Repeating yourself over and over to everyone who must hear what you have to say can get extremely tiring. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could call or message everyone involved all at once so you can clue them all in with a single breath?
With Group Call & Text by Callvine, users can call and text numerous people all at once from the convenience of a single application. Designed to make conducting business more efficient does its best to integrate a plethora of modern conveniences, doing the best it can to hold true to such services.
When you begin, Callvine will ask you if you want to enable Push notifications, which you can accept or decline. You will then find yourself on the ‘Call Now’ page. Here, you will be able to tap the bookmark icon to the right of the Search bar in order to peruse your contacts list and choose multiple people to call at once. Simply scroll through the list and tap the circle next to whichever names you wish to so that person’s number will be checked off and added to your list. Above the bookmark icon you will find a ‘+’ icon, which allows users to add a new phone number or contact. Once you have finished making your selection, tap ‘Place Call’ and everyone will be called at once. You can even call all the numbers attached to a single contact (home, office, mobile) so you will surely reach them.
Group calls* allow users to instantly connect and talk to up to 20 people for free for up to 10 minutes with one call. Unfortunately, in order to make group calls, users first have to register with Callvine. If you go over the free 10-minute limit, you will need to buy blocks of time, which you can purchase through your iTunes account. Blocks of 60 minutes will cost you $5.99 and are good for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. Again, like most apps that promise similar calling and messaging conveniences, you will have to pay extra in addition to your normal calling plan.
One Callvine minute will allow you to talk to 5 people at once, while a larger call will use 2 Callvine minutes per actual minute of your call. With the ability to talk to up to 50 people at once, Callvine will adjust the minutes itself to accommodate your usage. I suggest thoroughly reading through the ‘Help’ section under the ‘More’ tab in order to fully understand how much it will cost you to fully utilize the concept of group calling before you find yourself spending more money than you wanted.
Luckily, group texting does not require you to register. Group texting works with the iPhone’s Messages application, so all message sent are applied to your regular messaging and data plan and you therefore will not be charged extra. The ‘Text Now’ tab works exactly like the ‘Call Now’ tab except, in the end, you are sending a mass text message instead of calling multiple people at a single time. Simply access your bookmarks to choose your contacts and press ‘Send Text’ when ready.
The first two tabs mainly exist as reference points that help you organize calls and contacts. The ‘Groups’ tab allows you to create lists of contacts that you frequently message or call at one time so you do not have to sift through your contacts list each time you use the application. Just tap the ‘+’ icon in the top right corner to create a group category and begin adding contacts to the list. The ‘Recents’ tab will conveniently display your active group calls as well as recent activity.
Callvine, however, has been optimized to work with iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 devices running iOS4. Anyone running an earlier OS edition may find various functions disabled. So download iOS4 and utilize the characteristics you can to the best of your ability so you hopefully won’t have to pay any additional money on top of your already hefty mobile bill.
*Group calling is currently only available within the continental United States. All group calls are free until September 7.
Group Call & Text by Callvine [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.1.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.