Best voip apps header

Need to stay connected to clients and fellow team members on the go? With today’s increasingly mobile workforce, it’s almost a necessity to have a mobile phone app for your business communications.

But why not just have employees use their cell phones to make those calls? Wouldn’t that be easier?

Well, in some cases, yes. But if your business has interactions with customers, clients, prospects, and teammates every day—or are heavy phone users—then you’ll probably need a VoIP (sometimes also called a softphone) app.

Not only do these apps let you make business phone calls on your mobile device, some of them also give you a full business communications system, right in your computer or phone. We’re talking phone calls, instant messaging, video conferencing—even faxing and contact center features, all in one place.

Can’t really do all that with just a cell phone.

In this post, I’ll walk you through:

What is a VoIP app?

Essentially, VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, technology allows you to make phone calls over the Internet.

And VoIP apps let you do that—and also do texting and SMS, and video conferencing too. (Well, some of them do.) You just need to download the mobile or desktop app. For example, here’s what Dialpad’s desktop app looks like:

Outgoing Call in dialpad

The thing to remember with VoIP apps is that even though the app itself is free to download, you’ll almost always need to have an actual voice plan in order to make phone calls on the app.

In most cases, you’ll need to subscribe to a voice plan with a business phone provider first (we’ve got a bunch of options below along with pricing information) before you can use the VoIP app to make calls or send SMS messages.

Otherwise, you can have the app on your computer or phone, but it won’t be able to really do anything.

3 reasons businesses are using VoIP apps

Mobility

VoIP apps are perfect for communicating on the go—this is one of the biggest reasons why they’re so popular. All you need is a mobile device and an Internet connection over Wi-Fi or a 5G network (no more landlines)—and you’ll be able to access your business line from wherever you are.

And with some VoIP apps, you can even flip a call between devices seamlessly. For example, you can be on a call on your desktop app, and then switch that call to your cell phone without the call dropping or being interrupted:

call flip between devices

Accessibility

Another big advantage of using VoIP apps to make phone calls is that most apps work across different operating systems and devices. That means you can take your business phone numbers to your computer, desk phone, and cell phone.

Not everyone in your company will be using the same devices, but with VoIP apps (watch out for apps that aren’t universal, meaning they don’t have desktop or Android versions), they can be on Android or iOS, PC or Mac, and still be able to use the phone app.

Cost-effectiveness

VoIP apps are free to download, and for the most part, a VoIP phone system is cheaper (especially for annual subscribers compared to month-to-month subscribers)—both up front, and over the long term—compared to traditional PBX phone systems which require large purchases of hardware plus maintenance. You won’t technically get free calls, but some providers do give you unlimited calling on their plans.

For example, Dialpad starts at $15 per user per month for the most basic phone plan, and that basic plan comes with unlimited calling, SMS, and MMS (along with other features like an auto-attendant, custom voicemail greetings, and more).

The 16 best VoIP apps for businesses in 2021

1. Dialpad

Live Call on dialpad talk

With Dialpad, you can talk, message, and meet with clients, teammates, and more—all from the desktop or softphone / mobile app. (There’s even a contact center platform.)

You can make calls from any caller ID you want (could be your personal business number or extension, or your main company line) and transfer calls from the app...

transferring a call in dialpad app

You can open up screen sharing on the mobile app while you’re on a phone call, and as we mentioned earlier, you even flip your call from your cell phone to your computer (or vice-versa) without interrupting your conversation.

You can even check your voicemails in the app. Dialpad not only gives you the recordings—it also transcribes your voicemail messages:

visual voicemail in dialpad

Just in case you’re in meetings all day and can’t listen to every voicemail (but still don’t want to miss any important messages).

Plus, Dialpad’s Vi technology is built right into the app, which means it can transcribe not only your voicemails, but also your calls and meetings in real time:

real time call transcription in dialpad

If you’re looking for a VoIP app that has every functionality a business would need, even on the most basic pricing plans, then take Dialpad for a spin.

But don’t take our word for it...

g2 review of dialpad mobile app

Top features:

Price: Pricing plans for Dialpad Talk start at $15 per user per month, billed annually.

2. CloudTalk App

CloudTalk is a cloud-based phone software for sales and support teams. This VoIP phone service is targeted mainly at organizations that want to improve their customer experience or close more deals. CloudTalk can be integrated with multiple tools including your CRM or ecommerce platforms.

