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App Review: Bria iPhone/iPad

21 Jun. 2011 Posted by appmosadm in iOS
Bria for iPhone/iPad screenshots

I used iSip for a couple of months, what was inconvenient was the app had to be in the foregound always. Yes this is still true after IOS 4.x.

A bit of a background, my company uses a IP PBX called Trixbox (based on Asterisk) and as a company policy, we were not wiling to expose our SIP server to the internet nor were we comfortable with running a VM that included a iSIP Push Notification server on our network. Yes, the clever guys at iSip made a VM where you could have a server monitor your SIP account, this server in turned communicated with their server which will deliver a Apple Push Notification to your iPhone when you had an incoming call.

These factors got me interested in Bria for iPhone when it was launched, standard Bria cost US$7.99 vs iSip which cost US$5.99. Bria supported G.729 as a add-on purchase for more money.  What attracted me to Bria was that it was capable of running in the background.

After buying, setup was painless. To setup your SIP account its relatively simple,

Display as: Your caller ID, so if you call someone. This will show up on their caller ID display
Username: Your SIP account username / userid
Password: Your SIP account password
Domain: IP Address or Hostname of your SIP server

As part of the setup, the VM Number is actually the Voice Mail Number to dial. After this is configured, when you click on the voice mail icon in Bria, it will automatically dial this number so you gain access to your voice mailbox.

After using Bria for almost a year, here are my thoughts.

Good:

G.729 makes calls lighter weight over 3G, so generally smoother and less distortion. Runs background, so you will still be able to receive calls when the app is not in the foreground.

Bad:

Battery life of the iPhone is terrible when the app is running in the background. Pricey when you have to purchase both the app and G.729 as an option.