If you are among the many iPhone and iTouch users who have been waiting patiently, or impatiently in some cases, for iPhone SIP client applications to become widely available, stable, and user friendly then you are probably pretty happy right now. With the recent announcement by Skype of its iPhone SIP client app and Apple’s decision to begin supporting third party developers of iPhone SIP client software, times have changed. Every day new iPhone SIP client options are coming on the market and diehard iPhone users can even get their iPhone SIP client apps directly from the iPhone store if that’s the way they want to go. There are many other places to download iPhone SIP client apps as well.
For those that are wondering what all the hubbub is about and why anyone should even be concerned about SIP, it’s about being able to make calls to virtually anywhere in the world without using valuable cellular phone minutes or incurring long distance charges. SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, enables users to use voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) to make their calls. SIP technology will do a lot more than just handle your phone calls but that is the key use for now. It’s a total multimedia conferencing protocol that has the capability to handle video messaging and a whole array of telephony services.
The lack of support for iPhone SIP client apps has been a bone of contention since the introduction of the iPhone. Apple’s decision not to support SIP was a strategic one and based on its relationship with AT&T. AT&T feared erosion of its revenue from traditional cellular service should SIP prove popular with iPhone users. The solution today is a compromise that allows users to access iPhone SIP client apps and also protects AT&T’s cellular services. iPhone SIP client apps still do not work over cellular networks but they do work on any wireless (wifi) network. While this may not be all that some users had hoped for, it is clearly a good thing. Wifi is becoming more and more widely available everyday and so iPhone SIP client users have a good chance of being able to place their calls using VOIP from just about anywhere.
Accessing iPhone SIP client services is relatively straightforward. All you need is the software and access through any provider that offers VOIP service. Install the software, get your account set up and you are ready to go. If you are using an iTouch for iPhone SIP client access you may need to “jailbreak” your device in order to get full access to the hard drive and application installer. Doing this is not difficult but not without risk either so be sure you study up on exactly how to do it.
Clearly, a lot of progress has been made when it comes to iPhone SIP client services. Considering the demand that is still out there and the fact that the whole technology is in its very early stages, we can expect to see more strides made in the iPhone SIP client services arena. For iPhone and iTouch afficianados this is a very welcome situation. As more and more iPhone SIP client apps continue to become available, a good time will be had by all.