Line2: the smartphone app every entrepreneur needs

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Continuing our series of showcasing tech tools for your new business, today I’d like to talk about Line2 by Toktumi, Inc. (Get it? Tok…tu…mi? Anyway…)

Line2 does exactly what its name implies. It adds a second line to your iPhone or Android-based phone. Simply download the app, create an account and pick a local phone number of your choosing, and you will have a new phone line. Unlike simply adding another number that connects to your carrier’s cell network, Line2 is a self-contained world that uses VoIP technology within the app so that your call never uses up carrier minutes. The app automagically utilizes WiFi if your phone is connected, or barring that it uses your carrier’s 3G data network. Since carriers bill by X number of gigabytes rather than phone minutes (and some like a Sprint still offer an unlimited data plan), the cost savings is significant.

One additional bonus to this arrangement is that if you are in a location that has WiFi but poor cell reception (for instance my favorite coffeehouse Coffee Kaanapali up in Fountaingrove area), you can still make and receive phone calls. So, in short, this is a superior experience to a traditional cell phone number.

Line2 also supports texting, so you can send and receive SMS messages just like you would on the phone normally.

I haven’t personally used the Line2 app for Android, so the following portion of the review refers to the iOS version. (BTW, did I mention Line2 can also run on an iPad and iPod Touch? Yes, you don’t even need the iPhone to have a phone!)

The app is very elegant and easy to use. For the most part it mimics the interface of the built-in phone features. You can dial out a number or select from your contacts. You can also add and edit contacts and it is immediately synchronized with your iOS database. There are the usual options to record a voicemail greeting, handle call forwarding, and so forth, and you can also temporarily turn off ringing so callers get immediately routed to voicemail. You also have the option of choosing between WiFi and 3G when you make a call, although I prefer to let it figure that out automatically.

The kind of “visual voicemail” interface we’ve grown accustomed to with iPhone is here as well, and an extra bonus of Line2 is that it will email you audio recordings of all voicemail if you wish. The SMS functionality, as I mentioned above, is straightforward and familiar.

If I were writing this review a number of months back, I might have complained about some buggy behavior now and then when standard phone calls interrupt Line2 calls, but in recent software updates and on iOS 5, I can’t say I’ve noticed any problems.

I’ve been using Line2 for almost a year now as my main business line, and it’s been wonderful. It’s so nice to know that I can carry around my iPhone and conduct business over the phone, yet it’s a separate number from my personal line and my conversations aren’t using up any minutes. I also appreciate having business texts and voicemail in its own app as well as the emailed voicemails.

So, now that you’re chomping at the bit to get your own Line2, guess how much this costs. You know how much you pay on your regular cell phone bill right? How much for another phone service? Could be pricey, right?

Try $9.95 a month. And that includes unlimited domestic calling (i.e., no long-distance charges from SF to NY). The app itself is free.

What a deal, right? Which is why I have put Line2 in my short list of tech tools every entrepreneur needs.

Sign Up and Download Line2 Here

Jared White is Editor-in-Chief of North Bay Startup. He has worked in the field of technology journalism for over 15 years and headed up several online blogs and media properties before founding NBS. He is also the owner and Creative Director at Siteshine, a digital media agency located in Santa Rosa, CA. You can reach him on Twitter @jaredcwhite.

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  1. I want to upgrade my service

    LaVern OxenDine on July 6, 2015 as 3:16 pm
  2. Hey Jared, Nice writeup on Line2. I recently ported my business line to the company. I’m struggling with one aspect of the phone service and am wondering how you deal with it. I don’t like how when you’re using Line2, if you get an incoming call, your Line2 call will automatically be placed on hold. Yes, there’s an automated warning but there are those times when you’re speaking to someone and you don’t want to have them rudely interrupted like that. Your thoughts? How are you handling this with your business? Thanks! Phoebe

    Phoebe on September 17, 2016 as 9:15 am
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