June 22, 2011 | by Charles West
A lot of you out there may not know that I am the biggest “cut the cord” supporter. I love services who offer a different option for consumers; the kind of non-traditional services that are outside of the box. Google Voice is one such service, but it doesn’t go as far as some may need.
I recently took the time to review Phone.com’s Mobile Office app and was pleasantly surprised with its functionality. Phone.com, an innovative and affordable phone service for small businesses and professionals, developed an app designed to make Phone.com’s service easily accessible from any Android device.
Testing the app in its basic (free) form — I learned the app’s job is to extend office phone capabilities through your Android powered phone. Subscribers can make and receive calls, receive text messages, and manage messages and call forwarding with their Android phone. In essence, it uses the same sort of basic functionality that Google Voice offers, but the difference between the two is the ability to make conference calls, use VoIP, and view faxes, which is something Google Voice doesn’t offer through its mobile app at the moment.
When I registered to use Phone.com, I was able to pick through a wide range of phone numbers, and once I finally decided on a number I was then directed to a modified control panel for my mobile device. Since I signed up for just the free service, my control panel was modified. In the free version, you get access to your own inbox, address book and call logs. The premium version provides more features.
Just like Google Voice, every time you place a call through your phone the Phone.com service will prompt you before the call is connected. You are asked if you want to use your regular cellular number or your Mobile Office number. Also, you can make calls via your 3G or Wi-Fi connection – you get a 100 percent mobile VoIP experience.
In order to capitalize on the full functionality of Mobile Office, you need to have a Phone.com membership — which will cost at least $9.88 a month (that’s the cheapest plan). With a membership, you’ll have access to everything that would be available to you on a web control panel on your mobile device.
All in all, I think Phone.com’s Mobile Office app is pretty solid for those business professionals out there looking to stay connected to their desk from anywhere in the world. As for the average consumer, Google Voice may be a better option for those who don’t have a business and don’t need to make conference calls or view faxes on the go.
Disclaimer – On Phone.com’s basic (free) plan, you don’t have to worry about using your carrier minutes but I would advise anyone who plans to use this app to make sure they keep track of their minutes anyway (because you never know ).