Martin on Mobile Apps

About this Blog: All smartphone and tablet apps, all the time. Veteran mobile tech journalist James A. Martin offers mobile app reviews, news, tips and more on a variety of major mobile platforms, with a focus on iOS and Android.

Martin on Mobile Apps

UberConference iOS, Android Apps Make Conference Calls Less Painful

Love 'em or hate 'em, conference calls are a must for many of us. UberConference's free mobile apps for iOS and Android make such calls easy to initiate, but the apps aren't perfect and they could confuse your conference participants, according to CIO.com blogger James A. Martin.

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UberConference is a terrific cloud-based conference calling service that just got even more valuable—though its mobile apps could use some improvement.

UberConference developer Firespotter Labs announced Monday that its conference calling service is now integrated with two popular cloud services: Evernote Business ($10/per user/monthly); and Box (5GB for free personal accounts and paid business accounts are also available). The integration lets UberConference users view and edit Evernote notes and documents stored in Box during conference calls.

I didn’t test UberConference with Evernote Business or Box, but I did check out its iPhone and Android apps. Both have attractive, highly-visual interfaces that make them easy to use. But the apps are more limited than what you get using UberConference in a standard desktop browser.

UberConference

For example, unlike UberConference on the desktop, you can’t schedule a future conference call using the iPhone or Android apps. To start an immediate conference call, you select participants from your imported contacts. Unfortunately, if you have multiple phone numbers for one person, UberConference calls all the numbers simultaneously; I didn’t see any option to select just one of the numbers. People you calling will likely to be confused by this, especially if they’re not expecting the call—which, in my case, came from a 213-area-code number (my area code is 415).

The free UberConference plan offers lots of valuable features, including call recordings that you can play or download as MP3 files using a browser, but not a mobile app. A Pro account ($10 monthly), adds a number of additional features, including the ability to get a dedicated conference call number with your own area code.

UberConference isn’t the only free, Web-based conference calling service with corresponding smartphone apps. Between FreeConference Mobile for iOS, MobileDay for iOS and Android, and UberConference, you should be able to find one that suits your needs. And the prices sure are right. 

(Screen shot by Firespotter Labs) 


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