebook.
Working off regular telephone networks, call quality is great, but as you might expect that’s subject to the network strength in the area the caller and the receiver are in. Ringo’s service works by making a local call to the caller, and a local call to the receiver, and connecting the two over reliable circuits. The receiver will even see the caller’s number on their caller ID.
Making The Call
Anyway, to make a call users have to do is tap on the desired contact and make a call request. You soon get a call from Ringo, answering which you’ll hear a message telling you that you’ll hear a series of beeps until the receiver answers the call. Once the receiver picks up, there’s nothing that distinguishes it from a regular phone call.
Making International calls using Ringo doesn’t hog your data, however the app can’t be used offline like the promotional material suggests. In order to make call requests on Ringo, a user’s device does have to be connected to the Internet, but apart from this there’s nothing else to it.
Ringo’s rates are indeed much lower than the standard telecom operator charges, but there are certainly a few hidden charges. Ringo charges users for calls that go unanswered, meaning if the receiver doesn’t answer while you’re hearing those beeps, you’re getting charged. This isn’t such a turn off given that services like Skype do pretty much the same.
The other hidden charge, and one which can be avoided, occurs when trying to purchase calling credits. Since recharging one’s call credits is equivalent to an in-app purchase, a certain portion of the amount will be deducted by Google, Apple or Microsoft. An easy way around this is to pay for call credits on the Ringo website, which is subject to no extra charge.