With VOIP services it’s pretty easy to make VOIP to VOIP calls for free but in most cases many of us need to call traditional land line phones. Facetime is built into iPad 2’s but it’s only good for Apple to Apple calls. Using Google Voice and Talkatone you can make free phone calls in the USA with no commitments. The first step is to setup a Google Voice account and then download Talkatone for your iPad. Both services are free. Talkatone does not have an iPad app but the iPhone app works perfectly on the iPad. The lower resolution does look crude but you are just going to use this to make a call, not stare at the screen during the call.
Talkatone uses your contacts to help make phone calls. The most complicated step in making this whole thing work is to setup your Google Voice account. Google will assign you a free phone number with an area code near your location. Google Voice has so many cool features I would recommend getting setup even if you have no desire to use your iPad for calling. I use my Google Voice account to send free text messages to avoid the crazy charges that Verizon and ATT like to charge for texting.
Talkatone will work over 3G or Wifi connections. The speakerphone on the iPad 2 is surprisingly excellent. I have had no complaints when using it to make phone calls. You can also receive calls on your iPad if your friends starting using your Google Voice phone number.