Tag Archives: android

Using Android with FreePBX – CSipSimple extension

I’ve used a few different Android SIP clients as extensions on FreePBX and my current favourite is CSipSimple

Installation and setup is straight forward. There are several built in configuration profiles for call providers, or you can choose advanced and enter your FreePBX server details to use CSipSimple as a FreePBX extension.

CSipSimple account setupCSipSimple add accountCSipSimple Registered Account

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Using Android with FreePBX – a SIP extension for free

FreePBX is an opensource VOIP PBX system that is built on top of Asterisk and therefore can use SIP to communicate with extensions. This means that we can use any of this SIP clients that are available for Android.

3CXPhoneOne such SIP compliant softphone is called 3CXPhone. This is a simple client that will work over both WiFI and 3G.

Bandwidth!! – One thing to consider when using a softphone on your Android handset is bandwidth. This might be a problem if you have a cap on your WiFi, but is much more likely to be an issue if you use 3G to make VOIP calls. Here are some quick facts and number to help you decide which codec to use –

G711 – good audio quality – uses around 72MB per hour    * also referred to as ulaw and alaw.

GSM – ok call quality – uses around 25MB per hour

G729 – ok call quality – uses around 21MB per hour    * not included with Asterisk or 3CXPhone

So above are 3 common codec choices with Asterisk. G711 has good quality audio but the trade-off is the amount of bandwidth it uses. If you have a small 3G cap you could quite quickly burn through it. The audio quality with GSM and G729 is OK. It’s perfectly understandable, and whether it’s acceptable or not will depend on the person making/receiving the call and their expectations.

G729 has the lowest bandwidth requirements of the 3 but it is not included with Asterisk by default (and is not available for 3CXPhone at all) as there are license costs to run it. You can add G729 to Asterisk but there is a license cost from Digium (there is an opensource version of G729 for Asterisk but you should be aware of any license restrictions – http://asterisk.hosting.lv/). You will also find that there is a higher cost for Android softphones that can run G729.

I would also recommend something like 3G Watchdog if you need to keep track of how much bandwidth you are using – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.rgruet.android.g3watchdog&hl=en

Setup – Installation was straight forward. Just create an extension in FreePBX and then you just need the server IP (or name), extension number and extension secret in 3CXPhone. One thing I did notice was that disabling codecs in 3CXPhone did not seem to work for me. I disabled G711 in 3CXPhone and had G711 and GSM enabled in FreePBX for the extension. The call was still make using G711 and I don’t think that should be the case. If you want to use GSM I would just have GSM enabled for that extension in FreePBX. It would also be worth double checking what codec is used by checking a call in progress!

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Scroll Extreme Android tablet review – first impressions

Storage Options - Scroll ExtremeMy Scroll Extreme was delivered today. I pre-ordered it from ebuyer.com and they delivered it next day, even though I only went for the free shipping. This is my first tablet but I’ve used Android for a couple of years having a HTC Desire running CyanogenMod 7.1 (Gingerbread).

The Scroll Extreme is a 9.7″ tablet and runs Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich.

Hardware

The battery took a few hours to fully charge from shipping. It has a separate charging port, rather than just charging via the micro-usb port. The manual says you can charge via the micro-usb port although it will ‘trickle charge’ so I’m not sure how long that would take. It’s got a pretty large 7,800mAH battery (11,666mAH in the New iPad!).

It’s got a matte silver finish on the back and feels pretty secure to hold. It’s fairly heavy to support with one hand. I couldn’t find the weight listed on the website but I make it around 650g. That compares to the ‘New iPad’ which is 652g (WiFi version).

Screen

The screen is pretty nice with a good viewing angle. With the brightness turned up the screen is bright. I’m sure it doesn’t compare with the screen on the New iPad but it’s certainly usable. I image only when holding the 2 side by side would you be disappointed with the Extreme’s screen. It’s going to be more than adequate for web browsing, e-mail, video …

Wifi

As expected these days there was no issue connecting to my WiFi, which uses WPA2 PSK.

Sound

Sound it tinny on full volume but I guess that’s to be expected. It’s not overly loud either, but there is a 3.5in audio jack for headphones.

Speed

Switching between applications is quick and so far (after only around an hours use!) the tablet feels responsive. Youtube loaded quickly and web browsing with the built in browser was pretty good.

Apps – Google Play

I read a lot before I purchased the Extreme about not being able to access the Google Store (Google Play now). This was a bit of a disappointment  but I just figured I’d use the SlideMe store that was recommended. However, after signing in to my Google account it seems my Extreme DOES have Google Play installed, and the screenshots are below to prove it. The only weird thing seems that sometimes it does appear in the list of installed apps, and sometimes it doesn’t! I’m not really sure why this is so far but will post more if I find out.

Conclusion

I’m glad I went for the Extreme. I didn’t want to spend £400 on a tablet I might not use much. The Extreme seems fast enough, and well built enough for what I need. Being able to get on the Google store is definitely an added bonus.

Scroll Extreme - Google Play  Scroll Extreme Home Page  Scroll Extreme - Google Store  Scroll Extreme - Installing Facebook

HTC Desire, Android Gingerbread and Asterisk

I’ve been running the LeeDroid ROM on my HTC Desire for a while now but after trying to upgrade to the latest version went a little haywire I decide to see what other options there were.

I wanted to run Android 2.3 – Gingerbread – but HTC havn’t released their HTC Sense for the Desire/Gingerbread combination yet, so if you want to run Android 2.3 you can, just without Sense.

I installed CyanogenMod 7.0.2 which is based on Android 2.3.3. The install was easy on my rooted Desire and after having it for a day I don’t think I’ll miss HTC Sense.

One really nice feature is the addition of a SIP stack as standard. I was able to type in the name of my Asterisk server, plus the extension and secret, and start making calls immediately. I’ve used SipDroid before but the integration of SIP in Gingerbread seems much nicer.

I called my Asterisk voicemail over both WiFi and 3G without any problems but, as always with VOIP and WiFi/3G, you are going to want a good signal and not be moving around to get acceptable results.

Here are some screenshots of my Gingerbread install –

The Internet Call option settings in GingerbreadSelecting Internet Calling optionsAsterisk SIP settings

Choosing whether to make the call over VOIPAn Asterisk voicemail call in progress

Swype keyboard for Android

If I had to choose my favourite Android app (and I have a lot!) it would be the Swype keyboard by far. It’s not a huge benefit for typing short words but anything over a few letters and it’s totally amazing. Just slide your fingers on the keyboard in the general direction of the letters and, more often than not, it knows what word you want.

It can definitely take some getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it you won’t want to switch back to a normal on-screen keyboard.

There is an open beta at the moment so why not sign up and give it a go – www.swypeinc.com/index.html

Updating O2 HTC Desire to Android 2.2 / Froyo

Yesterday I ‘rooted’ and installed a new ROM on my O2 HTC Desire and I thought I’d post a few links for anyone looking to do the same.

The main reason I rooted my phone was to have the ability to use SIM cards from other providers when travelling. The other reason was to get voice dialling working through my bluetooth headset. Sadly this still isn’t working yet with my Plantronics 975 and needs some more research!

Firstly, if you are looking to root/jailbreak and put on a custom ROM on your Desire then don’t do an ‘Over The Air’ upgrade to Android 2.2. At present it’s not possible to root Android 2.2, although this will no doubt change.

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