Features:

  • Record calls

  • Generate location

  • Click-to-call

  • Daily summaries

  • Session routing & queuing

  • Concurrent calling

Price: plans start at $20 per month billed annually.

3. Ooma Office

Ooma Office offers VoIP solutions that are targeted at both small businesses and enterprises. The VoIP provider offers hardware options as well as a mobile and desktop app. They do charge for voicemail transcriptions, and they dont have call recordings on their most basic plan. (Dialpad’s most basic plan comes with unlimited call recording.)

Also, Ooma’s VoIP app for mobile doesn’t support video conferencing, which should be a pretty basic feature.

If you’re looking for a business phone system, you could literally pay less and get more with Dialpad.

Features:

  • Conference calling

  • Desk-to-desk calls

  • Automated attendant

Price: Plans start at $19.95 per user per month.

4. Google Voice / Google Hangouts

Google Voice’s app allows you to make calls over the internet. You could also use Google Hangouts to make virtual calls, but the difference is that Google Voice gives you a free phone number from which to make and receive calls.

Hangouts, on the other hand, does not come with a designated phone number for incoming calls (it’s more for chat and video conferencing).

While Google Voice is okay if you only need the bare minimum, it doesn’t come with a multi-level auto-attendant or reporting, or allow you to transfer phone numbers across accounts.

Google Voice features:

  • Contact phone number

  • Call forwarding

  • Integrations with Google products like Meet and Calendar

Google Hangouts features:

  • Online meetings

  • Chat functionality

Price: If you want to make actual VoIP calls to phone numbers, then you’ll need a paid Google Voice account, which starts at $10 per month.

5. Freshcaller

Freshcaller is part of the Freshworks suite of products and includes a phone system and contact center software.

Freshcaller does have a mobile VoIP app that lets you take calls and raise tickets (it seems to be quite contact center-focused).

However, even though Freshcaller has a free plan, you have to pay essentially just to use it. That means you’d have to purchase a number, and pay for incoming and outgoing minutes.

You don’t get basic features like call conferencing, voicemail, basic call queues, call monitoring, and IVR until you move up further into the paid tiers—and once you do the math, you’d probably end up getting something similar or even more robust with a basic paid plan from one of the other top options on this list (like Dialpad).

Features:

  • Pay-per-minute calling

  • Interactive Voice Response (paid)

  • Reporting dashboards (paid)

Price: Freshcaller offers a very basic free plan. Paid plans start at $15 per month.

6. Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a cloud-based VoIP phone system and app that is heavily targeted toward small businesses, and for good reason. Like most of the other VoIP app options on this list, it has both a mobile and desktop app that lets you make voice calls and send SMS messages.

Grasshopper does have three tiers of pricing plans, but it looks like the only difference between the three is how many phone numbers and extensions you get. They do all come with the basics, like call forwarding, Wi-Fi calling, and call transfers—but if you want more advanced features like real-time transcriptions or unified communications, you’ll want to look at other VoIP services (which cost less and come with more features).

Features:

  • Voicemail

  • Text messages

  • Voicemail transcription

Price: Plans start at $26 per month.

7. Line 2

Line 2 is a business phone solution that allows you to have a second phone number on your mobile devices or computer. It works across Windows, Apple iOS, iPhone, and Android devices. And actually, if all you want is a VoIP app and basic calling, it’s not bad.

It has unlimited VoIP calling within the US and Canada in the most basic plan—but that plan does not come with features like call recording (it’s an add-on), voicemail transcriptions (also an add-on), or an auto-attendant.

If you need unified communications (video conferencing and instant messaging) or advanced analytics, then Line 2 will only take you so far.

Features:

  • Inbound and outbound calling

  • Call recording

  • Voicemail

Price: Plans start at $14.99 per month.

8. NetFortris

NetFortris is a unified communications platform and business phone system that has desktop and mobile apps for VoIP calling.

There’s no SMS/MMS or HD video conferencing on the most basic plan (which again, is more expensive than Dialpad’s), though it does have voicemail transcription and call recording, which is nice.

The VoIP app itself lets you do all the basics, like make calls from different caller IDs and put calls on hold, so this one might come down to price and actual features you get for what you pay.

