20 Tips and Tricks for Android "Froyo" Tablets

Turn Your Tablet into a Free Phone

Most tablets these days don’t include calling capabilities, even those with a mobile data plan that are connected to cell towers 24/7. But just because you can’t place a voice call over the cellular network doesn’t mean you can’t make a data call. With an SIP account and phone number, you can make or receive phone calls directly from your tablet.

Doing this does have a few requirements though. Most importantly, you need to have an SIP phone number (in other words, a VOIP number) that allows free calling. Up until recently, such SIP numbers were simple and free to obtain from services like Gizmo5 (recently purchased by Google) and SipGate (not currently accepting new accounts), but now the free method takes a combination of services like CallCentric and IPKall. You will also need a Google Voice account, and a few free apps from the Android Market: Google Voice Callback, CSipSimple, and a dialer (such as Dialer One). A user over at AndroidTablets.net has created an excellent step-by-step guide detailing the current free VOIP setup. His thread is still very much active and should hopefully remain so, as to keep up with the ever changing flux of the SIP/VOIP world.

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7 comments
  • Hey Tom's, Do you have any plans on implementing a Captcha for comments or something? Things are getting bad when the first 5 comments are all spam (all in a 24 hour period).
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  • If you are using T-Mobile, you can go with a SIM card for $0.10/min for talk and purchase a day's worth of data whenever you are away from WiFi for $1.49. I find this approach very inexpensive for my needs. I think ATT has something similar.
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  • JoeinMDIf you are using T-Mobile, you can go with a SIM card for $0.10/min for talk and purchase a day's worth of data whenever you are away from WiFi for $1.49. I find this approach very inexpensive for my needs. I think ATT has something similar.


    That's a good money saving tip. Are the rates available on T-Mobile's website, or do you have to call up or talk to them in person for it?
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  • While turning off unused radios (3/4G, GPS, WiFi), every toggle app that I've tried has caused problems with the actual thing they're supposed to control - toggle the radios on and off. With several of those apps, removing them actually killed the ability to turn on those same radios! Luckily, I'm able to re-flash my ROM so I was able to recover in every case, but some people and some phones/tablets won't be so lucky.
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  • quantumrandHey Tom's, Do you have any plans on implementing a Captcha for comments or something? Things are getting bad when the first 5 comments are all spam (all in a 24 hour period).


    Spam comments are indeed problematic, and we are working on it.
    -Devin
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  • I use Printershare from Market/Googleplay (and no, this is not spam, that app really works on my Transformer Pad). To print from Gmail, start Printershare, select Gmail, then print. It's that easy. I tried Google Cloud and found, for starters, that it supported only a limited number of printers.

    I am running Printershare Premium, the paid version, so am not sure if there what the limitations are between that and the paid version.

    We need to print on wifi printers directly from Android. Printershare is a stopgap measure until that's possible. My Transformer Pad has replaced my laptop because it does so much more so much faster than the Windows 7 beastie I had, but there are gaps with printing being one of the biggest. Something else that would be nice: stores which rent equipment; for instance, I need a CD burner for just a couple of days to hook up to my TPad, so it seems like a waste to buy one. In short, tablets might just change the way we do computing in the next 24 months as much as the first laptops did in the late 1980's.
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  • Android direct USB printing using OTG cable is available through a small library.see link http://myhowtohelp.blogspot.in/2014/01/library-to-print-from-android-device-usb.html
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