innodial is preparing to release this month a free iPhone app, innodial, that's designed to make it less expensive to dial international telephone calls. The soon-to-be-released innodial is a portable version of innodial's low-fee Web service.
I previewed a beta of the app. I encountered a few quirks but that's what anyone should expect with a beta release.
The way innodial works is that you "buy" a virtual number for $1.99 from innodial. It's a local number that you connect to to make long-distance calls. The $1.99 is automatically charged to your account once a month.
The first step to using innodial is to register, either using the innodial app or at the company's site. You'll do that by tapping the Settings icon on the home screen. Also under the Settings icon in innodial you'll find login info, the option to use names from your Contacts app and to enable DTMF (beep) dialing sounds.
You'll also find on home screen icons buy credits (minutes), buy a virtual number and find call rates to a variety of countries. Rates start at $0.019 per minute for many countries from the U.S.
Once you register, innodial will email you a lengthy, but secure, password. Next, you'll need to buy some credits, which range between $10.00 and $50.00
Select an amount and enter credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Amex) and related information. PayPal, which I use often, is not an option with innodial, unfortunately. Then, buy your virtual number.
Along the bottom menu bar of innodial are icons for Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Dialpad and Account info. There's also an icon on the dial pad that if you tap allows you to add a contact. You can also use Contacts from your native app.
One caveat: innodial requires you to use Wi-Fi or 3G data network to make calls using the app's keypad or make calls to people in your native Contact app.
I fumbled with the app for several minutes, encountering a few bugs along the way, but let's allow those to slide because this is a beta app, after all. The short story is that I wasn't able to get a call through using innodial. However, I succeeded in using innodial's Web service to put through a call to France and converse using my iPhone.
The voice call was poor, unfortunately, so the conversation ended sooner than I would have liked. I'll have to wait until innodial is released to see how well the app performs after its launch.