Softphones are essentially software-based phones. They mimic desk phones by presenting a phone interface on the computer, complete with a dial pad and call handling features (such as Mute, Hold, and Transfer). But since they operate on a computer, they are much more powerful than desk phones. Softphones additionally offer video calling and conferencing, visual voicemail management, chat and SMS capabilities, and more.
Softphones are available for all different devices and platforms. There are desktop applications that run on Mac and Windows computers, laptops, and tablets, web-based versions that are accessible in the browser, and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.