The second decade of the 21st century will be remembered as the one with the smart phones and tablets. The PCs defined the 90s and the laptops defined the 00s. Now the computing industry has graduated to the next phase, where the tablets now dominate the market as the need for mobile computing becomes greater and greater.
Most of the functionality on the tablets is available via apps that used to come canned in the traditional PCs in form of executable programs. Hence in order to use a particular functionality, the users need to be well versed with apps. Take example of texting and calling apps for Android.
Most of the functionality for calling and texting on Wi-Fi enabled Internet connected devices is provided by the Voice over IP (VoIP) core engine, where the voice/data packets are sent across the Internet as datagrams rather than on a dedicated line. This reduces the cost, although such calls are susceptible to frequent losses and unreliable service expected through the call duration.
Various creative solutions have been created to provide some guarantees for the calls even though the underlying medium is unpredictable, which is termed as the Quality of Service (QoS) in networking lingo. The apps distinguish themselves from the quality that they provide to the end user as well as their presentation and ease of use.
Viber is one of the more popular apps that works on both the 3G/4G and Wi-Fi and is available on Android. It has some neat features such as scanning the entire contact list and setting up a call quickly for the person whom the user is trying to contact.
Skype is one of the most popular applications on traditional PCs that are now also available on Android tablets and smart phones. It is a typical video chatting application where multiple users can conference into a common video chat environment. Skype has some neat features too. If it detects that the quality of both video and voice cannot be sustained due to few network resources, it automatically terminates the video session but keeps the voice session open.
Similarly, Yahoo messenger and Google Chat now offer an ability to call or even text mobile phones at a charge. Another newer application called Rebtel distinguishes itself with the “keep talking” feature that detects failing signal strength of the current medium and the ability to reroute to the stronger medium if one is available.
There is a multitude of call and text apps available for Android devices and well informed users have their own favorites.