ePhone turns your PlayBook into a ridiculously large phone

Comwave ePhone
By Ryan Blundell on 19 Aug 2011 12:44 pm EDT

So besides the amazing Video Chat feature that PlayBook users have, there aren’t many other options available in order to reach out and touch someone. Skype is not officially available for the PlayBook at this time though workarounds do exist. In fact, a response found on their site pointed out that “We currently have no plans for the PlayBook…Hopefully the PlayBook will be a hit for RIM, and if so we will create a version of Skype for the product at that time.” You’ve got to love how vague that is.

Not too long ago, we received an email about Comwave ePhone. Currently in beta, ePhone can make/receive phone calls directly from your PlayBook! They do have a free 3 day trial period; where you can play around with 100 minutes, followed by an annual subscription of $20 if you decide to keep the service. With your subscription you get 250 minutes per month to use to call 57 countries. In the trial period, and with your subscription, you also get:

  • Our own number
  • Unlimited incoming calls
  • Free ePhone to ePhone voice and video calling

The mic and speakers on the PlayBook are both excellent to use if you are doing a conference call, but you may look like an idiot holding it up to your face to chat one on one. You can also visit shopcrackberry.com to pick up a handy headset or two. You can grab Comwave ePhone from BlackBerry App World.

More information/download ePhone for thr BlackBerry PlayBook

Reader comments

ePhone turns your PlayBook into a ridiculously large phone


After about 30 cities with no available numbers I kinda gave up on those guys. So thats 20 bucks I'll have to keep in my own pocket.

We're so happy so many people love the App. npunk42: Give it another shot, we have added thousands of new phone numbers in the past week. This is Beta but growing fast every day. If we're missing a city...let us know....we want to know. We're Blackberry fans too and want to make the App even better for all.

Hey, please add Jacksonville, FL. I took a number from Tampa, FL, but I'll be glad to trade it in for a Jacksonville number, once you add that city.

As much as I love my Playbook, I hate the fact that Skype is still not, and will probably never be, available for the Playbook. RIM should at least take down the pictures of the Skype logo on their Playbook web pages so as not to be engaging in false advertising and giving false hope to consumers. Oh well, at least my new Playstation Vita - a $299 device - will come with Skype. :) As to the "amazing video chat" app, given that this only works if you know someone else with a Playbook - it is not cross-platform compliant - it is useless.

EDIT: Congratulations to Comwave of producing this app. The annual fee also seems to be priced right.

I've been using this for a few weeks and it has been great. My wife is Turkish and she's been calling her family almost daily using this app. When traveling I use it to avoid the high roaming costs on my cell. Great App.

I just loaded the app, I must say it was pretty seamless. I registered for a New York number for my friends to reach me while I am in Toronto. I am glad Comwave was able to finally fill the gap in the Playbook, which was indeed the ability to make an receive calls. Thank You!

I just downloaded and installed it too. It took a while to find a suitable phone number, but now I am good to go with an in state number. Looking forward to using it as much as I can!

US & Canadain phone numbers only. However you can sign up from any country and it will work for you. Nothing wrong witha New York phone number in Brazil :)

Got excited, realised OK only US and Canada type numbers available, but still can't get past that step as the final 'choose number' drop down box is no longer working.

Closed browser, tried again, lied about living in Nova Scotia and Halifax, access granted...no just waiting for confirmation within the app.

Wow, fast feedback thanks guys! I will email, thank you for watching this thread and for responding. And for creating the app and letting us beta test it.

We have seen this on for another user. Can you please try another internet connection perhaps Bridge Browser.

I tried this. I downloaded and tried it out.

1st. The city I live in wasn't listed so I had to pick one that was 50kms (30 miles) away. Naturally that made my family and friends call long distance to me.

2nd. As a test I tried calling my parents who have Cogeco voip service. The call would not complete. IF it did complete the ePhone discontected the call within 20secs.

3rd. For $20 a year (very good price) gave you 250 minutes per month calling. 250 what minutes. Long distance or local?

4th. It's not North America or world wide calling. After your 3 day trial you are billed normal long distance changes from your number's location. That becomes/became a problem especially when you have to pick a number far away from your location.

5th. lack of detail of information on the website about this service. What's included and what isn't

I really wanted this to work as I am kicking Bell out of the house for good very soon and getting my wife the 9860.

This is a good concept but it needs a lot more fine tuning (hence the beta part). Maybe I'll revisit it again in a year's time if they'll allow another free trial.


1. Dozens more cities being added by end of next week.
2. Free local AND long distance for the full year.
3. You are NOT billed after the trial. Local & Long Distance are free to the 57+ countries listed.
5. In the App top left there is a "How to" section.


Time for me to man up and eat some crow....I gave ePhone a second chance.

1. Still no local number but I am hoping that Comwave will have one available for me other than Peterborough, Ontario. Comwave says I can change once one comes available. Charge? Don't know.

2. Reinstalled the ePhone app and called Cogeco users without issue. The ePhone app must have had a bad install. All okay now.

3. What happens after the 250 minutes of calling per month? Answer back via email from support:"Over 250 are billed at rates listed on our website". So after 250 local and long distance minutes combined are used, you are then charged the long distance rate for the country you are calling. $02.9/minute for North America (from what I saw).

4. The "How To" tab didn't answer my questions but not concerned.

Thanks for the push for a second try.

Look out for ePhone Anywhere next week that will allow MAC & PC users to place video calls to Playbook users as well.

In today's environment, Any tablet without support (or future roadmap) for Skype or WiFi will fail. Look at HP.

Same thing with handsets that are not touch and have pinch to zoom. While they may not fail in the next few months, that expectation will be there in the very near future.

Wow impressive you managed to say all that while sucking off SJ at the same time.

Newsflash Microsoft owns skype, I see HTML5 Skype in the future bye bye iTunes App store.

This software is awesome and I have to congratulate Comwave on how quick they have been to listen and respond to users views.

For any of you that are having trouble then drop them an email. The customer service from them to date has been second to none.

I think this represents outstanding value for money and the call quality is excellent.