Dubai - Now, make free video calls in UAE on updated app

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Several UAE residents have begun using ToTok to access high quality and free voice and video calling services.

 A 'not-so-new' mobile application ToTok, used for free HD voice and video calls, has enthralled UAE residents. Following BotIM's in-app announcement that they will now offer their services under the 'ToTok' brand, several UAE residents have begun using ToTok to access high quality and free voice and video calling services.

However, several BotIM users have increasing concerns about how long they can use ToTok for free, and what happens to the payments they've made to use BotIM. According to a service announcement issued by BotIM to many of its users on Monday, the app has made it clear that services will be inaccessible shortly.

"I've already been charged Dh50 for use of BotIM this month. My parents live back home in Kerala, India. I have been using BotIM with them for nearly a year to speak to them. I am all in for using a free mobile application, but, what about my payment to BotIM," asked Aparna Shankar, a -based accounting professional.

Furthermore, an advertisement in the BotIM app mentions that ToTok does not have any monthly subscription fees.

"ToTok is a free, fast and secure calling and messaging app that allows you to enjoy voice and video calls with your family and friends anywhere, anytime, without any limits," the announcement that the BotIM team sent to its subscribers said. Al Khaleej Today has reached out to both major telecommunication providers du as well as Etisalat. However, a statement clarifying this matter is yet to be issued.

Some of the users said they haven't received any notice from the paid apps including C'Me and HiU.

On Google Play, the Singapore-based BotIM app has been installed over 5 million times, and on Apple Appstore, the app has a 4.8 rating from 84,092 users. Al Khaleej Today has used ToTok on an Apple phone as a test, to make calls to users living in Bangalore, India; and Los Angeles in the US. It was found the app worked seamlessly while making calls, both audio and video. The audio quality was very clear and there was no video lag while making the calls. On November 10, the app also launched an Arabic version.

According to Sahil Hameed, an Abu Dhabi based Indian expat, ToTok has been around since early this year. "I learned about the app on a Reddit thread, and I've been using it ever since. It is surely a great, easy-to-use app, and I have been using it to speak to my friends and family outside the UAE for some time now," explained Hameed. Expats like Hameed stopped using BotIM ever since he found out about ToTok.

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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