Wait, so why do we need phones again?

Phone service is obsolete, and I'm tired of carriers holding me back. I want Google to be my phone company.

By , Computerworld |  Unified Communications

Facebook this week unveiled voice calling through its iPhone Messenger app.

The reaction to this news was the sound of crickets.

Announcing an app that lets you talk over the Internet is like opening a coffee shop in Seattle, a casino in Vegas or a Famous Original Ray's Pizza in New York City: Nice, but it's something we already have too much of already.

In fact, the sole benefit of Facebook's new talk feature is that if I'm already using the Messenger app, and want to make a call, I can save the three seconds it might take me to open another app.

Not exactly a communications revolution.

Why phones service is obsolete

I haven't used a mobile or landline phone service since July.

I've talked to people using my iPhone (and also my laptop), but I've done it using Google Voice, Google+, Google Talk and Skype over Wi-Fi.

I've been giving out my Google Voice number for years. People call me. I answer the phone. We have a conversation. We hang up. No big deal.

Most of the people who call me, and whom I call, don't know I'm using the Internet, rather than the phone system, to converse. More importantly, they don't care.

They also often don't know I'm in Africa.

I'm old enough to remember when a long distance call was a big deal. ("Hurry up and pick up the phone! It's long distance!")

It was a big deal because a long distance call used to cost a lot. Then it got cheap. And now it's free. I don't pay a penny for Google Voice, and make calls from Europe and Africa to the U.S. all the time.

Yet most of us still use phone service with our mobile phones or even -- gasp! -- landline phones. The reason is not that we need phone service. The reason is that the companies that provide phone service need the money.

How we got here


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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