Posts Tagged ‘sip phone’

Motorola Droid as SIP phone

Posted: October 31, 2011 by grahamodaniel in SIP
Tags: , ,

If you have an original Droid phone and have since moved on but still wondering what you can do with your old friend, we recently discovered a great option: use it on WiFi as a portable SIP phone around your house and office.

Motorola Droid

Motorola Droid

The Motorola Droid was originally released in 2009 to Verizon Wireless users and represented one of the first forays by Motorola into the Android smartphone segment, which has grown in popularity ever since as Motorola followed up with several more Android-powered smartphones and continues to this day.

But enough about how the Droid came to be and onward to how you can still use your dear friend.

Required Components:

  • Droid or other Android smartphone running Android 2.2 or better
  • WiFi router
  • SIP server or hosted provider
  • A free extension
  • Phone dock (optional)

The Droid shipped with Android 2.1 and has since received updates to bring it up to 2.2 officially.  However, the modding community seems to have embraced the Droid as a worthy candidate and now offers all sorts of releases for rooted phones.  A rooted phone refers to a hacked phone allowing access to otherwise inaccessible parts of the file system.  This allows for replacement of anything from the boot-up animation to the entire OS image (referred to as a ROM).  We’ve tried only two so far: Liquid Smooth and currently Miui.  Miui has proven to be a really good middle-ground between Android and iPhone interfaces, and one we surely recommend you try.  The main reason for using a new ROM is to minimize the amount of bloatware draining the battery as we want the phone to last as long as possible.

With our new OS in tow we moved on to finding a suitable SIP client.  It’s no surprise, with the Android Market growing leaps and bounds within the past few years, our quest started in the Market.  There’s actually quite a bit of SIP clients, and it appears the number of offerings increases periodicaly, both as free apps and paid-for.  The first we tried was Sipdroid and found the interface to be clunky and setup to be troublesome.  Next we tried 3CXPhone and found it was okay but didn’t seem to work reliably.  We finally settled on CSipSimple with its easy configuration and seemingly reliable performance.  CSipSimple also integrates well with the dialer so you don’t have to run the separate app just to make a SIP call.

Shiny new ROM.  Check.  Reliable client.  Check.  All engines ready to launch.  To get the phone going you need to have Asterisk or some other suitable SIP service running to which you can create extensions.  We happen to use Asterisk but there are a number of other SIP provides and servers you can purchase and/or build.  Simply go into your SIP account and configure an extension as you would any other SIP phone.  Pop the same details into the handy configuration screens in CSipSimple and it should show as registered relatively quickly.  From there you can dial your contacts or other extensions just like any other SIP phones on your nextwork.  It really is that simple.

Special thanks to the Miui team for providing an excellent OS and the CSipSimple creators for their awesome free app.

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