If you're a Vonage user and you have an iPhone, great news -- Vonage has launched a new mobile app that allows you to send text messages and make calls with other Vonage users around the world. For free. The Vonage app pulls in your iPhone's native address book for quick access to initiating calls. Outgoing calls are recognized as originating from your usual phone number, so Caller ID on your friends' phones should still work fine. Needing others to be on Vonage is a pretty big caveat, but even for calling regular land lines, they're claiming rates are 30% lower than Skype. To sweeten the deal, Vonage is throwing in 3000 minutes/month of free mobile and landline calls to the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico for a limited time.
I'm not as impressed with the new Vonage app as Dell Voice, which lets you make outgoing calls to regular ol' landlines and cell phones within Canada for free for the foreseeable future (not just a limited time). Of course, there's no SMS text messaging included with Dell Voice, but I use instant messaging way more often anyway. Besides, if you've got to harass friends to sign up for a new service to get free calling anyway, wouldn't you have better luck with pushing a more widely-recognized brand like Skype? At the very least, Vonage Mobile's offer for free calling to land lines and mobile is pretty nice, even if it's only for a limited time.