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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The 'Killer App' just keeps killin'

A year ago - almost to the day - I wrote a post about what I considered to be one of the most useful new web applications out there; Jajah.

Without going into too much detail (since you can click here and go read that post in it's entirety), Jajah was a very slick - but slightly buggy - alternative to Skype in that it allowed cheap (and sometimes even free!) international calling... but without Skype's big pitfall; having to be chained to a computer throughout the call. 

Even with the new wireless 'Skype-enabled home phones', you would still be out of luck if you were at work or on the road.

With Jajah, the only role the computer played in the entire equation was placing the call.  Like Skype, you had to register (free)... and you still needed to buy small blocks of time (even $5 would do)... but that's where the similarity ended.  It worked something like this:

1.  You logged into your Jajah account (from any computer in the world) and told the system which phone you wanted the call to be connected to; Work, Home or cell.

2.  You entered a country code and telephone number (or selected a number from your handy Jajah phone book which lists work, home and cell numbers for as many people as you chose to list)

3.  You clicked the 'Call' button.  Within seconds your phone rang... as did the phone of the person you wanted to reach.  From that point on the computer was out of the loop.

Realizing that being dependent on the computer - even in the limited way it was - made Jajah too similar to Skype to entice people to adopt the new program, the programmers at Jajah set out to develop a mobile version that could be stored on modern cell phones.  It required a little fumbling with menus, but in the end you could call from anywhere to anywhere... without the pesky ball & chain computer.

I've been using Jajah for the past year and have watched as they have steadily worked out all the bugs in the system... and even brought more (and better) pricing options into the picture.  But I have to admit I was less than happy with the cumbersome cell-phone interface (Jajah Mobile) and the need to use a computer the kick off the call when calling from a land line (work or home).

Well, as if they were listening to my prayers, the developers at Jajah have now launched 'Jajah Direct', the long awaited snubbing of the computer in the VOIP game.  What they've done is take every phone number - no matter where in the world - listed in your Jajah phone book, and assigned a local phone number to it.  For instance, if I want to call my brother in the S.F. Bay area... I simply dial one of the handy local Israel numbers Jajah assigned to each of his three listings in my phone book (office, home and cell)... and within seconds his phone is ringing as if he lived in Ramat Gan!

But don't take my word for it... go check it out!

[Note from the management:  I have never received any sort of compensation or incentives from the owners or developers of Jajah... and I don't anticipate ever being in a position to do so in the future.  I simply wanted to share something very useful with the readers here. 

I also gain no benefit if any of you decide to sign up to use the Jajah service. 

No need to thank me as this is quite simply, yours truly once again being a giver.]

Posted by David Bogner on December 5, 2007 | Permalink


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Oh David, such a giver! How the heck do those applications make money?

Posted by: asher | Dec 5, 2007 1:03:05 PM

Its worth leaving skype just for the cool name.

Posted by: Baila | Dec 5, 2007 1:34:11 PM

asher... Since the most expensive part of the call (the overseas portion) goes over the Internet for free, Jajah (and Skype, for that matter) make their profit on the tiny fee they pay for the local connection.

Baila... I never suggested chucking Skype altogether. Zahava still uses it for some of her calls. But I am now totally over to Jajah... especially as they have the cheapest conference calling option availible anywhere!

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 5, 2007 1:55:41 PM

Have you heard of "Fring"??? It sounds like it would be a better option than what you're using.........I don't use either, but a friend's husband works for Fring and it seems like a good thing. Just haven't gotten around to checking it out. For your system, it seems as if you are still charged the local call (as if to Ramat Gan), am I wrong?

Posted by: EmahS | Dec 5, 2007 2:14:34 PM


Please don't give me these tips while my family is still sleeping! Just a note, the trial doesn't work to cell phones.

Posted by: safranit | Dec 5, 2007 2:44:43 PM

Does it still have the deal where you have to make a call every two weeks, or else you become "inactive"? If I remember correctly, that was the issue that made it unuseable for me last time you gave information about it. I couldn't find anything about it when searching on the site. (but I'm also prepping for a meeting now, so don't have 100% focus... bad, huh?)

Posted by: JDMDad | Dec 5, 2007 4:54:41 PM

I have never received any sort of compensation or incentives from the owners or developers of Jajah...

Really. They have been paying me in Agorot for months now.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 5, 2007 5:55:37 PM

EmahS... I haven't heard of it. I'm just curious, though. Why would you recommend something you haven't used just based on the act that someone you know works for the company? :-)

safranit... That's because cell phone calls aren't free (many, but not all, landline calls to other Jajah members are free). The trial is only for free calls.

JDMDad... I'm not sure. I'll have to check.

Jack... Sheesh, beggars won't even take agarot anymore! :)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 5, 2007 9:03:48 PM

thinking about it, it sounds like a good outfit to call people in Jamaica with!

Posted by: asher | Dec 6, 2007 12:58:31 PM

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