We have long been fans of ooVoo’s 6-way video calling service. And now the company has given us even more to love. Today the VoIP company released its newest version that makes it a real Skype killer by offering calling to landline and mobile phones. The biggest news: from February 4 to March 1, 2008, users who download ooVoo 1.5 will receive two hours of free outbound calls on ooVoo to any landline or mobile phone in the U.S. and Canada from anywhere in the world. Who will you call? I have been testing out the new version now for a few hours. The interface hasn’t changed much, though there is now a tab on the main client for making calls to regular phones. A scroll down menu lets you choose what country you would like to dial, very much like Skype, but only the United States and Canada are available for calling as of now. Calls made to a cell phone sound quite good, though there is a bit of a delay. My initial tests didn’t indicate much difference in quality compared to SkypeOut calls. There were hardly any pauses and little to no echo. When you call a cell phone though the number that appears isn’t a bunch of zeros, a real number appeared (919)741-6730. I also like that when you make a call you get a normal sounding ring.
Another new feature (amazing for journalists, by the way) is the ability to record any conversation. A record button has been built into the call window. If you want to record a call with another ooVoo user it will prompt them with a permission window asking if they agree to be recorded. No permission feature is available yet for recording mobile or landline phone calls. So prank call away! The best part is that you can then take the audio recording and save it to your hard drive as an .avi file.
With all these developments I am waiting for a mobile version of the application. I will be speaking to ooVoo’s CEO later in the day and will report back. The latest version of ooVoo is available now at www.oovoo.com.