Vonage Blog

New Feature: Simple, Easy Call Blocking from Vonage

selective-call-blockWe’ve all been there. Just as you’re sitting down to dinner, the phone rings. You look at the caller ID and it’s that number that has called at least three times earlier in the day. So you let it ring until it goes to voicemail.

Wouldn’t it be nice to block that number so you can enjoy dinner without constant calls from telemarketers? Today, Vonage customers can do just that with the introduction of selective call blocking.

Blocking a number with Vonage has never been easier. Set up is available exclusively through the Vonage® Extensions® app for iPhone® and Android™. Simply open the app, go to the “Recents” screen, find the number you want to block, swipe the number to the left and select “Block.” It’s that easy to block telemarketers, your ex, in-laws – whatever number you want!

Once blocked, that number will not ring on your Vonage home phone or any smartphone linked to your Vonage service. You can also enter a number to block, unblock a number and view all blocked numbers from the apps’ “Call Settings” screen.

What are you waiting for? Download (iPhone or Android) or update your Vonage Extensions app to start blocking unwanted calls today!

Extending the Benefit: Vonage® Extensions® App Keeps You Connected

man-shoveling-snow-sidewalkWith winter officially here, it’s more important than ever to have a way to stay connected to friends and family in the event of a major snow or ice storm. When the power goes out, people often turn to their mobile phones to stay connected. Unfortunately, this may mean that calls made to their home phone number are missed, and they may be unable to make calls using their home number. It may also require knowing the mobile numbers of those they want to reach.

Vonage’s patented Extensions App® takes the worry out of staying connected, enabling customers to seamlessly make and receive home phone calls via the app on two linked iPhone® or Android™ smartphones.

To take advantage of this added benefit, residential service customers simply download the Extensions app to their iPhone or Android smartphone. Once installed and activated, calls to a customer’s home number will ring on up to two mobile phones, and users can make and receive calls anywhere there is Wi-Fi or a 3G/4G connection. And, with Wi-Fi calling, customers can use Vonage service on mobiles in areas with poor cellular coverage, including their homes, regardless of which cellular carrier they use.

Take steps now to prepare for the upcoming winter weather. Vonage Customers login to your account to link your two smartphones or learn more about the Extensions App. Don’t have an iPhone or Android smartphone? Vonage residential customers can set up a Network Availability Number and have their Vonage calls forwarded to it in the event of a power or broadband outage.

Continuity in Business

Home phone users aren’t the only ones who need to stay connected no matter what Mother Nature throws their way. It is critical for businesses to stay connected in the event of a weather emergency as well. Vonage Business Solutions’ patent-pending Call Continuity service can be invaluable for maintaining connection with customers, suppliers and employees. Once configured, the service automatically detects a loss of phone connectivity – and immediately reroutes calls to a pre-specified cell phone or other backup number. And once Internet and/or power is restored, routing through your normal extension is automatically reinstated.

IMPORTANT: While Call Continuity can be vital in the event of an emergency, it must be configured in advance to take effect. Therefore, we strongly recommend customers take the easy steps to configure and activate the service immediately.

Complete instructions for configuring the service can be found on our Support Website, where customers may also access a short how-to video and Call Continuity Service Guide.

Extensions permits calling on two additional registered phones at the home calling plan rates. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minute allotments (for example, U.S. & Canada 400), all call minutes placed from both your home and registered Extensions phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. Extensions calls made from mobiles use airtime or data and may incur charges, depending on your mobile plan.

Vonage Mobile App Now Integrated with Android Wear

vonage_android_wear_03
Is a smartwatch on your must-have list? We’re excited to announce that the Vonage Mobile® App is now integrated with Android™ Wear smartwatches!

Whether running into a meeting with their phone in their pocket or rushing to catch the train with it tucked in their bag, multi-tasking consumers don’t always have the luxury of having their smartphone readily available to respond to a call, or may not even be aware someone is trying to reach them.

To help busy consumers communicate how and when they choose, Vonage has innovated the Vonage Mobile® App to integrate with AndroidTM Wear. The App allows smartwatch users to reject incoming calls and reply to text messages without having to pull out their phone. Users simply reject a call with a double tap gesture that automatically replies to the caller with a pre-set “can’t talk right now” message.

Android Wear users can respond to text messages with voice-to-text functionality or with one of five preset responses:

• I’m in!
• In a meeting, can’t talk right now
• Busy, ttyl?
• Running late, be there soon
• I’ll talk to you soon

Other Android Wear features available in the Vonage Mobile App include the ability to mirror your phone’s notifications and integrate with the phone’s native contact list.

