Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

Do you want to make free calls to someone in the United States, but don’t have an American number yourself? You’re in luck. These two apps will help you do exactly that.

All you need is an Android phone or tablet with a WiFi or 3G/4G data connection, and you can start making calls to your American friends in no time. This is a great method for those living outside the US to reach loved ones inside, or for people living in the US to make domestic calls without paying an expensive monthly bill to a wireless carrier.

So many apps promise “free calls and texts” only for you to find out once you download it that this only applies to other users with the same app (think Skype to Skype calling) and all calls to real phone numbers require a small fee Make Low-Cost Phone Calls Worldwide With 'Viber Out' on Viber 4.1 Make Low-Cost Phone Calls Worldwide With 'Viber Out' on Viber 4.1 Viber Out has been launched, a new feature that allows Viber users to make low-cost calls anywhere in the world, to mobile or landline phones. Read More . Well, these apps are different. You can call real American phone numbers and have your own American number to receive calls from — all over the Internet for free.

MagicApp

The first up on this list is MagicApp, from the makers of Magic Jack. This handy little app only requires you to create an account using your email address to get started. Once you verify who you are through the email, you’re all good to go. You can immediately start making free calls to any US number.

magicapp-1

There are no ads, and the interface is gorgeous. As you can see above, the background is a faded blue with light, modern fonts and simplistic icons. It’s incredibly easy to use and works just like a regular phone app, having tabs for recent calls, your contacts (which are automatically imported from your phone), account information, a keypad, and voicemail.

Ads by Google

One of the more annoying aspects, however, is a constant notification that appears as soon as the app starts running. This is to let you know that MagicApp is on and you can be receiving calls at any time, but for those of us who like to keep our notifications bars empty and clean, it’s quite an annoyance that it cannot be removed.

magicapp-3

One odd thing I did encounter while using the app, however, was that the number it showed me under my account was not the actual number I needed to give others to call me — not even close. My real MagicApp number was easy enough to find; I just had to call someone else and ask them what number showed up on Caller ID. That number is completely randomly generated, not allowing the user any selection, but it works!

magicapp-2

Do note, though, that you cannot receive calls to your MagicApp number unless you have placed a call to that person in the past. If someone you’ve never called attempts to call you, they’ll only hear a polite robotic voice tell them that they need the MagicApp user to call them first.

To get the most out of the app, you’ll need to call all of your friends and family right off the bat so that they can later reach you at that number. If your intent is just to use this number with close friends and family, this could actually be a decent way of cutting down on spam calls.

Also, this app is only for calling. You won’t be able to send text messages. For texting, check out the next app in this list.

Talkatone

Talkatone, while less attractive of an app, is actually more functional. After the initial setup, which requires email verification just like MagicApp, you’re plopped into this dull interface that looks like a mashup between Android 2.3 Gingerbread and iOS 6.

However, looks aside, this app kills in the features department.

talkatone-4

During setup, Talkatone allows you to kind of pick the number you want. I say kind of because you first need to search for an area code and hope that there are available numbers for that area code — there’s no master list of available numbers to pick from. But it is more number selection that MagicApp gives you, and the number you choose for Talkatone is 100% accurate — unlike my experience with MagicApp.

Talkatone also has a persistent notification, but this one is actually useful. It’s an actionable notification, meaning that tapping on the upper part will open the app, while tapping the lower part will close it. The actionable part is the ability to close the app from the notification tray, which is pretty cool. Thankfully, you can also disable the notification completely in the settings

talkatone-3

The tabs along the top are very similar to MagicApp’s — automatically imported contacts, some favorites, a dialer. But Talkatone’s standout feature is the ability to send and receive text messages to other US number for free.

That in addition to the fact that anyone can call your Talkatone number at any time (without you needing to call them first), makes Talkatone an incredibly viable option for essentially emulating a regular American phone number.

talkatone-2

You do get ads in Talkatone, but they’re banner ads that stay along the bottom and are rather unobtrusive.

Which Is The Best?

Talkatone easily takes the cake here, but only thanks to its extra features like text messages, the ability to receive calls from people you haven’t called yet, and the ability to remove the persistent notification. Aesthetically, MagicApp is a nicer-looking app, and I could see why some might choose it over Talkatone.

