Currently Tinkering: FREE Calls for Magic Jack Beta (Android)

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Using MagicJack at home has been very essential to me for the past year. I can call anyone in the US for an annual fee of $20, which is cheaper than using the local phone. Now I try using MagicJack for Android. Yup, you heard me, it’s for your mobile device.

MagicJack is a USB device which you use to hook up on your computer, which when activated turns into a US phone line. The device focuses on VOIP (Voice Over IP). You need a proper DSL connection and a regular land line phone to complete the requirements. You can call anyone in the US (from Los Angeles to Texas to New York) and Canada without any additional charges. It’s a great device overall, and it’s a lot better to use than Skype in terms of voice quality. But we aren’t talking about MagicJack USB device, we are going to talk about the Android app.

The app can be downloaded at Google Play. Just search for MagicJack. It’s a pretty quick install so you can get started in a few minutes. You still need an account at MagicJack, but if you already one then you’ll be up and running very quick.

Once it starts, you only need to put in your account details, but if you don’t there is a test number that you can call to see if it’s working. It works great so far as long as you are within Wifi range. I think it also helped that the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 and my Wifi router are both 802.11 N. I was able to call some of my relatives through my mobile player, and somehow my player felt like it’s a phone. I sometimes forget that its mic and speakers are not the same as a phone.

The program itself is always on, it turns on once you start the device and this makes calling from you relatives pretty easy since you barely notice that it’s there running in the background. It saves me the hassle of hooking up the MagicJack USB and a landline phone to my PC. Now anyone in the US can call me at anytime as long as the app is running.

The problem with it, it’s a battery hog. It eats up most of the power of my battery. The mobile player won’t even last more than a day even if it’s just on standby. I have a battery monitor program that checks how much power each program used since I installed the app. It shows that since I installed MagicJack, it already consumed 30% in 2 days compared to when I got the device which is when I installed the battery monitor app which was 7 days ago. This in turns goes to another problem of mine with the program, there is no switching it off through the app. I had to go through some application management program to turn force close it. Restarting the device automatically turns it on too, which is not the way I want it to run.

I really like the app overall, but the battery usage is a bit too much and there is no option to sign out or turn it off. So weighing it, for me, it’s just as good as having the MagicJack USB, because there is a little hassle here and there, but the performance of calling to the US is simply amazing. It’s still in the beta phase, so we do hope to to see improvements along the way, but then again, all Android apps feel like they never finish beta stages since all apps still keep on updating as long as the developers feel it so.

So would I recommend it? It’s a 50/50 thing I suppose. I don’t like the power consumption and there is no option to turn it off. But I do like the convenience that I don’t have to hook up the MagicJack USB device. So there is some convenience and some hassles. But if you want to have a better package, just wait for developers to add an option for it not running in the background and a sign-out option.

You can download the MagicJack for Android here if you like.

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2 Comments

  1. char

     /  May 7, 2013

    I’ve been using Magic Jack for Android for a couple of months. I’m running it on a Huawei M920 for Metro PCS without service. This phone is basically junk considering what I paid for it. That said, I’ve not noticed battery drain like I’ve read in alot of the reviews. I really like this app because unlike other apps, Magic Jack is clear sounding without any echo or time delay. My one and only complaint is that every call uses speaker phone! I don’t want my conversations broadcast so anyone near me can hear. I have not found a way to disable that….ANY SUGGESTIONS? As I’m writing this, a thought came to mind….using a Bluetooth

    Reply
    • Recently, the power drain has been lesser than it was originally was. So, there is an improvement with the app for a few months now. You can use a headset that is made for phones (which has a mic built in), so far, I’ve used one on my Samsung Galaxy Player and it works wonderful. I haven’t tried using a bluetooth headset yet, I must try that sometime.

      Reply

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