Bria iPad Edition Softphone
It will be interesting to see if softphone adoption by iPad users takes off and if the experience is worse than, the same as or better than desktops or laptops.
CounterPath announced their new Bria iPad Edition and cite that nearly one in four enterprises already use tablets and by 2013 so will most businesses. Apple touted at the WWDC that there are over 200 million active i-devices. I spoke with Todd Carothers, Senior VP of Marketing & Products at CounterPath about the new Bria client.
Key features of Bria iPad Edition 1.0 include:
* A customizable user interface specifically designed for the iPad
* Bluetooth connectivity
* iTunes Auto Pause
* A wide variety of deskphone features
* iOS4 multitasking
* Advanced security and audio features
* iPad's native keyboard enters alphanumeric SIP URI/addresses
The initial Bria iPad Edition 1.0 won't support video calls, SMS, IM and presence--they will roll out later this year.
OnSip offers free SIP accounts with conditions, and with some DNS changes to the domain, users can use free SIP/URI dialing of other registered OnSip users. Todd demonstrated that the Bria uses the Mac address book entries, and each contact can contain multiple entries for dialing different contact numbers or SIP/URIs. How will your telephony solution report on SIP/URI dialing? Of course the answer depends upon the system or solution but it's something you may want to consider.
It will be interesting to see if softphone adoption by iPad users takes off and whether or not users have a positive experience and if the experience is worse than, the same as or better than desktop or laptop computers using soft phones. iPads and tablets in general could be desk phone killers and I’m sure companies will have no shortage of volunteers wanting to use an iPad.
Along these lines of adoption, I also wonder if users already accustomed to cell phone quality even care? My guess is that the expectancy of quality goes with the cost of the solution and because the user is freed from wires and cables--that cost of freedom is well worth the price of call quality.
Another trend worth watching is whether or not iPads become embedded fixtures displacing old traditional desktop appliances. Some folks are talking the death of the desk phone and I don’t think as many desk phones will be in businesses, but the other devices on employees' desks are computers. Will tablets and the iPads displace computers and desk phones? A few days ago I read SNOM's reasons why the desk phone rules in business. CounterPath's initial soft phone for the iPad is compelling.