Google Voice should also be noted here because even though it requires a US number to activate it, it’s a great way to stop using up your minutes 5 Awesome Things You Can Do With Google Voice 5 Awesome Things You Can Do With Google Voice Blog from your phone, call Canada for free or use your computer to make free phone calls. Google Voice isn't the easiest Google service to explain to non-techies, partially because it can be used for... Read More and text messages. Unfortunately, while iOS has add the ability to make calls from Google Voice Google Hangouts Updates On iOS To Offer Free Calling & Animated GIFs Google Hangouts Updates On iOS To Offer Free Calling & Animated GIFs Google Hangouts has a new update on iOS with a couple of really cool features, like the ability to make phone calls, Google Voice support, and animated GIFs can now play in-line in chats. Read More for a while now, Android users still have to rely on third party alternatives like Mo+.

What is your favorite method of making free calls to real phone numbers? I’d be particularly interested in hearing if there any options for calling internationally or outside the US. Be sure to leave me a comment below!

  1. judy
    November 29, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    The only app I have used that gives u a real US or Canadian number and to which u call and real US or Canada number is Text Now, the only problem is that it only works with iOS devices.

  2. Ninh Ghoster
    November 26, 2016 at 6:35 am

    I need the same app on iOS

  3. Nick
    November 1, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Does anyone know of an app (service) that gets accepted when trying to register a Google voice number from outside the US. Google requires a "real" number to register...

  4. riyas
    August 6, 2016 at 6:42 am

    you can add Grove ip in this list.

    Regards,
    Riyas.

  5. ELIHU ROBERT TORRES
    July 8, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I have living in Mexico for over a year and I have no problems with VOIP from FreedomPop clear voice quality and is free 200 minutes USA AND CANADA AND ISLANDS plus 100 minutes international calls to Mexico all for free... I m so happy coze to communicate in Mexico is so expensive!

  6. Kathy
    June 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    I was using magicApp fine for about a year until the weekend June 26th, 2016 when I attempted to make a call. It said my subscription expired,and asked to log into my account which I did. Then a message comes it did not recognize my account, after many attempts useless attempts I got in and it asked me to purchase. I unis talked on my android and reinstalled but still not getting my app to open.

  7. dashin
    May 27, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I use Talkatone so my parents could make local calls to me using landlines;
    I use MagicApp to call their landlines.

    Unfortunately, the solution above worked find until this month(5/2016),

    where Talkatone keeps telling me my password is wrong when I have followed their instructions to change my password like 10 times;
    and MagicApp repeatedly told me my "trial period" has expired.

    • hgjh
      June 6, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Have you found another good app

  8. Haaraya
    February 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I'm so surprised here no one has mentioned Textme. I have used it for over a year. It's amazing. You can choose your number. You can send text, make and receive calls all over for literally free. Of course there are apps. You can get credits by completing tasks or you can buy. You can remove the notification after a while I dint even bother cos I use it quite often.
    The interface is okay too. I would like to know if someone else has tried it cos I have nothing negative to say about this service.

  9. Jacob
    February 2, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Ok, i will post one by one as I notice a FAIL.

    In this instance, you canNOT return the call of the magic number. I tried several times. It's a no go.

    Never mind, NONE of these recommendations that work are FREE!!!

  10. Conny
    January 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    My display doesn't show voicemail! Could it be that it is deleted from the free app recently?

  11. Mike Lakewood
    December 3, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Groove IP & Groove IPLite, simply the best!

    • Jacob
      February 2, 2016 at 3:49 am

      no new account creation...it's blocked.

  12. Anonymous
    May 3, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Magicapp does let you select an area code for your "permanent" US phone number with the paid premium upgrade of approx $15/year. Phone & texting work fine with ipad2 on ios8. Another good VoIP & text for Canadian use is Fongo. You are assigned a real Canadian phone number in the area code of your choice. They offer US texting as a paid upgrade. Most phonecalls to major cities/areas both US & Canadian are free. Some have a $0.04 connection fee, with a nominal call charge based on connection time. Certainly a very cheap alternative to the Canadian mobile service providers.

  13. madan kc
    March 21, 2015 at 10:24 am

    install freetone it's like a talkatone but sound is better than talkatone

  14. Anonymous
    February 15, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Try dingtone....it's great ..

  15. yul
    July 10, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Try textplus

  16. TimKerr
    July 9, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Talkatone tells me that it doesn't work in my area, the UK. It is also clear you need to buy credits after a short time free

    • Z Smile
      October 17, 2015 at 3:37 am

      Dingtone provide UK numbers, they also provide phone numbers of US and Canada. Dingtone phone numbers may need credits, but they also provide many ways to earn free credits. In that way, you may got free phone numbers as a second line for you phone, or you could change your ipod, ipad, tablet to a phone: make free calls to landline and mobile, receive calls. It also support free texts.

