I was pretty excited to see Raketu's announcement yesterday of a Web-based VOIP (voice over IP) service that works for Apple's iPhone or iTouch handheld devices. Visions of unlimited VOIP calls over Wi-Fi danced through my head with sudden surplusses of rollover minutes in my future. Unfortunately, the service is not quite what I expected.
When I used my iPhone's Safari browser to visit Raketu's Web site at http://iphone.raketu.com, all I could see was a tiny blue Lego with a couple of question marks on it. Apparently, you need Flash installed to view Raketu's iPhone site, which is pretty funny since the IPHONE DOESN'T SUPPORT FLASH!!!
Here's what the site would look like if the iPhone supported Flash:
Raketu's PR guy told me to try the company's mobile site, www.raketu.mobi, which provides access to its Web-based platform, RakWeb. From there, I could not place a VOIP call using my iPhone (as I had hoped this meant), but rather I could use RakWeb to initiate a VOIP-enabled phone call between two different numbers. For instance, I could have RakWeb my dial my AT&T number (for my iPhone) and then my eWEEK desktop phone into a two-party VOIP-enabled conference. RakWeb would dial one number, then the second. Then presto! A phone call.
Still uses my mobile minutes, though.
While I can't say I actually found the service useful at present, it seems like a good way to connect random people together in a conversation without telling them in advance. Like taking blind dating to a stalker-ish extreme.
Rakweb does offer some interesting SMS options, but I can't say I've ever been prodigious enough with the texting to go beyond my standard allotment.
(On a side note, I beg you, Raketu, please code your download page to render properly in Firefox. Please?!!?!)