Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was thinking of and cataloging the iPhone apps I can't live without.

Siphon is the best SIP app I've tried. MobileVOIP and TruPhone are very nice too (and don't need jailbreaking). And then I thought of other apps (all of which offer at least some SIP) such as Nimbuzz, Fring, Viber (great concept but poor implementation) and even Skype.

While I have all of these, I hardly use any of them, for a variety of reasons.

If you have experience with these apps (or others), is there one you consider "the most complete iPhone phone app of the whole universe and beyond"?

It should:

  • Integrate with both Address Book and the iPhone's native recent calls

  • Replace phone.app and load as fast as, at least for phone calls

  • Have international number support
    (which should be easy)

  • Allow call recording

  • (would be a plus) Support Skype, Google (talk, voice, etc) and hopefully others, too

share|improve this question
@Cawas - While doing a little editing, I made this community wiki per your request. –  Dori Dec 26 '10 at 3:50
@Dori thanks. This should probably be wiki, right? –  Cawas Dec 26 '10 at 6:56
@Cawas - does it show up for you as not being community wiki? –  Dori Dec 26 '10 at 7:45
@Dori It's showing all right! I meant conceptually, if the question fits better as CW. :D but nevermind. Re-reading and comparing your edits, yes it should be wiki. Though I do enjoy writing the way I do, it looks much better now for attracting more attention. More "global". I wish I had a "Dori" acting in more ideas I write. :) –  Cawas Dec 26 '10 at 8:13
The "Skype" requirement is going to be nearly impossible to reliably fulfill due to the nature of Skype itself. Not to say it's impossible, but it's certainly harder than the rest. –  Jason Salaz Dec 27 '10 at 1:02

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've used Acrobits SoftPhone (link goes to their site, iTunes link below) for some time, thought admittedly very sparsely and only for the simplest of use cases, so, much of this is taken from their site.

Use the OS' Address Book: Yep, it maintains it's own "quick list" (favorites) however.
and global Recent Calls list: Nope, maintains it's own (pretty sure this one is impossible anyways, "private APIs" and all that).

Load as fast as Phone.app: I call this subjective, because Phone.app is always running, which gives it an inherit speedup compared to anything else. Acro's SoftPhone does support the VoIP backgrounding, and even push, so you can "Swipe To Answer", but it still takes at least a couple seconds to do. (At least that's how it feels, comparatively speaking.)

International Number Support: I think this is not so much a client feature as much as it is a feature of your server you SIP register to. This one is unknown to me as I've never attempted to call an international (outside the US) number.

Allow Recording: Yes. Upon tapping the record button, a voice announcement is played, and then conversation is recorded and able to be replayed from the app.

Skype: Nope

Google Voice: Yep, but to what extent, I am unsure. Per their website:

GoogleVoice users: Though we have integrated GoogleVoice, Acrobits Softphone's main use is as a SIP client. You can setup Acrobits Softphone to initiate GoogleVoice calls through other types of numbers, but to get the full functionality of Acrobits Softphone, you need to have GoogleVoice linked to a SIP Account.

Rest: If it's SIP, it should work.

Bonus: It supports ZRTP. Zimmerman's encrypted RTP protocol for SIP calls. Free for incoming calls, in-app purchase for initiating calls using it.

iTunes Link: Acrobits Softphone.

share|improve this answer
I'm just trying it out and it's amazing! If not for crashing every time I try to access my contacts (plus few other crashes), would be the best one I've seem so far. To me it would be lacking mainly just an integrated favorites and recent calls. –  Cawas Dec 28 '10 at 16:27
Crashing? Sad. I admittedly haven't used it in at least a month or two, slower season and all :). I repeat my statement that you're unlikely to find an app that has a 1:1 mapping of your favorites and recent calls list. –  Jason Salaz Dec 28 '10 at 17:45
@Jason I actually discovered what was the contacts crashing. It was some Saurik tweak for locale (can't recall the name), and it would cause many other apps to crash in same situation. Then I got a bit disappointed with the app, because I couldn't use the "number rewriting" rules with my GSM - unless I retype the phone number and press GSM I couldn't find another way to call GSM from my contacts! That also makes recording basically SIP only. Hopefully a "design bug". As for the other crashes, I know think it's conflicting Acrobits "Keep iPhone Awake" with my kirikae / backgrounder. –  Cawas Dec 29 '10 at 0:02
See what Jailbreaking gets you? :>. [/sarc-mark] –  Jason Salaz Dec 29 '10 at 0:37
@Jason by *"know think" I meant "now think" lol. and yeah... JBing is dungeraus... O_o but me likes it suuu much! –  Cawas Jan 4 '11 at 17:19

Prefer Sipgo. It's probably the app with the lowest bandwidth usage. No useless extras, just sip calls.

share|improve this answer
Why do you think it has the lowest bandwith usage? –  patrix Nov 26 '12 at 19:42

I confirm Smartgroschen is good app for cheap international calls, voip calls with good quality voice calls.

share|improve this answer
Please can you expand your answer, or delete this answer and up-vote another answer detailing the suggested software. Ask Different works best with longer substantial answers. –  Graham Miln Jun 3 '14 at 15:46

General problems when using Softphone app are: 1. Complex network conditions in mobile networks (i.e. NAT). Not all VoIP servers can properly work with NAT. 2. Limited bandwidth. Is is impossible to use high nitrate codecs in 3G networks. But many operators does not support modern codecs like Opus. 3. Problems with incoming calls. To receive calls phone must be connected to the server. It drains battery. This is not ad, but try our solution: www.sipmobile.org

We resolved this issues. You can use our Softphone in mobile 3G networks with good voice quality. If you have LTE or WiFi, video calls are available. Softphone for iOS can be switched off and receive calls with push notifications (of course only in our domain).

share|improve this answer

I use Smartgroshen app, simple, good quality of voice and sync with your phone contacts. Get 0.5 euro at start.

share|improve this answer

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.