Developer: Via-Vox Ltd
Price: free Download on the App Store
Okay people, I need your help on this one. Somebody please tell me how Powwownow makes money? The popular U.K. conferencing service (also available in the U.S.) is now available through this free app. Hurry up and download it before they realize they can't make it up in volume sales!
In all seriousness, what you get when you download the Powwownow app is conference calling on your iPhone done right. As expected, you can get together with other callers smoothly and without glitches. But Powwownow gets the fine points right as well: it integrates with your e-mail/phone list, it figures out where you are via GPS and uses your location to pick the best call-in number, it automatically dials it for you, and it generates a pin for you and even remembers it.
You can join conferences or create your own, complete with its own title and description line. You can use your contacts to generate an invite list. You can even see what time of day your conference will be for all attendees. If those 9 a.m. eastern time meetings aren't appreciated in Boston, trust me, your web guy in Long Beach will hate them. Powwownow knows this, and lets you know you're doing it at the conference set-up phase.
The app makes conference calling simpler than the service you're familiar with through the traditional land-line system, because on your iPhone all your information—e-mail addresses, phone numbers, your location—are already integrated by virtue of the device you're on. You may find yourself using Powwownow even though you are right next to a land-line in your office. If you like the app, there is a website equivalent available too, if you don't mind all that laborious dialing. But now that I've downloaded this app, it's become clear that conference calling and smartphones were made for each other.
Powwownow is a carefully thought-out productivity enhancer that does exactly what it says it will do, and does it seamlessly, and with excellent call quality. I kept waiting for it to drop callers, to invite randoms instead of legitimate invitees, or worse yet, to throw in my mom instead of our communication services manager. Nope. No horror stories, no "monkey's paw" mayhem. You wish for free conference calling, you get free conference calling... and no, your calls are not invaded by the spirits of the departed.
I downloaded the app to do the review, and am currently in the process of evangelizing everyone I know to do likewise. There is simply no reason to pay for your conference calls ever again. The only cost you pay for all this functionality is the same amount you pay for your phone call in the first place.
I'm still amazed that this app—and the conferencing service —is free. If you have any use for an app that does conference calls, download Powwownow. I gave it a perfect 10, because I can't figure out what's not to like.