Access Your Cell from Your Computer with Virtual Smartphone
March 11, 2014
By Daniel Brecht
, Contributing Writer
In the telecommunication industry, the IP softswitch, which acts as a controller that offers users one interface for multiple IP networks, has provided solutions for Internet service carriers to connect phone calls from one line to another with the help of the Internet. Nowadays, mobile VoIP, instead of traditional telephony, has become part of our everyday processes.
According to a report by Infonetics (News - Alert) Research, a number of businesses are turning to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as a preferred communication platform that makes it easier for them to make the move towards a more mobile-centric communications system. The report reveals mobile VoIP as taking the next step towards efficiency and low cost connections; consequently, it is an important technology and a growing trend.
For mobile communications and delivering real-time communications, such as VoIP, PPLCONNECT INC has created a “virtual smartphone,” which enables users to make calls, send SMS messages and have access to their phone’s contact list from any device on which the Android (News - Alert) App is installed. Yes, it lets people access and use their phones on any device (without changing their number). The phone doesn’t even need to be turned on for it to be accessed from another device. All it takes is to download the PPLCONNECT (beta) free app from Google (News - Alert) Play store and register at the pplco.mobi website to use the PPLCONNECT Service (which is still in its beta state). Users sign up with a Google + account or their email and enter their phone number. The official launch remains a couple of weeks out.
Once the app is installed, PPLConnect will send the user a code via SMS to link their actual phone to the virtual phone. From then on, they will be able to log into PPLConnect via the Web through the Chrome browser (more browsers will be added in subsequent releases, the company says). The app, which is only for Android devices (for now), will link the user’s smartphone to the Web, explained Co-founder, Denzil D'Sa. "Your calls (via PPLConnect) are from your number, in and out. Your texts are from your number, in and out."
As per Jenviev Azzolin, the other Co-founder, “PPLCONNECT [which is currently in Open Beta] is the world's first virtual smartphone, empowering users [with a PPLCONNECT account] to access and use their smartphone from any device in real-time. PPLConnect works through VoIP. The app is free, as are calls from PPLConnect phones to other PPLConnect phones. [However, she says] international calls are not supported [and] calls outside PPLConnect cost about 3 cents a minute (purchased through ‘credits’), one way the company hopes to make money.”
A post on the subject, titled “Phone (News - Alert) dead? No problem, try this virtual smartphone,” on Delaware Online explains the usefulness of a virtual smartphone to make calls, SMS and perform other functions with a user’s number from any browser connected to the Internet. Users will no longer be tied to one physical device, either that be the user’s tablet or a friend's phone. The post also points out that the system works even if the actual smartphone is turned off or the battery is drained.
PPLConnect faces some strong competition from services provided by Google and Skype (News - Alert), but time will tell if virtual smartphones will win the consumers’ hearts and minds. One future feature dubbed "Hotel My Phone" will likely be something that will give PPLConnect an edge on the competitors: The release will let users “check-in or check out of another person's device.” The post provides this scenario: Say your battery dies and you need to borrow a stranger's phone. You can log into your account from the person's device, check your messages, maybe send a text or make a quick call. After logging out, none of your information is left behind on the phone, not your number, and not who you called or got a call from.
Edited by Alisen Downey