September 9, 2022

TextNow 101: Calling

Written by kevin-c


We've recently covered TextNow 101: Messaging, but what about, you know, the talking part? Funny you should ask, because this installment of TextNow 101 is all about calling!

How to start talking with TextNow:

Open up the TextNow app and tap on the phone icon in the upper right corner. This brings up the dialer page of the app:

Pretty simple, right? Tap the buttons to dial a number, or tap on contacts to choose from your contacts app on your phone. There's also a button to access your call history – it's the clock icon in the bottom left corner.

Once you're in the call, you'll see this at the top of your screen:

Those icons above the clearly fake number I dialed are, from left to right – mute, speakerphone, dial pad, pause, and three-way calling.

  • Mute: Mutes your microphone. Tap it again to unmute.

  • Speaker: Puts the call on speakerphone (so the call audio to the speaker of your phone, as opposed to the earpiece). Tap again to return audio to the earpiece.

  • Pause/hold: Puts the person you're calling on hold. Tap it again to unpause/remove hold.

  • Three-way calling: Tap on that button to add another caller to the current call.

How to make international calls with TextNow:

You may not be aware that TextNow also has affordable rates for international calling, but it's true! You can check out our current rates on our website. You can also get to it in the app, of course. Here's how!

First, let's go back up to the dialer page. See this bit that says Canada & USA in the top right corner?

By default, TextNow is set to call numbers in the US and Canada. Note how it says "free" underneath? That's because calling to any phone in the US & Canada is free with TextNow!

Now let's say I wanted to call Belgium. Maybe I need to order some waffles or something. Tap where it says Canada & USA, and that'll bring you to a page of countries you can call with TextNow, like this:


If a country has "not supported" under it, then TextNow does not support calls to that country. In this case, we're looking for Belgium. You can either scroll down to it or use the search bar at the top to type in the country you're looking to call. Tap on it, and you'll be back to the dialer, but instead of Canada & USA at the top, we now see:

Belgium! Land of chocolate, waffles, beer, and I assume Brussels sprouts. Note it no longer says "free" (though some countries will be). But you can give Bruges a call for 8.6 cents a minute! To purchase international long-distance credits, just head into "My Wallet" in the menu of the mobile app.

Let us know in the comments: Who ya gonna call (with free calling from TextNow)?