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Ooma Blog

Guide to Using Ooma’s Apps for Home, Business, Security, and Setup

By Dmitry Maslov|Wednesday September 12, 2018

Ooma provides a full set of mobile apps to keep you connected while you’re on the go and to make it easier to use your Ooma products.

Ooma Free Calling App (Residential)

(iOS, Android) If you subscribe to Ooma home phone service, the Ooma free calling app keeps you connected, even while you’re away from home.

  • Telephone connectivity: Ooma Basic customers can make unlimited calls to anywhere in the U.S. For Home Phone Premier customers, unlimited access expands to Canada and Puerto Rico. Plus, Premier customers can receive calls as well as make them.
  • International dialing: Use the app to access Ooma’s low per-minute dialing rates no matter where you are, and subscribers to the international calling plans get unlimited access to included countries.
  • Staying safe with 911: All app users have access to Ooma’s patented 911 feature. After logging your home address in the system, a 911 call from any device within your Ooma account will be directed to your home’s local emergency services. Emergency personnel will automatically receive your home address so they can respond to your emergency as quickly as possible.
  • Staying connected while traveling abroad: When you’re out of the country, Ooma’s free calling app is an easy way to have telephone service without paying overseas cellular rates or switching your phone’s SIM card. Simply connect to Wi-Fi to make calls through the app as if you were at home. Premier customers can also receive calls through the mobile app.

Want more info about the Ooma free calling app? Check out the FAQ.

Ooma Telo free calling app

Ooma Telo Setup App

(iOS, Android) When installing your Ooma Telo, this mobile app will give you easy access to all setup features. Keep in mind that this setup app isn’t for making phone calls; it’s just for setup.

  • Activation: It’s easy to activate your Telo; just scan the QR code on the bottom of your device.
  • Configuration: Input all your information and adjust your settings in a few easy steps.
  • Check Status: The app will clearly state the status of your system.

Ooma Telo setup app

Ooma Office App

(iOS, Android) If you’re an Ooma Office customer, this mobile app will give everyone at your company access to their business phones no matter where they are.

  • Connectivity for remote workers: Incoming calls can be transferred from HQ to your remote employee in Indiana, to a delivery driver stuck in traffic in Texas, to a salesperson on the road in Connecticut, or to another location.
  • Desk phone in your pocket: Make and receive calls on the app as though you were using your desk phone. Your customers will never need instructions to use a different phone number for alternate hours. All your communications will be consistent and professional.
  • Voicemail on the go: You’ll never miss a message when you have complete communications access from your mobile device.

Ooma Office mobile calling app

Ooma Home App

(iOS, Android) Remotely monitor your Ooma Home security system and get instant alerts with this easy-to-use mobile app.

  • Unlimited sensor capacity: Protect your entire home using a network of smart sensors that monitor door or window activity, motion detection, garage door activity, water sensors, and sirens.
  • Real-time alerts: Receive immediate notification when activity is detected. Whether it’s letting you know the precise moment your kids get home from school or it’s an alert of unexpected activity at home, you’ll always be in the know.
  • Remote connection to your local 911: Ooma is the only service to integrate home security with emergency communications. Subscribers to the Ooma Home Security plan can take immediate action in response to unexpected activity by calling 911 from the app to automatically be connected to the home’s local emergency services. Additionally, emergency personnel will automatically receive your home address so they can respond to your emergency as quickly as possible.
  • Automated arming and disarming: All users can manually switch between Home and Away modes. Subscribers to the Ooma Home Secure plan have access to the location-based, mode-switching feature, also known as geofencing, which uses your phone’s GPS location to arm your security system when you leave home and disarm it when you arrive.
  • Integration with Ooma Butterfleye: Up to six Ooma Butterfleye security cameras can be integrated with Ooma Home. Using the Ooma Home app, you can view a live video feed, view archived clips, set up device triggers between the camera and other Ooma Home security sensors, and access an integrated log of activity alerts.

Ooma Home security mobile app

Ooma Butterfleye App

(iOS, Android) Access the intelligent security features of the Ooma Butterfleye security camera and get immediate alerts about activity.

