Do you find yourself using your iPhone for everything including answering phone calls at your home? Using your iPhone as your home phone could save you money and streamline your phone calls to one central place. Services such as Google Voice and Skype give you the option to forward all of your phone calls directly to your iPhone, and with a Bluetooth Gateway, all of iPhone calls can be retrieved using your existing home-phone handset.
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Things you need
- Google Voice account (optional)
- Skype account (optional)
- iPhone compatible Bluetooth Gateway (optional)
Google Voice is a popular home phone replacement solution on the iPhone because it provides you with one centralised number, voicemail, free U.S. long distance and low rates on international calls, which is ideal for streamlining all your phone calls. On your iPhone, you must use the iPhone's web browser to use Google Voice. Open your iPhone's web browser by tapping on "Safari." Enter "m.google.com/voice" in the address bar of your browser. Log in and make your phone calls using the Google dialer screen on your iPhone. When making an outbound call, Google Voice will prompt you to accept the call after dialling the number. To complete the call, press "Call" to accept, listen for a ringtone and talk with the other caller on the other end when they pick up. Google Voice also features the ability to display your assigned Google Voice number as the outbound caller ID so you can easily receive return calls.
Skype is also a popular home-phone alternative on the iPhone. Skype has a free downloadable iPhone app that features unlimited free Skype-to-Skype calling (calls made to and from other Skype users) and an unlimited monthly subscription service that enables you to make calls to landlines and mobile phones using a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Use Skype by downloading the Skype iPhone app from the Apple iTunes App Store. Tap "App Store" on your iPhone home screen. Search for and download Skype for iPhone app. Enter your Skype account login information and make your outbound phone calls by entering the phone number you wish to reach. Skype also allows you to set up your mobile number to appear when you make a call so they can recognise the you as the caller.
Another option that enables you to use your iPhone as your home phone is to purchase a Bluetooth Gateway compatible with your iPhone. A Bluetooth Gateway is a piece of hardware that uses Bluetooth technology to direct all of your iPhone phone calls, inbound and outbound, to your existing cordless home-phone system. Bluetooth Gateway hardware such as the popular iPhone replacement option "XLink BT Bluetooth Gateway" will connect your iPhone via Bluetooth and automatically do so whenever your iPhone is within range. To use, plug your home phone (cordless, corded, etc.) into a Bluetooth Gateway such as the XLink Bluetooth Gateway and you can receive and make your phone calls as you usually do using your home phone system. This equipment allows you to leave your iPhone in a location in your home where it receives the best reception and have the freedom to walk around with your cordless home phone instead.
Tips and warnings
- Bookmark the Google Voice link on your iPhone home screen for quick access to the dialer to help you to make calls quickly.
- Use an iPhone bumper or case when using either the Google Voice or Skype service to increase the phone service reception you receive during a phone call.
- Make sure you keep your iPhone charged at all times when using the iPhone as your home phone to prevent your iPhone from losing battery power in the middle of your phone call.
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