What is Vyke?
Vyke is a new Voice Over IP service from Vyke Telecoms. Aside from letting you call landlines, mobiles, and other Vyke users, its central feature is the ability to assign new mobile phone numbers to yourself. The idea is that you can have several phone numbers without having to buy numerous different handsets and SIM cards.
Vyke works using the internet so you’ll need data or Wi-Fi access to use it. Once you download the app you’ll be sent a verification code via text which you then enter into Vyke. It’s basically the whole Whatsapp setup process: quick and easy.
Once you’re in, you can add up to four separate numbers immediately, the first of which is completely free. After that you’ll have to pay 99p for extra numbers. You need to buy Vyke credit in order to buy the extra numbers and use them to text and call with, which can be done through the app or the Vyke website.
It’s then simply a case of choosing which number profile you want to use by tapping the icons at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve chosen, you have all the options you usually would when using your phone, including texting and calling, as well as chatting directly to other Vyke users using the app’s own peer-to-peer messaging platform.
When using your extra numbers, text and call costs vary from country to country. In the UK, texts will cost 3.23p, calls to mobiles 4p, and calls to landlines 1.10p. You can check the rates through the app itself and your credit is always displayed prominently at the top of the screen. You can also call international numbers for pretty decent prices. Calls to the US from the UK cost 1.24p, and texts 3.23p. That’s cheaper than Skype’s rates.
Contacts who use Vyke will be highlighted in your contacts list. You can call them for free, but at this point very few people will be using the app – although there’s certainly potential for Vyke to take off.
The quality of calls obviously depends on your internet connection, but I generally found the call quality to be very good.
There’s a host of other features, including the ability turn certain numbers off and on. So if you don’t feel like being bothered by a particular group of people who you’ve given one of your Vyke numbers to, you can simply turn the number off and all those annoying texts and calls will cease immediately.
This is one of Vyke’s strengths: the developers seem to have really thought about what users will need, adding in extra functionality that, while not crucial to the way Vyke works, make it seem like a fully-formed app.
The requirement for internet access means that the extra numbers you add aren’t quite as good as getting an extra SIM. You’ll need to use your data if you’re out and about and want to use one of your other numbers. Still, most of us will usually have some form of internet connection at most times so it’s not a deal-breaker. It’s just that the extra numbers you get aren’t quite as good as a real second number that can use mobile networks for voice calling.
During my time using Vyke I had very little trouble, although on one occasion I couldn’t send a text using one of my newly added extra numbers. There was no explanation as to why either, other than a brief message saying something to the effect of ‘text message cannot be sent’. It could have been some setting which I’d inadvertently activated, but a little explanation would have helped.
Vyke’s central feature, the ability to add extra numbers, is great and could really prove popular if enough people get to hear about Vyke. But it’s the extra stuff, like international calls, and the level of control the app gives you over each number you register which makes Vyke one of the better VOIP services available.Score:
9/10 | Price:
Free | In-app purchases?
Yes | Download Vyke