Phone home...

I have been spending part of this year living abroad in Antibes, France. This is nice because I get to recharge my batteries. It also gives me time to focus on things that I'm interested in, but don't have time to devote myself to during the normal work-a-day week. However, I have also been trying to keep up my existing skills by doing a little bit of work for Envision Design while I'm away.
One of the most useful things that I have found while living abroad is the ability to make calls back to the U.S. free of charge. I wanted to share with everyone how I was doing this. It's pretty simple, but does have a few requirements.
1. A Google voice number.
2. Some device to dial the Number.
3. A WiFi connection.
The first and third requirements are the simple part. Go to www.google.com and set up a gmail account, if you don't already have one, and then add a google voice number to that account. Item three is simple as well, because most hotels and cafe's offer free WiFi. We are staying in an apartment that comes with internet access.
Item number two is a little more tricky, but not that hard. You can use a computer or and iPad to call from. What I did was to suspend my cell service with AT&T, so my iPhone 4s now acts like an iPod touch. I then downloaded an app called TalkaTone that connects to my google voice number. The only issue that I have had with this set up was when we first arrived in France, the app was smart enough to know that I was in France and thus had a different access prefix. It was automatically adding the French 033 prefix to numbers I was calling. I had to go into the setting of the app and manually configure the U.S. 001 prefix. Once I did that I was able to call any number in the states without a problem.