Having spent several years living abroad, I got used to a regularly frustrating routine when keeping in touch with friends and family in the States. I’d check the time difference, then run through my different options: KakaoTalk, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype? Too often, I would select an option only to face lagging Internet connections and faint, far away sounding voices. Or, I’d wait with bated breath — listening to a joke, or a laugh, or an important life update — only for the screen to go black. Dropped call, again.
In the midst of all this muddled communication, there’s flyp. The app allows you to add multiple real phone numbers on a single mobile device, so you can call and text away regardless of your current location. flyp has received some rave reviews: more than one million users have downloaded the app in the past nine months, and Flypsi, Inc., the company behind the app, has recently raised about $5.8 million in funding.
So what’s the buzz behind the app, and does it live up to the hype? One of the big differences I found with flyp is that it uses existing cellular networks, instead of relying on a quick and stable Internet connection. The quality of the sound was noticeably better, and it was much easier to hear the other person on the line when I was on the go.
What I also liked was how I could have a real U.S. phone number on my international phone, and I could pick the area code that I liked. For freelancers or small business owners who travel frequently or work remotely, having a recognizable area code and phone number — instead of a string of unintelligible numbers — is a big game-changer when it comes to co-worker and client relations.
With flyp, you can work from one mobile device; you don’t need to switch between five different apps or have a separate work and personal phone. The app organizes all the calls, texts, and voicemails you receive into one feed. Flyp also styles itself as an app for people who would like separate phone numbers for family, friends, and romantic partners, but in my opinion, the app best serves the needs of international users, freelancers, small business owners, and anyone working on multiple professional projects.
Flyp is available in the iOS App Store and on Google Play. The pricing is varied: while the first number is free, premium numbers go for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Currently, the app works for international users in 17 different countries, and the app developers are working on adding new features such as group calling and number porting. Ultimately, I think Flyp is a good choice for those who need to reorganize their professional and personal contacts—all on one device.