  • Smart video security: Access livestream video footage and archived clips from the 1080p full HD 120-degree field of view camera with digital zoom. Filter and sort your timeline events. Seven days of video history is free, and Ooma Butterfleye Home Secure subscribers get 30 days of video history.
  • Setup and customization: Set your notification preferences, switch to privacy mode, pair the Ooma Butterfleye camera with the Ooma Home security system, and do much more.
  • Facial recognition: The AI-powered facial recognition technology can help you quickly tell if activity was from a known or unknown person, or even a pet. Subscribers to the Ooma Butterfleye Home Secure plan can manage facial recognition profiles and receive identification info with their notifications.
  • Advanced Features: Subscribers can also use the app to interact with their home using two-way audio, and can use the automated arm/disarm feature. This function uses your phone’s GPS location to arm the camera when you leave and disarm it when you return.

Ooma Butterfleye mobile app

Ooma Telo White image

Ooma Telo White

Free Home Phone Service
Free Shipping
MSRP:  $99.99
$89.99
Ooma Telo Air image

Ooma Telo Air

Free Home Phone Service
Free Shipping
$129.99
Ooma Business Starter Pack

Ooma Phone Business Starter Pack

Comes with:
– 1 Ooma Office Base Station
– 2 Wireless extensions
*Compatible with existing analog phones

$129.97

Is Google Voice heading to the Google Graveyard? The calling app has been around since 2009, and yet it seems as though it’s always been on the verge of being discontinued. The uncertainty has many people looking for a Google Voice alternative. 

It’s important that your calling and texting platforms are reliable, full-featured and can support the way you want to communicate. Let’s review the predictions about Google Voice’s future and what you should look for when choosing a Google Voice alternative. 

Google Voice’s Uncertain Future

Headlines about Google Voice comment that it’s “not dead yet.” That might be as optimistic as we can get about the calling app. It spent years being neglected by Google, and it’s not clear if Google is fully committed to it as a priority app.

The Verge said in 2019, “Voice’s interface is a bit old-fashioned (despite a relatively recent update).” It added, “and (this being Google) there is always the chance that the company will suddenly decide to get rid of it.”

The path of Google Voice has never been clear. For a while, there was talk that Google Voice would move to Google Hangouts. However, Hangouts is currently in its sunset, and Google is expected to retire the app in June 2020 or later. Users will be moved to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.

Ars Technica reported earlier this year that Google may be working on another iteration for communication tools. “Google is working on yet another messaging app,” said the article. The new app would merge the functions of apps like Hangouts Chat, Hangouts Meet and Google Voice. 

“If this service launches, it would be Google’s tenth messaging app,” said Ars. “Google’s inability to stick with a single messaging platform and its penchant for shutting down services has left its users very suspicious of any new messaging app from the company.

The uncertainty of Google Voice may have you looking for different solutions. Luckily, there are plenty of great VoIP options available that offer strong sets of features and reliable service at little to no cost. 

Here are the top seven things to consider when choosing an alternative to Google Voice. 

1. Does your Google Voice replacement have 911 Service?

It’s easy to assume that 911 will always be there when we need it. However, an emergency 911 call made with Google Voice will fail. 

This lack of emergency access has been a major drawback of the service. When looking for a Google alternative, prioritize a digital phone service that supports 911 calls

Keep in mind that there is usually a required government fee for consumer access to 911 service. This varies based on location, but it’s commonly a few dollars per month. While avoiding all fees is preferable, paying a few dollars a month is worth it because it could quite literally be the difference between life and death. 

When seconds matter, you should be able to easily get help. You may also find that some providers go beyond traditional emergency access. For example, advanced 911 service from Ooma can automatically notify your chosen emergency contact if a 911 call is placed from an Ooma-connected phone. You can also connect Ooma to your smart home so that Alexa or Google Home can call 911 via a voice command if you’re unable to dial.

2. Does the Google Voice alternative offer free U.S. calling?

Google Voice isn’t the only app that offers free unlimited calling and texting with U.S. phone numbers. 

When choosing your service, look for an app that isn’t limited to calling other users. A better choice is a VoIP service that gives you free access to other phone numbers. Functionality should include free talking and text messaging with any landline or mobile phone, rather than only the ability to connect with other users. 

