Based on my strong understanding of Pinger Text-Free US app, I waited for the opportunity to test out ideas for making "international" calls, as I traveled to Taiwan and Hong Kong last week to visit relatives. My relatives there would also be interested to make free calls to relatives in U.S.
My mother-in-law in Taiwan is not technically-savvy. Making international calls to relatives living in U.S. is expensive to her. For her birthday, several of us gathered money to purchase her a new iPad 2 in Taiwan. Friends ask, why don't she use Apple facetime? She does. But she has relatives and friends in U.S. who don't possess iPhone/iPad yet. The elder generation also prefers to use landline phone to make calls; it feels more comfortable.
How to install US app when the device does not set "US" as the iTunes Store country?
- I created a dummy U.S. Apple ID with no linkage to credit card
- In the non-US iPad/iPhone, sign out the non-US Apple ID. Sign in with the U.S. Apple ID
- iTunes Store automatically switches to U.S.'. Search for "Pinger"
- Install "Pinger Text-Free" app which has a phone icon. Because the app is free, no valid credit card is required.
- After install, sign out the U.S. Apple ID and sign back in with the non-US Apple ID.
When to use Pinger Text-free app I find convenient?
- Calling from, in this case,Taiwan to anyone in US and Canada is free, whether the friend has a smart phone or not. (In the photo, my mother-in-law was calling her brother in New York, which does not use Apple or Android devices)
- Neither caller nor receiver's phones would require to be in WiFi network, because it is simple calling.
- Calling from US, Canada to friends in non-US countries which has Pinger US app installed works. (My sister was walking in the street in Hong Kong; I was able to reach her via her Pinger US phone number)
- To earn free call minutes. See Pinger Free Call Minutes
- I can text-free and make voice call in one single app
When I arrived Hong Kong and Taiwan airports safely, I was able to send and receive calls to relatives in U.S, Hong Kong and Taiwan to inform them about my safe arrival. How convenient! (U.S, Hong Kong and Taiwan airports offer free Wi-Fi)
- Make sure you turn on the "Airplane mode" to turn off the 3G/4G service, and turn on Wi-Fi connection when you travel outside your country.
- I created Pinger U.S. accounts for my relatives ahead of time, so they can simply sign in. In the next update of Pinger US app, registration with U.S. phone number is expected no longer required, as the new Pinger Spain app does not require either.