UberConference Review

Free Visual Audio Conference

UberConference logo
Photo © Firespotter

UberConference is an audio conferencing tool with a difference. It makes it easier and seamless to join and manage a conference. There is no need to enter an ID and more interestingly, you can view and manage visually who is talking and who is doing what. You don’t actually see the people talking like in a video conferencing session, but you actually see them, or a picture of them, and what they are doing. UberConference has a number of interesting features, most of them coming with its premium plan. The free product allows up to 17 participants per call at once.

Pros

  • Free service and tool.
  • Visually manage participants in a conference call.
  • Integrates with Evernote and Box for online collaboration on documents.
  • Interesting list of features.
  • Available for smartphones, and works cleanly on desktop browsers.

Cons

  • Available only for iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android devices.
  • Free version allows only 5 participants initially, upgradable to only 17 upon certain additional tasks. Free version therefore not suitable for large meetings.

Review

Audio conferencing calls have a number of issues, among which is the difficulty associated with not knowing exactly who is talking, from whose noise that rattling noise comes from, who just joined in, and who left etc. UberConference aims at giving ways to eliminate these problems. It puts everything visual. In the interface, you have pictures of participants in the session with small icons indicating their actions. Thus, when someone comes in, you know who it is, when someone talks, the icon glows so you know who you are listening to, and so on.

UberConference works on desktop browsers, so you don’t have to install an app on your machine to use it. You only have to register for free and start using. It is also available for smartphones, but only for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. BlackBerry and Nokia users will have to be content with their desktop browsers so far.

UberConference is free, but not everything it gives comes free. With the free service, you can create and join conferences, and benefit from the basic features like seeing who is on the call, seeing who is talking, sending invitations through email and SMS, getting a detailed summary of each call and being integrated with social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. The free service also contains the earmuff feature, which allows you to single out a participant for a private talk. You can also mute any of the participants, and add anyone with the click of a button. Each free call comes with a commercial attribution saying “This conference call is provided by UberConference…” at the start of every call.

One serious limitation with this free account is that you can have only 5 persons on your conference call. You can increase that amount for free up to a limit of 17 participants by doing things like importing your contacts to your UberConference account, or linking to social networks. If 17 participants are not enough, you have to upgrade to Pro.

UberConference Pro costs $10 a month and comes with the following additional features: Host up to 40 participants in one call; obtain a local phone number in the area code of your choice; outbound dialing for automatically dialing the organizer or participants; removal of the commercial attribution messages that shows at the beginning of every call; customize the hold music with uploaded MP3s; record your conference calls and save as MP3.

You can add a toll free number with the Pro plan for $20 a month. The price is rather reasonable, as the target market is mostly businesses.

The UberConference interface is quite simple and nice to the looks. Navigation is clear and intuitive and it is easy to manage sessions with a click or touch. The desktop app has more features than the mobile apps, obviously because conference sessions organizers will be using desktops more often and will need more management tools.

The most recent addition to the features of UberConference is the integration with Evernote and Box, two well-known services that host documents on the cloud.

With this, users will able to open and collaborate on documents during an audio conference call.

The requirements for organizing or participating in a UberConference session are simple: a good Internet connection, a browser preferably Google Chrome and audio input and output devices. On the mobile participants side, the smartphone with Internet connection, Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G, is all that is needed if you are using VoIP to place your call. Also, each participant should be a registered user.

The person behind UberConference is Craig Walker, who was the founder and CEO of GrandCentral which later became Google Voice.

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