British fixed-line telco BT has launched a new Android app allowing its landline customers to make calls on-the-go using their landline calling package. The BT SmartTalk app links with your BT.com account and landline number, and allows calls to be made over a Wifi or mobile data connection, with the resulting fee being billed to your BT phone bill.
This allows BT customers to make calls in areas where they have a Wifi connection, but no cellular reception, as well as enabling them to save money by using their BT landline allowance instead of their mobile operator's allocation of minutes. 0800 and 0845 numbers, for instance, are usually much more expensive when dialed from a mobile number.
A few caveats -- outgoing calls will still appear as coming from your mobile number, and there's currently no way to have incoming calls automatically routed through the app. So this is no Google Voice replacement for the UK -- at least not yet.
The setup process is relatively straightforward -- first sign in with your BT account and phone number, then BT calls your land line with a PIN which must be entered into the app. Next, BT confirms your mobile number by sending a text to your phone, which the app automatically intercepts.
BT SmartTalk links wit h your Android contact list, allowing you to select from existing people in a dropdown list. There's also the option to withhoold your mobile number when dialing out, or set the app as the automatic dialing choice for certain numbers, such as Freephone, 0845, 0870 and UK landline numbers.
The app is available through Google Play for UK devices running Android 2.1 and above. Hit the Google Play link above to grab it.