  17. Gado
    July 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Can't remove the app notification? Sure you can. You can disable notifications for every app you want directly from settings - > apps - > app name - > unmark disable notifications

  18. beachboy
    July 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Talkatone doesn't work here in Brazil. It says the service is not available.

  19. Shawn Rosvolsd
    July 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    My Republic Wireless ($25 month, unlimited data, long distance, texts, no contract) phone works from anywhere in the world to call US numbers for free as long you're connected by wifi. People can call you, but again you must be connected by wifi, and again, it's free for you. The caller would have to pay whatever it usually costs them to call you.

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      wow, Republic Wireless sounds pretty awesome! hopefully we hear more from them in the future.

  20. Miro Costa
    July 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I live in Portugal and my sister lives in the USA. I can make free calls to landline and mobile numbers in the States.
    I'm using Mobile Voip for Android. I bought credits (10$) at freevoipdeal.com
    They have super low rates for a great number of countries.
    All calls to the USA are free. The same goes to China.

  21. Don Gateley
    July 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I have a friend who lives in China and I'd like a free phone channel between us. Is there anything that works between the U.S. and China?

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      your friend could try one of these apps, but since it is just one friend, you're probably better off just downloading the same app and talking over data -- like Skype or Tango or something.

    • ali
      May 13, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      can you tell me more apps name

  22. RS
    July 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    GrooveIP for android is the best I've used on android so far. You are given a ring.to number where you can make/receive calls. I haven't found a similar app for ios though.

    Another option is to use zoiper app to receive calls. You can get a number, say from callcentric. And configure zoiper with your callcentric account. Then use MagicApp/Talkatone/Mo+/Google voice to make calls.

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      thanks for the recommendations!

  23. Suleiman O
    July 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I just checked Talkatone and it is only available for US residents...why not da good old Canadians? hm..

  24. Suleiman O
    July 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    @michel I am in Canada too, please explain more. How did you get data plan only on your phone. I always want to have that but they keep telling me no no no. I use Windmobile, who is your provider?

    I use Magic Jack app when my phone stop working ( i use prepaid plan). The only problem is you have to be in wifi zone to use it and you will experience static calls if your wifi signal weakens. If @michel shows me how to make my call app works with phone data, I will kiss goodbye to those fat belly, pathetic and greedy phone companies for life.

    I have a high end smart phone but i did not .....i repeat....i did not buy it to make phone calls. This might sound weired but it is true. I take cool pix and video with it, I surf the net like a pro on it, watch my tv shows on it on the go, it is my GPS, and i play GTA San Andreas, Fifa14 and Nintendo Super Mario 64 on it......you read that right.

    You may use these apps to make long distance calls but I want to use them locally. I would rather spend my money on data and be able to use my phone than give it away to those ugly phone companies.

    If you have ditched conventional cell phone talk +data planes and just got data and you were able to use your apps to make calls like @michel, lets talk here ....if Justin permits that is :)

    There is an app also called Viber. You can call people world wide on their cell phones as long as you and them have data plans. I don't know if you can call land lines. I used it briefly and it was not that bad.

    • michel
      July 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Virgin Mobile: http://goo.gl/be9bfX I confess I haven't done this - others have, I simply use only wifi. I just don't use the phone much, so it's not worth paying for. Wind probably just doesn't want to do this, but other providers will - including Rogers, I think.

  25. Rudi Pittman
    July 8, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    How well did you test these before recommending them because last I recall talkatone only gives you 10-30 minutes a month of outgoing calls to actual phone numbers. Calls between talkatone users are free.

  26. michel
    July 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    For users in Canada, or who want to call to Canada, Fongo. You get a phone number in the area code of your choice, you can choose among available numbers, all regular phone features (except texting, which is a small extra charge), Canada-wide calling and the ability to choose different "faces". Available on ios, android, blackberry, etc. Free. Works on wifi or data (so you can get a minimal data only plan and otherwise use wifi). It's my only phone. My monthly bill is zero.

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      thanks for sharing! that sounds super useful!

  27. D
    July 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Just returned from Europe and used Magic Jack app on my IPhone in the UK, Spain, and Portugal...very undependable with lots of static and dead air, despite having excellent wifi...appreciate your review and will try Talkatone next...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *