Creative uses or "Best use of " for FreePBX and smart phones?

I am curious about creative uses for FreePBX and Android and/or iPhone. More importantly, in terms of actual (reliable) uses of an Android or an iPhone wrt business intelligence and something I call UC Simple. I define UC Simple as Calls, SMS, Chat, Voice Mail, eMail and the ability to view a FAX sent to you via email.

On my own end, I am having fun trying different methods of attempting to connect to FreePBX with a droid cell phone. For the most part I find that SipDroid and the 3CX softphone are basically unusable. Google Voice is almost as bad when used as a primary call completion method. I just got updates to all the aforementioned so I will have to report back.

Anyone out there have experiences they would share ?

Good question. As an absolute novice (but zealot for Asterisk), I’m toying with Acrobits softphone on my iphone. No luck in the setup yet but the potential is obvious.
UC Simple is the panacea. Please keep me posted.


Not that this is going to win the contest for most brilliant, but I just set up several of the iPhones in our small company with Siphon, and each is lashed up to the extension of the person carrying the iPhone. Thus, the iPhone is the wireless handset adjunct to their desk phone. Works great, we get all our calls (we get a lot of them), and of course we can yap all day on our iPhones through our WiFI and PBX.

Don’t mention it to Apple and AT+T, but we throttled back to their minimal plans. Don’t need those minutes anymore! When we get Ward’s Travelin’ Man setup figured out and working, we’ll be able to take that same show completely on the road.

I’d say that is a pretty smart use of Asterisk and smartphones. Are the seperate extensions from the desk phones or are you using follow me ?

It happens that we have each user’s iPhone lashed up to the same extension as his/her deskphone, and in my case, softphone. The reason for this - we have a couple of toll-free numbers that hit our PBX. When one of those comes in, we want the whole place to light up like a Christmas tree. First person to grab the call wins. Standard Ring Group stuff. I actually refer to each of these calls as “the Christmas tree.”

I suppose I could compare it to Vegas neon. Like when the phones light up and make all kinds of noise, I could yell, “Viva Las Vegas, baby!”

Part of the reason for tying each iPhone to a single extension is that it’s easier for everybody to remember one extension rather than two or three. So, for example, if Steve’s at 202, when I punch up 202, then his desk phone, iPhone (with SIP app) and softphone all light up.

Shortly we will create an extension for each of the regular (meaning PSTN) iPhone telephone numbers. So the convention will be:

  1. When in the office, turn on your SIP app and grab the call either on your desk phone, iPhone or softphone. Call quality on the iPhones overall is worse than on the desk phones (happen to be Linksys 941’s), but still quite usable most of the time. It’s pretty adequate since the iPhones are mainly just used when somebody’s down in the kitchen or manufacturing floor or someplace.

It’s a common enough occurrence that calls get answered on iPhones in the bathroom. No memo on etiquette is necessary, but one does need to remember to avoid plumbing-related noise when a customer is on the phone. I suppose that if we were in Israel and certain other areas, it would be a good idea to remember that Orthodox Jewish people believe it is sinful to speak while, you know, doing what you do in there (is it ok if it’s a business conversation? Any Talmudic scholars, please weigh in).

Never got too deep into the Torah to investigate, a rabbinical leader in Israel reminded the populace about this during the rise of that country’s cellular network.

  1. When out of office, like at nighttime, we use Follow Me (which is turned on with the Day/Night scheduling). If you’re out of the office and have your SIP app running, then the Christmas tree will light up your phone at home. If you don’t have your SIP app running (shame on you), then it’ll ratchet down the list to your iPhone’s PSTN DID. Customers are on hold a bit longer on the weekends, as it often has to work its way further down the queue. That is to say, if a customer calls at 11:00 Saturday night, it’s gonna wake me up when it warbles my iPhone!

One feature I’d really like to see in future iPhone SIP app releases is the ability to use custom ringtones, same as when calls come in over the PSTN. Doesn’t seem that hard, but the apps we use now don’t support it.