I hadn’t really looked at CounterPath’s softphone offerings in some time, so when the Bria team asked me to take a peek at their latest offering, Bria iPad Edition 1.0, I jumped at the chance. And boy, was I glad I did!
Bria iPad Edition releases today. It’s
free $14.99, and it brings standards based business telephony to the iPad. As tablets invade business, this means that the mobile worker will no longer need a desk phone. The IT department simply has to configure a softphone account on the PBX, and quick as you can say “tablets are the future” (or the more generic “bob’s your uncle”), you’ll be in business making and receiving telephone calls over WiFi or 3G.
Configuration was very easy. We use the Freetalk Connect PBX at iotum. I added a softphone device to the PBX for the iPad, then configured Bria by telling it the SIP user name, password, and domain. Two minutes of work and I was done. And if you don’t have an IP PBX of your own, Bria comes pre-configured with settings for several providers and the ability to simply add a generic SIP connection for any provider.
Bria integrates nicely with the iPhone address book for easy “Call by Name” functionality. Plus, it supports all the features you’d expect in a business telephone – hold, split, multiple lines, conference calling and more.
Like Skype, Bria iPad Edition supports wideband audio codecs for great sound. Unlike Skype, Bria iPad Edition also supports BlueTooth headsets, making it usable in a busy business environment. In fact, depending on how good your 3G service is, you could conceivably replace your mobile phone with an iPad running Bria. Out here in rural Ottawa, it’s definitely doable.
And, in an obvious attempt to compete with Skype more generally, CounterPath is promising support for video calls, SMS, instant messaging and presence later this year.
I’m impressed. Bria for iPad is a winner, and the price can’t be beat.