Review: Rogers One Number
First off, thanks to the folks at Rogers who hooked me up with a Rogers line and phone so I could test out the new service now available to all of their customers for free: Rogers One Number (RON).
Rogers One Number is, in Rogers’ own words, ‘is a new service exclusively from Rogers [which] lets you talk, text and send picture messages, and video chat with other Rogers One Number users, all from your computer using your existing phone number.’ The RON dialog on your computer also allows you to add email inboxes so you can manage as many different methods of communication from one spot as possible.
Before I get into my experiences I want to let you know my quick and dirty opinion on RON and if it is right for you. If you’re a Rogers customer sign up immediately. There is absolutely no reason not to, it’s free and it is a great tool to have at your disposal.
The whole thing was extremely easy to set up from the RON website but note that the setup has to be done from your desktop/laptop and cannot be done from your phone. Once my laptop* had it installed I went to the Android phone I was using to download the contact syncing app. One thing of note when I went to download and install the Android app: you cannot download the app via WiFi due to authentication requirements on the Rogers side.
* I’m running Windows 7 Home Premium on my laptop but the program also runs on Macs. The images I use in this post I got a friend of mine to send me and he uses a Mac. For full compatibility details for PC/Mac check out this page .
Once everything was installed and synced the whole thing was a breeze to use and an absolute pleasure to have at my disposal. The best thing I can liken it to is Google Voice which I use in the USA with my computer and US cell phone. It is great to have – especially in a condo I frequent in South Florida where my US provider doesn’t have reception. A friend of mine who was a beta tester for RON had a similar experience with RON as he doesn’t get reception in his basement and loves the fact that he can now make and receive calls/texts from his computer.
As well, having my number from the cell phone linked to my computer meant I no longer had to worry about charging my phone in one room (or on one side of a room) and being too far away when it rang as long as I was using my computer. (Yes, this is very much one of those #FirstWorldProblems.) Interestingly enough, I noticed that the calls seemed to come in to my PC before they reached the phone by a full second if not longer (I didn’t time it).
One minor user experience annoyance I noticed when using the service was that every time I would click the close button on the browser page RON opened up it would immediately pop up a notification in the corner of my screen informing me that RON was still running in the background. That was great to know the first time I used RON and I closed the window but there did not seem to be any way to tell RON that I never wanted to see this notification again. Like I said, this is a minor annoyance and something which obviously can be changed in a future update. It doesn’t affect the overall functionality of RON, of course and is merely a user interface issue.
RON allows you to set “Reach Me Rules” from your computer as well. This means you can choose when calls will come through and to which lines. As you can see above, you can set a Do Not Disturb up which does exactly what it sounds like. Also, RON give you the power to block some numbers from being able to call you.
The RON service is also extremely useful for all you international travelers. The reason I say this is because as long as you’re travelling with your laptop you don’t have to worry about roaming chargers for making calls and sending texts to Canadian numbers and receiving calls and texts from anywhere as long as you’re on your laptop (or whatever computer you’re using when you’re away) using RON and your phone is turned off (so those incoming texts aren’t being charged to you!).
One thing I should mention is the FAQ/Help page for Rogers One Number. There is a lot of information there that can help people who have questions about the service and I just didn’t see it linked via the RogersOneNumber home page. I don’t know why this is and I assume that it is linked from other places on the main Rogers site which I just didn’t see. Either way, if you were having trouble finding it here’s a link to it: http://www.rogersonenumber.ca/help/. Once there you will see a three “Featured Articles” listed: “Personalize your Rogers One Number site“, “Talk and Text“, and “One Inbox – Manage and Control All Your Communications“. Below that there are a bunch more resources titled “Learn about Rogers One Number” with the main title headings:
- Rogers One Number Billing
- Using Your Web Phone
- Making Calls
- My Communications
- Managing Your Contacts
- Using My Settings
- Reach Me Rules
- Rogers One Number and Your Device
- System and Broadband Requirements
- Troubleshooting and Support
- Each of those headings above have a couple articles in them as well.
Finally, the page also includes 8 ‘How To’ videos along with an overview video for RON.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, if you are a Rogers customer I HIGHLY recommend signing up for this service. There is no downside as far as I can tell. It will also come in handy for backing up your device’s contacts to your computer and making the switch to a new platform* easy as pie – something your “IT Guy” will certainly appreciate!
* Examples of “switching to a new platform” switching from an Android to BlackBerry or iPhone to Android. Obviously this RON feature is only usable on platforms that support the RON Contacts app.
Rogers made a video demo of the service available here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1K6ieXWttI and I’ve embedded it below.
Rogers themselves have a blog post about RON on their RedBoard blog here complete with the same video as I have posted above.