The main difference between tablets and phones is their size, but also the fact that they do not natively support phone calls and text messages. But phones are getting bigger with each new generation, and it’s easy to make a free call or send text SMS from a tab without it being compatible with 4G. We show you how to make free call on an iPad or Android tablet.
There are a couple of obvious options that you may already be using to make phone calls on a tablet. Skype is an old favorite, which allows you to make video calls to any device that runs the application, but also to call landlines and mobiles. When used for the latter, it is the only application here that allows calls from a tablet that does not require the recipient to be running any special hardware or software.
As an example, FaceTime is a video call option specific to the Apple device family. It’s a brilliant tool if everyone is an iOS user, but it’s no good if your recipient does not have an iPhone, iPad or iPod.
Tools you can use to make free call from a tab
Use Amazon Alexa to make free call on a tablet
Alexa, the voice assistant that is within the range of intelligent speakers from Amazon, has been available in the form of an application for Android and iOS devices for a while. But only since March 2018 has it been possible to use that application to make free video and voice call to friends and family.
You will have to download the Alexa Application from the Apple App Store or Google Play store, then verify your cell number to import your contacts. On some devices, you can touch the Alexa button and ask them to call a particular contact; in others, you may need to find that person in the contacts section of the Alexa application and choose the call or video call option.
Keep in mind that calls to Alexa only work when the recipient also uses the Alexa application.
Use Google Duo to make free call on a tab
Google Duo is a free app available for iOS and Android users, and although it requires a phone number to configure, you can use the same number on both your phone and your tablet. Since it is a Google application, it may already be installed on your Android device, but you must link your phone number before you can start using it.
Google Duo is relatively basic, but it is easy to use and works much like FaceTime. Select a contact, start a video call and then tap the screen to show options such as switching between the front and rear cameras, mute the microphone or end the call.
There are no group calls, no instant messages, only video calls from person to person. However, we like the Knock Knock feature, which allows you to watch the video feed of the caller before responding.
Another Google application you can use for voice calls is Hangouts, which also supports tablets. This is a service of calls and messages, while Duo merely is for video calls.
Use Facebook Messenger to make free call on a tab
Messenger, the corresponding application of Facebook for private messages, also supports voice and video calls over the Internet. You can install it for free from App Store or Google Play as you would with a phone, then tap the phone icon at the top of a conversation with a friend to start a call. Of course, this option only works if your recipient also uses Messenger.
What about the Google Assistant and WhatsApp?
With Amazon adding voice call functionality to its Alexa mobile application, and Google recently added functionality to its Google Home smart speaker family through the Google Assistant, we suspect it’s only a matter of time before Google does the same and allows Google Assistant calls app on tablets. Now it is possible to install the Google Assistant application on all Android devices, and on the phone, the Google Assistant will call your contacts, but that is not yet possible on a tablet.
WhatsApp also supports phone calls over the Internet, but technically it is not available on a tablet. You can use WhatsApp Web to open the message service in Chrome and send text and voice messages from your standard WhatsApp account, but the voice and video calling feature are not compatible.
Of course, you can load the full version of WhatsApp on a tablet and use it as you would on the phone, but you will need a phone number to activate the service and it will be broken and will require a new load each time it is updated. It becomes available. Given the simpler options that we have listed above, it is likely to be more complicated than it is worth.