Hands-On With Newber, The Location-Aware Call Redirector For Your iPhone

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Think of Newber as sort of a location-aware GrandCentral call directing service that lives on your iPhone and can forward calls automatically to whatever landline is closest to your location. Other features, like being able to swap phones in the middle of a conversation, making and receiving calls from a "Newber" number and automatically sending all incoming calls to voicemail are super neat, but it's missing a few features that the older and free-er GrandCentral service provides. The call redirection worked great in our tests. You can manually set calls to route to either your iPhone or your "local" landline, which is programmed via location detection and can automatically switch when you get to a certain place, like home or work. Outgoing calls from your Newber number are shown as your Newber number, which is fantastic for hiding your real number from business contacts or people you don't quite trust. What's not cool, unfortunately, is Newber doesn't have access to your favorites list, so you'll have to re-add your favorites from your contacts list (which it does have access to). Compared to GrandCentral, Newber is still missing features like being able to ring multiple phones simultaneously, listening in on voicemail as it's being recorded, and having people announce their names before you pick up (or deny) the call. The biggest difference between the two is that Newber costs $5 a month and 2 cents a minute, whereas GrandCentral is free. Is being able to route your calls to your landline automatically worth what's essentially long distance rates? Tough to say. But they're still in beta, and it may be possible that they'll tweak prices a bit before launching fullscale. [Newber via Chip Chick]

Related: Gizmodo's Essential Iphone Apps