iPod Touch + iPhone Earbuds = VOIP iPhone

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A frequent reader named Derek sent me an email yesterday afternoon, and pointed out something that I hadn’t considered, but that I think is very important to make note of…

The iPod Touch should be able to make VOIP phone calls.

Since it runs the same browser as the iPhone, that means it will work with SkypeforiPhone.com. Unless Apple has somehow preemptively disabled the mic from iPhone headphones, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t work when you plug them into your iPod Touch.

After you log into your Skype service via the Safari browser, you should be good to go.

Another interesting question is whether or not the iPod Touch supports Bluetooth. Engadget seems to think that it does, and if that proves true, then you might even be able to make those VOIP calls over a wireless Bluetooth headset as well!

Of course, I can’t confirm any of this 100% until we can actually get ahold of an iPod Touch, but if it works, that’s going to be one more very cool thing you can do with the iPod Touch, and one more thing to consider when choosing between the new iPod, and the iPhone.

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  1. thats nice and all, but even if it works, it still implies that you’re in range of a wlan that you can gain access to. i dunno about you guys in the u.s. but here in germany wireless lans are not something that’s spread all over the place. mostly, when i’m in range of a wlan, it means i’m also in range of my mac and my phone.

    i don’t think that the ipod touch can be a full-scale replacement for an iphone… let’s say i’m on the road and need to call someone, what do i do? wait for the next hotspot to come by? that’d be a real bugger.

  2. Unfortunately, it won’t work!
    The Skypeforiphone service is not a full Skype client, but merely a re-direct service — you indicate a Callback number (presumably your iPhone number), and call a Skype user or phone number.
    I had hopes this would provide VoIP on my iPhone, but nope!! Not today.

  3. @Everyone mentioning the mic

    I get that there is no Mic on the iPod Touch. There is, however, a mic on the iPhone Earbuds, that’s why they are listed as part of the equation.


  4. thanks for the heads up suckaz… since we havent shipped the ‘touch’ yet, we’ll just get jony ive on it to make sure voip will never work…


  5. This is simply idiotic. Sure, the iPhone headphone has a mic, but the iPhone headphones are not the same as standard listening-only headphones. The mic part isn’t magical. It requires a mic-supporting connection on the device it’s plugged into. I would highly doubt that the iPod touch has such a connection. It may be possible with something that plugs into the dock connector, similar to previous iPods, but that’s different.

  6. You ever wish you just didn’t get out of bed some mornings?

    I mean, as much as I love being called an idiot (who doesn’t), can’t a guy post a thought without…ah…nevermind….why do I post things at 3 o’clock in the morning?


  7. @Michael

    Hey… It was a great post and you addressed something that people are thinking about!

    I say, getting people to respond is good journalism…

    Well Done Michael…

  8. The lack of the mic is the smaller problem — see Zorg @ 8. SkypeForiPhone doesn’t actually do VoIP, it just calls you and acts as a gateway from the phone part of your iPhone to your Skype contact. So it wouldn’t work at all on the iPod touch, since there’s no callback number.

  9. Pity it ain’t going to work at all.

    This won’t work as the “Skype for iphone” is just a call back system. That means it calls the iPhone back on your public CELL number, using the skypeout network to connect both sides of the “skype” call.

    It isn’t VoIP at all to the client/handset.

    So, for the iPod Touch with no public cell number, you ain’t going to see this running.

    What is needed is a native Skype application… I imagine they’re working on it, but wonder if they’ll release it…

  10. I am assuming a majority of people here just don’t bother to read anything. As many have pointed out this whole article is stupid, not because of a mic, but because IM+ for Skype is a callback service. It just connects your *cell phone* to a desktop skype client via a callback. It’s a hack and will only work on cell phones, not wifi internet devices (iPod Touch).

  11. well its actually 3 in the morning and u guys r talkin all rubbish.
    1. touch does not have a mic. and the iphone earbud with mic wont work as it wont support it.
    2. IM for skype is just a redirect service which works if you run the client on the frontend phone.
    conclusion :
    as ipod touch isnt a phone this all wont work and stop using ur brain on things that are baseless.

  12. Good grief. Who cares if it doesn’t have a mic? On a fundamental level, it’s all data, right? The iPod Touch has wireless capabilities, meaning it can send and receive data at reasonably high speeds. My approach, and what I suspect the hacker community’s approach would / will be, would be finding a way to plug the vox data stream from a wlan headset into where Skype expects it to be via the Touch’s wlan interface. The Touch has the same OS as the iPhone, yes? And we can run 3rd party apps on the iPhone now, yes?

    Fundamentally, if the Touch can send and receive data via wlan and you can buy a battery wlan headset, all one has to do is spend the time connecting the dots. It’s just data exchange.

  13. what i’m more curious about is whether the iPhone headset can work the iPod controls! i’m thinking about getting a touch, but i don’t like the idea of having to take it out of my pocket and unlocking it just to pause/adjust the volume.

