Friday, 25 July 2014

iPhone App Review: Toolani International Calls

The Blue Box

Before I begin, let me just say that this post has nothing to do with Doctor Who but I thought this photo of the T.A.R.D.I.S. was a lot more original than any photos I might have of London phone boxes. The photo is not entirely irrelevant because sometimes you find yourself very far away from home and you just need to make a simple phone call. When I moved to England in 2007, I was depending on international phone cards to call home and they were an absolute nightmare. There was no way to track them and no matter whether you spent £5 or £20 they seemed to last the same time.

For a long time after that, we depended on our landline provider who seemed to offer reasonable international calls but then I discovered that there are iPhone apps that can offer much more reasonable rates.

The lovely people at Toolani recently contacted me and asked me to try out their app. Now as I mentioned, I have used apps like this before so I’m going to tell you a little bit about how it works, the quality of the calls and whether I’d considered switching over to Toolani permanently in future.

Toolani is available on both the iPhone and Android app stores and is free to download. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you go through a short registration process and you can then connect your phone book to the app. You can add people to your favourites list and you can also click on the cog icon to see the rates to call the destination of your choice.

Here are some example rates in Euro cents per minute and approximate £ equivalents:

Country Landline Mobile Landline Mobile
South Africa 1.6 cent 5.0 cent 1.27p 3.95p
Australia 1.6 cent 5.0 cent 1.27p 3.95p
New Zealand 0.9 cent 3.3 cent 0.71p 3.30p
Canada 0.9 cent 0.9 cent 0.71p 0.71p
USA 0.9 cent 0.9 cent 0.71p 0.71p


* Please note that these rates are indicative only and will change depending on which country you are calling from.

The rates turned out to be slightly less expensive than the app I was currently using for landlines and on par with the mobile rates.

When you use an app like Toolani, you connect to a local number and will therefore use your free minutes or, if you’re on PAYG, you’ll pay an additional amount for the price of a local call. Considering that the only thing I use my free minutes for is international calls, this is just fine by me.

So what about the quality? Well, I called my bestie in South Africa one evening and we had a nice long chat while we discovered our future travel plans. It certainly didn’t feel like we were 5,000 miles apart! I also called a friend to wish her happy birthday and although I caught her at Durban Airport, the call was perfectly clear. The test has come recently because we are selling a flat in South Africa and as you can imagine, there are almost daily calls to be made, right in the middle of the working day. Being able to pick up the phone and make long calls has been a blessing and the app has proved invaluable during this time.

Would I recommend it? Yes. I’m really impressed with the quality of the calls and the cost and as it is slightly easier to get around than the previous app I was using, I'm going to stick with it too.

Receive €5.00 free Toolani credit

Because I know that you’re unlikely to try out an app before you pay money for it, I’m offering a whopping 100 €5.00 vouchers for free Toolani calls for either the iPhone or Android apps. To grab a voucher, simply follow these steps:

  • Download the app using one of these links: iPhone app or Android app.
  • Enter the code "emminlondon" to claim your free credit.
  • Phone your friends and family up and share the love!
© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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