Why You Should Introduce Your Mom to VoiP Before Sunday
CREDIT: Shutterstock: Darren Baker
Mom loves to talk, and she'll likely get her fill of conversation this Sunday. Mother's Day ranks as the busiest day for making phone calls, as kids of all ages reach out to mom.
A survey released today (May 8) from Rebtel, a voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider, showed more than 60 percent of mothers are expecting to hear from their sons and daughters on Mother's Day. In fact, when moms were asked what they wanted most, their top answer was a phone call, beating both hugs and flowers. (Nonetheless, 67 percent of moms still expect to receive a tangible gift. If you've got a new phone in mind, you may be interested to know that more than twice as many moms preferred iPhones to Android phones.)
Even though talk is cheap, or even free, 61.6 percent of respondents said price will have "a major effect" on the length of time they plan to talk. Even so, nearly 40 percent of adult children plan to chat for an hour or more with their mothers. Talking over the Internet, rather than using up minutes on a landline or cellphone, will ease those concerns. But what if your mother isn't familiar with VoIP calling ?
Like with calls made between people who use the same cellphone carrier, Internet calls between those using the same online service are free — so you'll want to decide on a provider and set your mother up with the same one, such as Skype, Rebtel or Viber.
Most VoIP services can be used on both computers and mobile devices, including tablets. Before the big day, have your mother install the software on her computer, along with the app for her device. When you install the app on a smartphone, it will ask for access to your address book and automatically add those who already use that service. Otherwise, contacts can be added within an app in the same way that contacts are added to a phone.
Facebook free calls
It may not be necessary to add a VoIP provider if your mom has a smartphone and is a Facebook user. Just last month, Facebook added free calling to its apps for both iPhone and Android, following their debut on Facebook Messenger . It's a little tricky to find, but very easy to use. In Facebook, go to your profile page and tap Friends.
Find your mother, and tap to go to her profile page. Near the top, tap the Message button, which will take you to the messaging interface. Look in the top right corner for a box with an "i" in it, and then tap Free Call. Facebook will ring your mother, and she can answer the call as she would do with a regular phone call, as long as the app is installed on her phone. [See also: 4 Mother's Day Tech Favors She'll Love ]
Facebook calls and other VoIP service calls will not be deduct minutes from your calling plan, but it will count as data usage. For instance, a one-minute Skype call uses about 3MB of data — but she's worth it.