Features:

  • Phone calls

  • Conference calls

  • Desk-to-desk calls

Price: Plans start at $24.99 per user per month.

9. Mitel

Mitel is a cloud-based business communications provider with different desktop apps for video meetings and calling. That’s quite different from other options on this list, like Dialpad, which let you make phone calls and have video meetings from the same app.

Price-wise, the most basic plan is comparable in price to most other VoIP providers here, but is missing features like call recording and voicemail transcription, so overall, there’s probably a better choice of VoIP app on this list.

Features:

  • Call log

  • Hold calls

  • Conference call

Price: Plans start at $20.99 per user per month.

10. Aircall

Aircall is a newer player that offers cloud-based communication solutions in the form of a mobile and desktop app.

It has one of the better-looking VoIP apps on this list, and lets you record calls and do other contact center tasks like assign calls to teammates from the app.

Features:

  • Call conferencing

  • Voicemail

  • IVR

Price: Plans start at $30 per user per month.

11. Zoom Phone

You’ve probably heard of Zoom, and they’ve recently come out with a Zoom Phone product. It has a VoIP desktop and mobile app that lets you make calls and do all your basic phone-related tasks, but the one thing is that their outbound calling is metered.

If your team needs to make outgoing calls regularly, then this might not be the most cost-effective solution. (Dialpad has unlimited calling even on the most basic plan.)

Features:

  • Call recording

  • Video conferencing

  • Voicemail transcription

Price: Plans start at $10 per month on the Pay-as-you-go plan.

12. Zoiper

Zoiper offers both paid and free VoIP apps for PC, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. With Zoiper, you can make calls via a PBX or SIP provider. The app’s UI is a little dated, but the main challenge is that the pricing is a bit hard to figure out.

Unlike most SaaS options on this list, Zoiper charges you a one-time fee for the license—not a monthly subscription fee. Other than pricing, of course, that also means that the way they charge you for regular updates and other add-ons will probably be different.

Features:

  • Compatible across platforms

  • Contact list management

  • Bring your own device

Price: Free for non-commercial use. VoIP softphone for iOS plans starts at $4.99 per month.

Other free (or free-ish) VoIP apps

If you’re really on a budget, here are some more options that are free or nearly free—though they won’t have the full functionality and flexibility your business might need.

13. Skype

Skype is probably the most well-known VoIP platform that most of us are familiar with, mainly from using it to catch up with friends and family. (The unlimited calling feature can come in handy.)

If you need other business communication channels like SMS messaging, call recording, or transcripts though, you’ll probably need a more sophisticated tool.

Features:

  • Contact search

  • Mute or remove attendees

Price: Free basic client.

14. WhatsApp

Whatsapp is another popular web-based messaging platform—typically used among friends and family—that also offers web-based VoIP calling.

For one-to-one conversations, WhatsApp offers a convenient and low-cost way to communicate with colleagues online, but for larger teams and contact centers, WhatsApp is like Skype in that it doesn’t have quite enough business-focused features.

Features:

  • User-to-user calls and video chats

  • End-to-end encryption

Price: Free

15. Viber

Viber is another free VoIP app (with pay-to-play options). With Viber, you can access group chats, video calls, and more.

Like Whatsapp, you get unlimited free local and international calls with Viber, but again, the overall functionality can be limited if your business spends a lot of time on the phones and needs things like analytics and reporting.

Features:

  • Live chat

  • Group management

  • Messaging

Price: Free plus per-feature charges.

16. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has been a popular way to chat online over text, voice, and video. If you have a Facebook account, you can access Messenger from your web browser or downloaded as a desktop or mobile app.

For basic text, voice, and video communications, Facebook Messenger can do the job. But for businesses that have complex operational needs, Messenger isn’t going to cut it. (Noticing a trend, here.)

Features:

  • Instant messaging

  • Group chats

  • Voice recording

  • Video calling

Price: Free

Upgrade your business with the best VoIP app

If you have good connectivity at your home office or with your cell data plan, then you should look into taking your work on the go using a VoIP app.

All of these VoIP apps are free to download, and most also have free trials so you can try out the actual phone provider’s service for yourself.

Looking for the best VoIP app for your business? Sign up for Dialpad’s free 14-day trial and download the app to take it for a test drive! 📱

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