How to Use a 1G iPod touch as a WiFi Phone
As we should remember from earlier episodes, I received a first generation (1G) iPod touch from my beloved wife. At the time, the only bummer was the fact that the second generation (2G) touch had the ability to use a microphone.
My dreams of using a WiFi phone to lower my cell phone bills would have to wait, as the 1G iPod touch has no microphone input jack.
Not so fast, pilgrim. Last night I talked to my brother (six states away) over Skype using my iPod touch. The conversation lasted over a half an hour.
It was not without flaws. I could hear him fine, but my low voice wasn't as audible to him. Due to some delay issues, we had to be careful not to talk over each other. But since the call was mucho, mucho less expensive than using a landline or cell connection, I can't complain much.
How did I set up my 1G touch for Internet phoning?
Bear in mind that I have had some teething problems that mysteriously appear and disappear. So, like the secretary in the old "Mission Impossible" TV series, I will disallow any problems you may encounter. I'm going to tell you what I did and inform you of the troubles that I encountered.
Here's what that you will need:
- 1G iPod touch with Apple's new 2.2 software installed. This software opens up the microphone. You have to have it.
- Macally's iVoice lll microphone for the iPod. Yes, you could probably use Apple's new headset with a microphone, but the iVoice is cheaper. I picked up mine online for around $28. (Amazon.com currently sells it for $32.88 with free ground shipping.)
- Fring (download it from the iTunes App Store)
- A Skype account.
Turn on the iPod and launch Fring. Tap the "More" button at the bottom. When the screen appears, tap the "Add-ons" button. Select "Skype" from the menu. Log into your Skype account. Attach the iVoice mic to the iPod. Plug in a set of headphones.
Now go to your Buddy List and place a Skype test call. I usually do this every time to test how the connection and voice quality are.
I can dial now, you say!
Not so fast. In order for Skype make a "Skype Out" call, your phone number has to have the following format - (+1##########).
When you add Skype onto Fring, it automatically loads your Skype Buddies into Fring's buddy list. Now, of course, you have duplicate names in the Buddy List, but the Skype Buddies are already formatted to make Skype calls. I would like to clean up my Buddy List, but I may have to contact Fring to figure out how to do that.
One other issue. I think that the combination of the browser and iVoice sucks a lot of power out of the battery, so keep your charger handy.
Recent Recycled Computing Columns
- Changes, 2012.10.16. A new job has John Hatchett considered something of an iPad expert.
- In Praise of Optical Viewfinders, 2012.07.30. Although modern digital cameras have digital viewscreens, there's something to be said for the traditional viewfinder.
- The Lion Sleeps (on My MacBook) Tonight, 2012.07.05. Starting with a full backup, a Time Machine Backup, and an OS X 10.7 thumb drive, John Hatchett moved to Lion.
- More in the Recycled Computing index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Power Mac 7500, introduced 1995.08.08. This workhorse introduced a new desktop case and CPU daughter cards.
- June 18 in LEM history: 99: Is the iMac passé? - 01: Not all Mac-heads are lefties - Pitfalls of Freenets - 03: Impressions of a low-end eMac - 04: iTunes Europe: Where are the indies? - 07: Tiger users will be able to run up-to-date apps - 08: Old Mac restoration
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