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Skype for the iPhone features a rich new Facebook-like interface. The app will save iPhone and Skype users with access to Wi-Fi networks money on some calls -- mobile to mobile calling is disallowed by AT&T sadly.  (Source: PC World)
Skype will allow users to place calls to landlines for free or cheaply -- sadly there's no calling to wireless sets for iPhone users

The iPhone's service plans aren't the most expensive smart phone plans in the industry, but they're far from the cheapest.  But imagine if you could get one of America's hottest smart phones and get phone calls and ultra-low rates or even for free.  That's exactly what Skype for iPhone, recently announced is promising.

The new application allows Wi-Fi connected users to place free calls to fellow Skype users and call at reduced rates to traditional landlines.  The only downside is that cellular carriers have nixed mobile to mobile calling.

People that stand to save a lot with Skype are business travelers.  Typically when travelling overseas, many people run into compatibility problems with the local networks.  Even for providers with relatively good overseas coverage, like AT&T, the service providers typically hit customers with big fees.  With Skype, though, calls back home will remain the same -- either free, or really cheap.

As far as the interface goes, the new Skype iPhone app will strike PC Skype users as very different.  It’s much richer graphically and looks somewhat like Facebook in layout.  Users can put status messages, update a profile picture or even chat via different options in the Apps menus.  Chat is the only feature that you can use over cellular networks.

Skype has 400 million users and already has been released for Nokia, Windows Mobile, and Google Android smart phones, as well as Sony's PSP mobile gaming device.  A Blackberry version is coming in May.  It’s worth noting that the Android version allows 3G wireless-to-wireless Skype calls, unlike the new iPhone app version.  Also, all of the mobile versions still lack many of the features of their desktop brethren -- SMS, video and proper conference calling, file transfer, and voicemail. 

The iPhone app is available today for free to download on Apple's App Store.  It is also available for use with the iPod Touch, essentially making the Touch a potential phone.  Touch users, though, will have to buy a microphone to use the app.



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Canada gets left out again
By hinchesk on 3/31/2009 10:52:34 AM , Rating: 2
No SkypeIn because the CRTC won't allow it without an e-911 service and now Skype isn't being offered in the Canada iTunes App store because of patent-licensing issues. Bummer.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/03/30/skyp...




RE: Canada gets left out again
By mmntech on 3/31/2009 11:28:42 AM , Rating: 3
I was wondering why it wasn't on the store this morning. Freakin' CRTC. e-911 my backside. It's more like it's a threat to Bell than anything else.


RE: Canada gets left out again
By cochy on 3/31/2009 11:45:59 AM , Rating: 2
That's funny. Cause I can easily download Skype for my Windows Mobile phone and I'm in Canada. So I really don't see any point to block it from the App Store while Windows Mobile users can download it directly from skype.com


RE: Canada gets left out again
By omnicronx on 3/31/2009 1:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
You can't use SkypeIn though, whether it be on your mobile device or on your desktop.

Not too sure why they can't have it on the store, Apple may be paying to have the app on their store, and for Skype to support it. Giving away the app for free by direct download is probably the reason us WinMo users can get by the licensing issue.


RE: Canada gets left out again
By Narbo on 3/31/2009 5:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
If I have a jailbroken iPhone can I still obtain an account?


iPod touch
By Moishe on 3/31/2009 12:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
So... where does the iPod touch microsophone plug in... or is it bluetooth??




RE: iPod touch
By semo on 3/31/2009 5:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
i'd like to know that too.

using your mp3 player to make calls in a wireless hotspot. i like!


RE: iPod touch
By hinchesk on 3/31/2009 7:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So... where does the iPod touch microsophone plug in... or is it bluetooth??


A bluetooth headset should work with iPhone/iPod Touch OS 3 when it's released (likely in June) but that'll only be with the 2nd gen iPod Touch (1st gen doesn't have bluetooth radio, 2nd gen has one but it's disabled until the v3 of the OS).

The other option is a set of earphones with mic built-in. Again, you'll need at least a 2nd gen iPod Touch since the earphone jack in the 1st gen doesn't physically support earphones /w mic.


Need head phones?
By cochy on 3/31/2009 9:22:18 AM , Rating: 1
First off that looks like the Skype 4 Beta client. Second off, I know the biggest downfall of Skype on Windows Mobile was that you were force to chat through head phones and mic connected to the phone. You could not place a Skype call and chat using the phones internal mic and speakers. Pretty annoying, and from what I've heard intentionally done to make it a little more difficult to use than a standard voice call. So I wonder why the Apple version has the same limitation.




RE: Need head phones?
By xbbdc on 3/31/2009 10:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
i just did the skype test call, no headphones needed.


Why all the limitations?
By corduroygt on 3/31/2009 10:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
I can do a skype call any US (and a bunch of other countries as well) number free using fring with my N95 through the AT&T 3G connection. This app is nice but why all the blocking? There's also fring for iphone, maybe it allows skype calls using 3G?




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