Gingerbread feature: Internet calling

One of the big changes in Gingerbread is the inclusion of a full Internet calling stack in the Android operating system.  This means that you can make and receive voice calls over 3G (or 4G or any random number of G's) and, more important, WiFi.  It works a lot like Skype or Gtalk does on your computer, and we wouldn't be surprised if it gets built into the Android Gtalk client one day.

Until then, you need a third party VoIP (Voice over IP) account, and a little setup.  Even without a clear and concise set of instructions from Google, we figured it out using the free service from sipgate after a bit of trial and error and tried to make it easy for you.  Hit the forums for the How-To.  There's a video of the new feature in action, find it after the break.

Having fun finding new and improved goodies in Gingerbread on your Nexus S or a custom ROM on your favorite device?  Let us know any thing new, improved, or just plain cool that you find!

YouTube link for mobile viewing

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Niiiice....
  • Off topic but how is the new copy n paste compared to froyo
  • That would let me use my Evo in Europe in a few months!
  • Copy and paste has sliders now..
  • like does everyone here has a Evo or
  • Yup.... let me guess... u have a droid... or some kind of verizon android device...
  • I would only use it for incoming calls since outgoing costs.
  • Double-post...deleted
  • Forgive my ignorance, but how does this differ from using Skype now. I was able to use that over WiFi without service a few months ago when I was traveling overseas.
  • The feature is built into the phone so it does not require an app. You can use your GV Voice account with it and use it whereas with Skype you needed to add funds.
  • So are you saying that GV would already work in this setup, or do you mean that it could work in the future? I already use GV primarily. Would I have to change settings to switch back and forth between 3G and regular minutes?
  • Whats the point of internet calling on your cell phone? I can see it on a tablet or something
  • If you have a low minute plan, internet calling may come in handy. It should work over 3G also.
  • If you're like me and work in a basement with no cell coverage but a good wifi signal.
  • it would come in handy with someone that has no signal barely cause tmoblie blows! lol
  • You could carry your mifi around :D
  • $10 says most carriers are going to disable this feature. NO lets make it a year's pay. There is no way in heck they are going to let this stay in since this is their bread and butter that Google is dinking with that. Since all people would then do is simply drop the voice plan and go with unlimited data...not going to happen. At least officially. Unofficially XDA will have this running in a week.
  • do carriers even let you have data only??? Sprint to my knowledge does not.
  • They would have to block VOIP over their data network then. There will be blood :))
  • This is the beginning of the end of cell phone plans as we know it. And there's going to be a big fight over it.
  • They not only force all cell phone customers to buy a data plan (at an increased price per gb), but they will also force a minimum (new higher priced) voice plan as well.
  • They are getting ahead of themselves there is still no "Call contact only with Google Voice option" anywhere fix that problem first before you guys get all fancy, lmao
  • There is. It is called " Use Google Voice to make all calls" which still uses your minutes. SIP works over data. GV does not offer SIP calling at the moment and its use requires some tinkering on the user side.
  • I assume you could point this to an asterisk server as well. That means an android phone could easily be an extension on a home or office pbx. Forward and transfer calls as if you were in the office and use no minutes. Plus international calling could be dirt cheapif you're signed up with a provider like Can't wait
  • I guess it's a nice feature to have integrated into the OS, but Google Voice and Sipdroid work so well together, who really cares? I've been using VOIP on my EVO since last June.
  • I use Sipdroid myself, but I don't think the interface is the greatest.
  • Is that Temp widget on his home screen part of gingerbread or no?
  • Wireless tether is already a standard part of the os. That doesn't stop the carriers from charging through the nose for it. Like Verizon will ever let this happen.
  • No carriers will but that's what root is for.