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I'm looking for a MacOS app that does Voice over IP (VoIP) for a standard SIP account, that is responsive and reliable and has a small elegant interface (i.e. doesn't take up a huge swath of my damn screen), and (important) springs into action when some other app such as FileMaker issues a callto URL or uses Perform AppleScript to tell it to make a call to a specified number.

 

 

Backstory and Verbose Addl Info:

 

I kept my ancient outdated obsolete copy of Skype as my telephony app long after Skype Inc did something with one of their updates (version 3.0, if I recall correctly) that broke it's responsiveness to callto URLs. (It also morphed from being this cute little 300 x 415 pixel interface to being a huge bloated monstrosity with freaking ads blinking at me).

 

Somewhen in the vicinity of Skype version 5.x, the Skype servers refused to allow my old version to connect and participate, so I hacked the Macintosh app bundle's text descriptor files and forged a higher version number and that allowed me to keep using it for another couple years.

 

It had its limitations from the start that neither Skype Inc nor Microsoft (after they bought Skype) bothered to fix: it can neither send nor receive texts from cellphone users.

 

It also had built-in additional capabilities that were nice while they worked, but which stopped working for me along the way as I held on to the older version: built-in chat to chat with other Skype users and built-in screen sharing like VNC or Timbuktu or TeamViewer and built-in file exchange.

 

Eventually it stopped being sufficiently useful to me: when I was on a VPN connection in particular, people would report that they had tried to call me and that it had gone straight to voicemail (I never heard it ring) and my clients weren't happy about not being able to reach me in real time.

 

I switched to a standard VoIP telephony subscription service and I am temporarily using freeware application Zoiper. I'm not happy with Zoiper:

 

• It doesn't know about the callto URL type. That means I have to eyeball the phone number in FileMaker (or Excel or in a text file or whatever) and manually type it in the dial screen of Zoiper.

 

• It's laptop-stupid. I close up my laptop, pulling the headset out of the USB port, go to some destination and open the laptop and plug everthing back in. Stupid Zoiper doesn't recognize the USB headset until and unless I quit out of it and relaunch it.

 

• It doesn't do any of the modern things I was hoping for that I didn't have in Skype either: it doesn't provide inbound voicemails as .mp3 or .wav or .aif soundfiles (any telephony app oughta) and it doesn't send or receive cellphone texts.

 

I also have been trying out a proprietary software package called RingCentral. RingCentral is not open SIP /VoIP but is hardwired to a specific telephony provider. It is a callto-compliant application, so I can execute Open URL ["callto://" & MyTable::TelephoneNumber, no dialog] in Filemaker and RingCentral springs into action and dials the number. It also sends and receives texts, and both voicemails and texts are echoed in email, and voicemail emails come in as .aif soundfiles. But it is incredibly sluggish. I can't actually ANSWER an inbound call because when I attempt to bring it to the foreground I get the Macintosh spinny beachball, the "Answer Call" button doesn't react to my clicking, and the caller hangs up or it goes to voicemail before I can make it work.

 

 

NOTE: an alternative to being callto-URL-compliant would be that the app in question responds to an AppleScript command that tells it to dial such-and-such number. I'd prefer callto because I can drag phone numbers I don't intend to keep permanently into a text app, preface them with "callto://" and highlight the whole works and right-click and select "Open URL" and write notes below etc etc. Or select and drag the entireu URL line to the desktop and make it a clickable launch for that tel#. AppleScript is more limited although it would work for FileMaker as you know.

Edited by AHunter3
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