Also, look for device flexibility that lets you use the service on any mobile device via an app. Providers typically support mobile apps on both iOS and Android. Make sure you look closely at the details to see what type of calls you can make on the app. For example, the Verizon Digital Voice app is only for account management, not for calling and texting. 

Google Voice worked with Obihai to allow you to use a phone handset similar to a landline. Some VoIP services also offer the same type of access via a home phone or desk phone. With the right provider, you can access your phone line via a mobile device or a home handset. 

Also, prioritize a contract-free phone plan that gives you the service you want without any commitment. If you’re managing multiple phone lines, look for providers that let you forward your calls so you can update your settings as needed. 

3. Is customer support available with your new service?

Another key downside of Google Voice is its lack of direct customer support. For individual users, your best option to get help with Google Voice is to post to the community forum.

At best, this means that troubleshooting is inefficient. At worst, you could be left with unresolved problems that you can’t resolve. 

Some providers have limited customer support. For example, magicJack’s basic phone service limits support to chat and email support. It’s funny that users could be getting phone service from a company that you can’t call for help. 

Your Google Voice alternative can fix this. Your phone service should offer full customer service access across a range of service times that include nights and weekends. 

4. What’s the reliability and voice quality of your new service? 

An advantage of Google Voice is that you’re using a service from a well-known company. You may not be aware of the reputation of alternative VoIP providers. Even if you’ve heard of companies like Skype or Vonage, you may not fully know their service quality. 

A good approach is to look for a VoIP provider that has consistently been ranked highly. Reviews and rankings from publications like PC Magazine can help. Not only does it provide overall rankings, but you can review scores on individual factors such as reliability, call quality and ease of use.

5. What are your phone number options with your new VoIP provider?

Today’s VoIP providers offer options for getting a new local phone number or porting your existing phone number to the provider to continue using your current number. For businesses, there’s even the option to get a toll-free number. 

With the right provider, all of these phone number options can be free. 

Some companies will use these phone number preferences as a way to add on fees. Even though we may be willing to pay to get the phone number we want, it’s not necessary. Google Voice isn’t the only provider that offers free phone service and a free local number. 

Some VoIP providers will link your new service to your existing phone number. This can be a short-term solution if you want to add-on a second line to your current devices. However, you can run into problems if you change devices. It’s also problematic if you’re looking to cut the cord and use your VoIP service as your primary phone number. 

To avoid these problems, look for a standalone service that is portable and can be used any way you want. 

6. How does the VoIP provider handle international calls?

For U.S.-based VoIP providers, it’s common to have free unlimited U.S. calling paired with low-cost international calling. However, if international access is a priority to you, it’s important to double-check the rates and access parameters. 

Some providers may not offer any international calling, which is the most limiting option. Other providers have plans that require a long-term contract or options like Grasshopper require an up-front deposit before you can make international calls. 

VoIP providers typically have low-cost international calling with rates that are lower than traditional phone providers. However, there can still be a wide variety among providers. A rate comparison can help you clearly see which is the better deal. Why should you pay eight cents per minute to call Italy when you can pay two cents per minute? 

7. Are small business VoIP options also available?

You may be only focused on residential phone service now. However, it can be helpful to know if the provider also offers small business options. 

There are two reasons why this is helpful to know.

First, if a provider also offers business phone service, it shows their level of commitment to communication technology. A lightweight provider may only offer small residential service. As a result, they may not be investing in the R&D needed to provide high-quality business phone systems. This means you could have lower-quality service.

Second, today’s startup culture means that you may be interested in a small business phone in the future. If you’re already using a great provider, it’s easy to add on a small business line. This can make it easy to launch a part-time catering service, shadetree mechanic company or digital services brand. 

Small business VoIP can offer smart technology at a very low cost. A virtual receptionist (sometimes called an auto-attendant) can provide callers with pre-recorded messages with information like business hours or today’s menu. You’ll have the ability to make conference calls, get an 800-number, record calls and more. 

 

Learn more about Ooma’s free home phone service to discover if it can help you replace Google Voice.