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A Review of Fring: Social Networking on the iPhone Made Easy

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 12/31/2009
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If you're looking for a useful social networking app for the iPhone, Fring might be what you are looking for. It does not only let you connect with your online buddies but also lets you make VoIP calls using your iPhone.

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    What Does Fring Do?

    Although Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn social networking apps for the iPhone are robust and useful enough, they are limited to letting you do your web-based social networking tasks and nothing more. Fring, however extends beyond social networking to the extent of allowing VoIP calls and multi-platform online communication.

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    Fring iPhone App Description

    IMG 0028[1] Who wouldn't want to have talk, chat and an interaction application on their iPhone? VoIP capability has been the much sought functionality by iPhone users. Thankfully, Fring did not disappoint on this aspect as it offers a robust VoIP application which would allow you to make phone calls via a Wi-Fi network. You read it right, it's through Wi-Fi. Hence it's practically a way to make free international calls done through your PC. Aside from VoIP calls, Fring also lets you communicate with your online buddies regardless whether they are on MSN, Google Talk, ICQ, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Skype, or in Fring just like you are.

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    Fring Features

    The first time you fire up the Fring app on your iPhone after downloading and installing it, you will be given with a clean slate and will be asked to create your account. You can add as many online communication accounts as you want and your buddy lists from those account will be added into your Fring account the moment you enter your login credentials in those accounts on your iPhone's Fring installation. The app will also add your iPhone's contact list later on. Unfortunately, Fring limits your capability to add more contacts who are not Fring users since you will be asked to enter their phone number or Fring ID.

    Other than the said minor flaw, Fring for the iPhone pretty much functions and fulfils what it was aimed to do. Hence, you can enjoy making outgoing SIP or VoIP calls for as long as your iPhone is connected to the Internet via a Wi-fi connection.

    The Fring iPhone app gives you five basic menus to make your way around the Fring app - Buddy list, History, Dialer, Goto, and More options. The Buddy list basically shows your Fring contacts and your iPhone contacts directory, History gives you a list of your most recent Fring transactions, the Dialer feature is similar to your iPhone's dialer for direct inputting of phone numbers of the people you want to call, and the Goto option brings you to saved profiles, and the More options gives you more setting options including Add-ons and privacy settings.

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    Our Verdict

    Fring for the iPhone is pretty much your straight forward multi-platform messaging client with an added feature, which is VoIP calling functionality. As an iPhone app it loads up fast and won't eat up too much of your iPhone's storage. It also seamlessly works best when you're iPhone is connected on a strong Wi-Fi network. Overall, having Fring installed on your iPhone eliminates the need to individually install the iPhone apps of other online communications platform one by one on your iPhone. It’s got some more room for improvements as it is right now, so we're looking forward to its future updates. And yes, it is a free iPhone app.