Truphone released a third major update to its mobile communication app Tuesday and clearly leads the pack of IP telephony applications for the iPhone as Apple’s device approaches two years on the market.
Truphone 3.0 for iPhone features an updated UI and new integration with Skype, allowing users to make and receive Skype calls via Truphone. Truphone’s functionality now supports:
* Free WiFi calls to other Truphone users, Skype and Google Talk users
* Free IM messages over WiFi to Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger and AOL users
* IM messaging over 3G to all of the above
* Sending and receiving Twitter messages
* Long distance calls to landlines and mobile users globally, at local calling rates.
The integrated IM capabilities and the Twitter functionality are interesting ideas and place Truphone in position to market as an all-in-one communication app. But the inherent limitations of IM on the iPhone and the fact that the Twitter integration is very bare-bones make both of these features less than crucial value adds.
Perhaps the most useful upgrade to the app, however, is the new ability to manage your account and top up prepaid credits from within the application itself. No more switching between the app and a web browser, plus credits can be added via credit card or PayPal.
While Truphone offers an app that works on the iPod Touch, the Truphone 3.0 released Tuesday is for the iPhone only. In a statement, the company said similar improvements to the iPod Touch app will be announced soon.
As mobile VoIP begins to mature and the iPhone continues to hit its stride as a disruptive mobile device, Truphone should continue to be a name on many lips in the conversation about integrated mobile communications.