The Android Wear-compatible version of the Vonage Mobile App is now available in the Google PlayTM Store.

Read more about the functionality in the press release distributed this morning, and take a look at the app in action.

Child phone safety: How Vonage’s New Home Phone Service is Helping Parents

Home Phone. Anywhere™. As Easy as 1-2-3

vonage-extensions-appChildren learn to walk and talk and then—the sky’s the limit. Their growth and development goes into hyper drive and parents are along for the exciting (and often exhausting) ride. There’s a dizzying amount of things children learn, but one of the most important things they can learn is their home address and telephone number.

There are a number of tried and true ways to teach children this important information from songs to mnemonic devices, but Vonage employee (and parent of two young children) Ian Senior, believes he’s onto something using Vonage’s new mobile inbound calling functionality that enables customers to receive calls to their home phone number on Vonage’s patented Extension App. . Here’s what he shared recently with other parents:

“My company launched a new product which I think is a great idea for families with young kids and also a potential benefit to you if you have the kind of kids who run off in the middle of a theme park (I have one of those).

I’m not just promoting this because I work for this company, but the new Vonage product (mobile inbound calling) is like a road ID for families. We’re trying to teach our four-year-old a telephone number in case of emergencies. With this new product, we can teach him just our home phone number and it will call our house and both my wife’s and my cell phones at the same time. You can add more extensions (smart phones) to this if needed, but then your kids only need to learn one number in case of emergencies.”

Our customers are always coming up with exciting, innovative ways to use our technology. How has the ability to use your Vonage home phone anywhere helped you?

Vonage Product Update: Take Your Home Phone Anywhere

vonage alienWhether running errands, away on business, or anxious to talk to friends and family overseas, Vonage customers can now make and receive calls using their home phone service anywhere they use a smartphone. The new mobile inbound calling functionality, standard on all Vonage home plans, is now part of the patented Vonage Extensions® App.

Different from call forwarding, this new functionality allows shared use of a family’s home phone identity. Calls made to the home phone number will now ring on mobile phones at the same time so anyone in the household can immediately take important calls from doctors, children’s schools, home improvement professionals, friends and family.

Vonage Customers login to your account to setup.

With the new service, inbound calls to the app indicate that the call was made to a user’s home number, and outbound calls are displayed with the home caller ID. This allows customers to have a second identity on their mobile phone and to keep their mobile number private, giving them more control over when, how and where they communicate.

Vonage has combined the benefits and utility of a shared home identity with the value of low international calling rates, and the convenience of enabling customers to extend the cordless phone they use in their homes to their mobiles. Enabling two-way mobile calling will drive more mobile usage of our service and change the way people think about and use their home phone.

To take advantage of this added benefit, residential service customers simply download the Extensions app to their iPhone® or Android™ smartphone. Once installed, calls to a customer’s number will ring on up to two mobile phones, and users can make and receive calls anywhere there is Wi-Fi or a 3G/4G2 connection. And, with Wi-Fi calling, customers can use Vonage service on mobiles in areas with poor cellular coverage, including their homes, regardless of which cellular carrier they use.

To see how this new functionality works, check the new Vonage TV commercial.


Vonage Customers login to your account to setup.
 

Grandparents’ Day is September 7 – Celebrate with a Phone Call

Celebrate Grandparents’ Day with a Phone Call

grandpaGrandparents’ Day is September 7th.If you can’t be with yours, there’s no better way to share the day and let your grandparents or grandparent figures know how special they are to you than with a phone call – in fact, it’s the communication method they prefer most!1

Technology has completely changed the way that family members communicate with one another. With the increase in cell phone usage and new messaging apps, people no longer have to rely on letters and infrequent visits to remain in touch with family members and specifically their grandparents. In fact, when not in person, 87 percent of adults ages 65 and older prefer talking on the phone to other communication methods such as sending text messages or emails2.

Vonage offers several ways to keep in touch with your grandparents both near and far. From our unlimited3 domestic and international calling plans, to our Vonage Mobile® app that enables free app-to-app voice and video calls4, there’s no excuse not to call your grandparents this Grandparents’ Day (and throughout the year) to let them know how important they are!

 

1The Connected Grandparent 2012 is a study from Edison Research examining the media, technology and social media usage of Grandparents in America. (http://www.slideshare.net/webby2001/grandparents-and-media-2012)
2According to a recent customer survey from Vonage conducted with ORC International on users calling vs. texting habits.
3 Subject to Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service
4 Data rates apply