Three years ago, I wrote about how you could add SIP calls to Android for free. Android had a well-integrated system which made VoIP calling a first-class citizen on its handsets.
Sadly, Google killed native SIP calling in Android 12. FFS!
It's relatively easy to get it set up again, although you'll need to install a separate app.
- Sign up for a free Sipgate account. That will get you a UK phone number (+44), username, and password.
- Install Linphone for Android (or via F-Droid)
Setting up Linphone should be straightforward. Enter your Sipgate username (a mix of letters and numbers) and password. The server is
sipgate.co.uk. Finally, you must select
UDP from the transport options.
And... that's it!
You can now call my SIP number from any phone +441234815259. It gets routed to Sipgate, which then notifies the app on my phone, which rings, and I can answer.
Sadly, because the native Android dialler doesn't support SIP - it's impossible to choose your SIP account when dialling. So you have to remember to open the Linphone app each time.
Because they're evil and they hate open standards which enable interoperability? Nah1.
Because mobile network operators are terrified of losing even the tiniest sliver of voice revenue? Nah1.
I suspect it was because close to zero people were using it. If you want to make a VoIP call, most people are using WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, etc. I don't think I've ever seen someone advertising a SIP address in the wild.
It would be lovely if the big apps made even a vague attempt at interoperability. There's no technical reason why
firstname.lastname@example.org can't place a call to
email@example.com. But they're more interested in a "winner-takes-all" mentality rather than a collaborative effort which uplifts everyone.