  14. Lack of microphone is just a minor problem. If Skype can get its client to work on the iPod Touch (a huge “if”), lots of companies will come out with microphone setups that plug into the dock connector. Maybe even a Bluetooth adapter for the dock connector. The software is the big problem. Apple’s not making it easy for Skype or others, even though their “we won’t let you install 3rd party apps because we don’t want to risk hurting AT&T’s network” excuse doesn’t apply to the Touch.

  15. iPod Touch is a replacement for iPhone and any other phone in many areas.

    Here in Scandinavia, there is an excellent Mobile Broadband service called ICE with more than 80% coverage. With it you can set up a wifi network, which you can bring along, in your car, at your cabin, in your boat 20 miles off the coast, etc.

    Microphone? it is already available for all other iPods, why should it be different for iPod Touch?

    If this is not possible you could also use Nokia N95 and Vyke mobile IP!

  16. Oh, a sip stack would be necessary, and the ability to install apps. That has been solved on the iPhone, so why not on the iPod Touch.

  17. guys voip is now a reality for the iphone as of this week. and more will come. mic with bluetooth isnt that far off but will need to be connected to the dock connection. i think it will come in time. just my opinion

  18. How Apple, Inc. Wet Its Pants About Neo-Freaking

    What has been momentarily the top purchased Electronics item on Amazon.com, the Apple, Inc. iPod touch, has become the subject of a large scale, underground hacking effort. Specifically, there has been a lot of interest in porting a number of Apple-produced OS X Mobile applications from their former place on the iPhone, and yet another effort to simply load non-web applications.

    The traditional iPods, minus Wi-Fi access, never really accrued much controversy by their widespread hacking. Because the world’s most popular portable audio player generated a huge market for a great many fantastic gizmo attachments, there was already a large body familiar with the operation, audio-in/audio-out mini-jack, and altogether comfortable with the idea of customizing the device. Since the introduction of the original iPod, use and curiosity of web-based audio communication grew because of its cheapness, but was limited because of the lack of mass adaptation.

    The iPhone’s implementation of mass-marketed terrestrial antennas employed by almost every citizen made its Wi-Fi seem less relevant on the go and on highways (although the EDGE network notoriously lacked speed). Then, interest in neo-phreaking for use on Wi-Fi was low, if for no other reason than the hardware’s very purchase mandated subscription to a high-end audio communication service that allowed for visual voicemail. Third-party development was momentarily locked down, but naturally the dam broke and the water spilled into the valley, and somebody with their fingers dipped in that pot wanted to maintain that chill, DIY image early company founder Steve Wozniak – a man who once called the Pope for free – had helped them garner. In conversations with spokespeople, Apple asserted neutrality when it came to people modifying the iPhone or iPod touch, but the situation is in reality far more complicated, but nobody in AT&T or Apple’s corporate P.R. would say it. Back in generations one and two of the iPod, Apple’s store-based advisors were reluctant to mention hard drive capability for fear of culpability and backlash from the Record Industry Association of America. Of course, moving 10 gigabytes of music by hard drive was a battle the RIAA used to consider worth fighting, especially since the iPod had given such increased visibility to digital music.

    It is of important that Apple Computer has with its recently acquired name, Apple, Inc, taken on a visible responsibility for not just a piece of hardware, but also associated media content. (For example, music purchased from the iTunes Music Store is limited to registered computers and can be burnt to CD only ten times by contract.)

    At the time of this writing, the first, second, and third generation iPods can be outfitted with manifestations of Linux. During the first public sit-down with the iPhone and its essentially scaled-down graphical user interface, CEO Steve Jobs was careful to codify the operating system as “OS X,” even though it could not be properly called Leopard as one would run on a full-fledged desktop or laptop. The intense ease of portability for these new Apple handhelds, and particularly, the necessarily contract-free sales method for the iPod touch, would generate a great deal controversy; betwixt Apple and AT&T’s top brass, there was clearly a strained smile, for a concern that iPod touch hardware was capable of more than the network provider or Apple themselves were quite ready to bargain. The computing power demonstrated in Wi-Fi video streaming rattled the imagination, and plastic pryers would later learn that the chip-set would allow for 802.11a as well as b/g support.

    Wild-eyed and unresolved speculations about hidden Bluetooth-readiness in the iPod touch aside, crack-open examination of its apparent processing power and sound card demonstrated that the device was clearly capable of iPhone actions such as entering Calender items, and inputting documents in Notes, not to mention other Widget-like functions made more easily possible Weather and Stocks.

    In the words of an unnamed Apple insider, they use “the same damn binaries.”

    These were disabled on the iPod Touch to focus market attention in a last drive for AT&T contract money. The front-page buttons advertise these capabilities in an important way, and way more money is on the line.

