September 28, 2010

551 words 3 mins read

Quick Review: Sipdroid

Sipdroid on the Android Market

At work we’ve been playing with SIP softphone clients. There are a number of remote workers and this would be much more convenient for them to use than something like Skype. Of course, first I had to fix NAT/SIP issues which is another post for another time. Today’s post is about a softphone client I tried out on my Nexus One (aka The Google Phone). It is called Sipdroid, and it works pretty well.

Sipdroid have a couple of factors that make it just “Darn cool”.  First, it just works.  I downloaded & installed it from the Android Market.  I launched the application, went into the settings and punched in the necessary information (which is my server, username, & password).  A few seconds later I was registered to the SIP server (in this case Asterisk) and was ready to rock and roll. The second cool feature is the fact that it is free (

Editor’s note: as in beer).  A number of the SIP clients I tested out on the iPhone & PC were either pay applications, or free apps that only let you use their service.  The third coolness is the fact that sipdroid is totally open source.  You can go to their website, download the source, and hack away.

As to the application itself, it is very simple.  When you make a call, or a call comes in, the “Call screen” looks very much so like the real android phone screen.  When a call comes in, it uses your default ringtone — so it sounds just like your phone ringing.  The sound quality is as good as your internet connection & codec.  In the office (over Wifi) I am using G722 “HD” with our Polycom 550 (which are nice phones) which also support G722 “HD”.  Sounds really great.  There really isn’t much to say about this app because it just works.  That’s all I want, all I need, and exactly what I get.

Though to be fair, it isn’t perfect.  There are two things that I’m not a fan of.  First off, the “dialer”.  On the main screen you can enter a number into a text field (using the standard android keypad) or press the button to get the number pad up.  The problem is that the number pad is actually the real phone dialer.  I’d much prefer an in-app-only dial pad option.  This leads me to the second problem.  Sipdroid can, like Google Voice, intercept your calls and redirect them over SIP.  A cool feature in concept, but I don’t want that.  There is an option to turn it off, but then the number pad (which again, is the real phone) doesn’t work at all.  They also have a middle “Try when available” option, but that really hasn’t work out well for me (at all).

In the end, I will probably keep using Sipdroid.  I will test other SIP apps, but I doubt I’m going to find anything better.  Besides, being as how the application is open source, I can modify the code and submit patches.  Worse comes to worse, I could hack up a version that works how I want it and keep that for my own personal use (but I prefer to contribute back so any such modification would be submitted).