Available for iOS and Android smartphones, Flyp is a downloadable app that gets you up to six different phone numbers on a single handset. A seemingly ideal solution if you’re on a budget and don’t want to use your personal digits for business purposes, installation of the app is entirely free, and so is the first phone number. We took Flyp for a spin to test out its performance and to help you determine if it’s the right service for your professional needs. Here’s what we found.
Flyp, which is only available for use with U.S.-based phone numbers, requires an existing mobile plan to function. All calls made or received piggyback off your plan minutes and will show up on your phone bill. The app also supports text messaging, but these are routed through Flyp and don’t count against any messaging limits on your carrier plan. Unfortunately, messaging currently only supports text and can’t be used to swap photos, videos, other multimedia files or emojis.
Too Good to be True?
No (to low) cost is among the primary appeals of Flyp. At first glance, it almost seems too good to be true. If you took the traditional route and added a second phone number from a local or mobile carrier, you’d be in for a considerable amount more than zero dollars per month. As we’ve already said, Flyp gives you your first phone number free of charge. But since beggars can’t be choosers, there are some potentially significant limitations to only using the freebie version.
For one, you don’t get to choose your area code and are automatically assigned a New Jersey phone number. This might not be a big deal if you actually live in New Jersey or have business clients scattered throughout the country, but if you live elsewhere and your base is mostly local, they’ll get hit with long distance fees anytime they ring you. The free Flyp number also doesn’t let you personalize your outgoing voicemail greeting, either, which some may find to be an essential component of doing business.
Got Business Intent?
If you’ve got hardcore business intent, you can upgrade to a premium number. This comes at a cost of $2.99 per month, or $29.99 if you sign up for a full year. You can get up to five premium phone numbers, each at the same price points – which, at a maximum spending threshold of $150 per year, is still a lot more affordable than other higher-end solutions.
Premium Flyp phone numbers come with added features you don’t get with the free number. To begin with, you get to choose your own area code – although as of this writing, not all area codes are supported and no time table is offered by the makers of the app to let you know when your area code might be available. On the plus side, you are given the opportunity to see if your desired area code is available before you upgrade. A premium number also gives you the option of creating a personalized outgoing voicemail greeting to let people know they’ve reached the right place if you can’t pick up.
The app has a “quick reply” option that enables you to prioritize calls as they come in. Again, this is a feature available only for premium numbers. When someone calls you, the app sounds off with a proprietary Flyp ringtone and you’re given the option of answering the call, directing it to voicemail, or deferring it with a pre-programmed voice message that gets played to the caller. Premium numbers also let you set your own pre-recorded messages, which you can cater to your specific business needs. Settings also allows you to activate a “do not disturb” feature, which is helpful for enforcing business hours.
In addition to providing you with separate phone numbers for individual purposes, you can also dial calls from within the app. Calls are shown on the receiving end as originating from your Flyp number. There’s also an “import contacts” feature that pulls numbers in from your existing list of contacts so you won’t have to operate from memory.
Where overall performance is concerned, Flyp ranks somewhere in the vicinity of “slightly challenging” and “moderately frustrating.” The UI interface is not overly-cluttered and is easy to negotiate without too much of a learning curve, but it may not be right for power users who demand steadfast consistency and rely heavily on their phone for business.
In practical operation, we noticed the software has a tendency to bog your smartphone down. In testing, we detected a bit of a delay in voice communication. Most troubling, we were unable to play back received voicemail messages. Importing individual contacts worked well, but the app failed when tasked with the job of importing large batches of names and numbers.
If you’re working with a shoestring budget and are interested in testing the waters, we suggest trying out Flyp. But if you’ve already got an existing telephony system in place for your business, don’t go cutting ties with your provider until you’ve had time to give it a thorough evaluation.
Flyp is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices and requires an existing mobile plan to function. It requires iOS 8.0 or later, or Android 4.4 “KitKat” and above.
Before signing on, read our review of Line2 for another business phone alternative.