    Concern in the direction of jailbreaking the iPhone in order to port the Apple-made applications is something of red herring in the underlying controversy and true potential of the two devices, revelations made only truly apparent once the AT&T contract was made auxiliary in light of the hardware. Many of these functions, albeit absent from the iPod “Front Page” can be activated through Safari-based web applications.

    Of course, in one widely-publicized media stunt by a 14 year-old of all people, the iPhone had been freed from the AT&T service contract.

    Wide and wild-eyed trump cards were thrown out that the iPod touch had secret Bluetooth capability, but many have dismissed these as simple conspiracy theories. As certain external track-shifters and volume-adjusters are already on the market, it may be possible to input audio to the device. Apple has been known to keep silent about certain capabilities of its hardware or projections for future software updates that might activate them.

    Again, note that Apple, Inc. collected more money if people bought the iPhone because of their cut of AT&T service contracts they collect from AT&T.

    An infamous fellow nicknamed “Martyn” made web presence when he came upon a broken iPod touch (or, “iPot”) and supposed that he might release code he sucked from its internal parts. Apple’s Legal was down on him in an instant to stop this progress in 3rd Party Development. iPot and iPhone purchasers, speculators, and developers should not have been surprised about this interest in stopping how information gets in and out of their handhelds. It is difficult to see a market for big-money applications on these sorts of devices.

    The reason for all the convoluted mumbling was the possibility (and, for some, nightmare) of a Neo-Phreaking, especially as more end-users have been called by the trendy Siren of mass-produced and reputedly “user-friendly” products. Consider this: as these handhelds have become small enough to fit in the pocket(book), and urban areas have transformed into low-security Wi-Fi orgys, the AT&T commitment (not to mention the theoretical monthly charge alone) looked ugly if easy hacks could be made. Apple was so concerned about these that it made even humble disk drive usage difficult on its Intel Macs and byzantine if not complicated on older models or PCs.

    Some have had dreams about an independent application running on the iPod touch, audio input from a microphone into the jack or a Bluetooth enabling with cheap devices in the docking port, and the holy grail herself: Skype, between all four million new buyers/liberated howler monkeys. Suddenly, planning a family plan feuded with AT&T’s.

  19. Ummmm, I dont know if im the first one to say this cuz i didnt read everything, but hear me out on this.

    All these crappy voip “applications” (if you can even call them that) for the iphone are not really applications in the first place – you are primarily going on your web browser and making a call via your web browser at a marginal cost.

    OK now, cant you do that anyways without even navigating to this web page application that lets you make voip calls? now think real hard on this one.

    Now — this marginal cost is pretty low to make these so called “voip calls” from your iphone right ? id say so – or is it – i mean do you get charged for calling a 1-800 number – Not that i know of but perhaps things have changed recently.

    And arent there a bunch of companies that sell phone cards that allow you to make really cheap calls abroad, and all you have to do is call a 1800 num or some other number that isnt gonna charge you jack crap.

    so in all actuallity your buying a phone card when your connecting to these “web voip applications”

    – WHEN IS VONAGE gonna get on board with the iphone man. that would be like the most kick ass thing in the world….. would the V phone work with the iphone?- or even possibly the ipod touch – which would make life a hell of alot sweeter.

  20. Look guys I have the touch, as many of you do too, and it just won’t work! Trust me i’ve tried it. Plus why would apple even let us try to use skype they already knew we were thinking about it so they didn’t give us a mic for the touch if u want to have a phone just pay the same price as a 16gb touch and walaah you have the 8gb iPhone!!!

  21. They crippled the iPhone headphone jack remember, so when we put the iPhone mic in it’s not going to work!

    That’s why they did it!

  22. Sounds like a a really great idea, I hope that the skype software works properly, unlike the software for some of the windows mobile devices.

  23. No, unfortunatly this doesnt work i know this because i have and ipod touch, i lost the headphones then i went out and accidently bought iphone headphones for it and then thought i can use it for the voip to but u can heaqr the person on the other line but u cannot talk back : (

  24. Windows mobile devices vs Apple ipod touch & iphone.
    No contest windows mobile may be buggy but atleast they let you do what you want.

  25. i recently hacked my ipod touch and installed voip and the way i set mine up i actually have a real number that can be called and i can answer it on the touch..

  26. if any one needs help setting up there voip to get an actual number let me know and i will try and assist you..

  27. id just like to applaud the dude that got hated on IMMENSELY in 2007 and how its actually working now what he thought. KUDOS DUDE!

  28. Has anyone heard whether the Truphone iPhone app from the AppStore will work with the iPod touch?

    Why is this bulletin not shown in reverse chronological order?

  29. it works !! i got hold of an old pair of iPhone speakers and now i can speak to my friends at 4 a.m. for no extra cost lying in my bed. it works. they didnt disable the first generation iPhone speakers/ mic. so heck getting an iPod touch is much cheaper and a better option than the iPhone 3G.

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