I personally use the iPhone 6 Plus (not to be confused with the iPhone 6S or 7). I know, how could someone like me be two versions behind? It works for now is the answer! This year I flew almost 148,000 miles in the air and another 32,000 miles in the car. Yes, it was fun at times and very frustrating at other times (cough TSA). While on the move in multiple countries, different wifi, different mobile carriers, I still had to handle day-to-day communication with my team and my customers.
The idea of a mobile softphone is great but the practicality at time didn’t always make sense. For example, let’s say I was using a softphone on my cell and then a cell call came in my app (3CX, Skpe, Facebook Messenger, etc) would put the VoIP call on “hold” and take the cell call immediately. Sometimes when I then went back to the app to take the VoIP call back it sometimes would let me “unhold” and sometimes wouldn’t.
The other thing that wasn’t so great was that call history didn’t really mesh. Each VoIP app would keep its own call history separately of the native iPhone dialer. If I wanted to call someone back who I was on the phone from just a minute ago I had to jump through a few steps to get to a point where I would be dialing again.
Now this juggling game becomes really silly especially when I am in an area with bad data coverage. In the past what I would do to try and counteract this would be to have my Available 2 status setup to ring my extension and cell phone at the same time. Then I created an “ad-hoc” conference call which would then call the person I was actually trying to get to and my mobile number and bridge them together in a conference call. Sometimes I would simply just dial from my cell phone for lack of time need playing around with apps.
Ultimately, the experience wasn’t great. Recently, that changed when I finally upgraded to iOS 10. I had been holding off a really long time because we all know that the first time you upgrade to a new version of anything there are probably going to be problems right? About a week and a half ago I finally took the plunge and updated my phone. All of a sudden, the story around this changed.
When calls come in from 3CX Phone, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or just a normal cell call they all show up in the native iPhone dialer interface. Now, call history for all apps show up under the iPhone call history. Also, when I am on a VoIP call or a cell call and another call comes in it gives me CALL WAITING and let’s me switch over to that other call as if it was a native cell call!! Let’s go a step further. If I go to the call history and redial someone it will call that person from the “road” that last call came in from cell, 3CX, Skype, Facebook Messenger. If I look up a contact in the iPhone contact list I can now dial from any VoIP application right from their contact card without having to copy and past numbers!
So it looks like the iOS guru’s finally opened up their dialer interface and provided an API to make it “work”.
Maybe the next step will be the ability to “merge” or conference a call from VoIP and a cell call at the same time. Now that would be cool!