Skype for iPhone is an app that lets you use the Skype service to send instant messages and make voice calls for free to other Skype users, and to make low-price voice calls to cell phones and landlines around the world. You have to use Wi-Fi to make voice calls--the voice service won't work over 3G mobile networks--but that effectively means free iPhone-to-iPhone calls (using Skype and Wi-Fi), low-cost international calls from and to anywhere in the world (again, with Wi-Fi), and voice calls for iPod Touch users even (with an additional microphone, and while connected to Wi-Fi). Call … Read more
Updated April 3, 2009 at 11:00 am PT with more questions and answers.
I'm going to answer some of the most frequently asked ones here, but if you've got more, you know what to do. Put 'em in the comments.
First of all, some context. Skype for iPhone is a voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, communications application that lets you chat with other Skype members for free, plus call landlines and mobile phones when you buy Skype Out credit. It is available in every country in which the App Store can be found, and it has already made a splash in the United States, Japan, and Europe.
Apple requires Skype and other voice applications to use Wi-Fi to place iPhone calls, not the hardware phone. Now without further ado:
1. If you've already got an iPhone, what's the point of having another calling application?
At least at first, Skype was primarily used to place international calls for free to other Skype users, or to landlines at a reduced rate on par with a calling card, for example. If you've got family and friends living abroad, the application's potential is a no-brainer.
Sure, you might not need to use Skype if everyone you know and love lives within a 500-mile radius of you. Yet users have already chimed in with examples of domestic uses, like if your home has a weak cellular signal but strong Wi-Fi; or if you eat through your free-talk minutes, a low-rate VoIP service like Skype will cost you less than the carrier's charge for each minute you go over your plan.
Also, don't forget that iPod Touch owners can use Skype and other VoIP applications (like Truphone and Fring) to make calls, even though the iPod has no telephone hardware--you just need earphones equipped with a mic.
2. If you're on the road, you still can't use your iPhone to make free calls with Skype, unless you can track down a Wi-Fi connection somewhere.
If you're in the United States, AT&T allows iPhone users free access to AT&T hot spots without incurring extra charges, though if you're attempting a call, you might not want to start it in the middle of Starbucks.
Also, even when you've got a laptop or desktop handy, and could use VoIP on the desktop, a calling client on the mobile phone gives you the freedom to wander. You won't be able to see your pals with the Webcam from the iPhone, though, so there is a trade-off.… Read more
If Skype for iPhone seems like a big deal to you, you're right. It's topping iPhone App Store charts in nine countries, Skype says.
The Skype for iPhone VoIP application, which became available Tuesday after an announcement at CTIA, is now the top free app in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Russia, and Spain.
"I'm delighted that consumers have voted with their fingertips and chosen to download Skype in such phenomenal numbers," said Skype Chief Operations Office Scott Durchslag.
Hot on the heels of releasing Skype for iPhone, the VoIP communications company has come to the table with news of a free, "lite" version of Skype for BlackBerry. Already downloadable for Android, Java, Symbian, and Windows Mobile, BlackBerry has remained Skype's missing link.
Just don't expect to share photos of your cat quite yet. While Skype's core capabilities will debut in Skype Lite for BlackBerry, not everything Skype can do will be available right out of the gate. You'll be able to call other Skype users for free, and can initiate calls to … Read more
Global IP Solutions, a company that provides IP-based voice and video communication for mobile platforms, has now brought its solutions to power Web 2.0.
The company announced Monday that CommuniGate Systems (CGS), a carrier-class mobile unified communications (UC) provider, has embedded GIPS VoiceEngine to power voice communications in its Pronto client UC framework.… Read more
Months after teasing us at CES with an announcement of Skype's native VoIP client for the iPhone, the free Skype for iPhone will finally be available to download from the iTunes App Store sometime on Tuesday. We got a chance to sit down with the application's principal engineer before the announcement was made at CTIA 2009, to see Skype for iPhone do its thing. While most of the features aren't too surprising--Skype does want to maintain some consistency across its mobile applications, after all--there are a few capabilities that are notably missing, and a few iPhone-only perks … Read more
VoIP service Jaxtr is untethering its users from the Internet. The company was set to announce on Wednesday a new Jaxtr-on-the-go service that lets people make calls from their phones without having to visit to Jaxtr's Web site first.
The service is designed for people who aren't near a computer with Internet access or who don't have Web access on their mobile phones.
Basically, users can dial a toll-free local access number from their mobile or landline phone and type in the number they want to call. Then, they can either pay for a low-cost direct call … Read more
Skype's latest mobile beta for Windows Mobile phones graduated to version 3.0 on Tuesday. Skype 3.0 beta for Windows Mobile integrates two big features from the desktop version--file transferring and SMS. Both are welcome additions that bring the mobile VoIP application much closer in line with the newly updated desktop version, Skype 4.0 for Windows.
The SMS feature has been seamlessly added as a shortcut icon on the contact list page (it's the black circle encasing a tiny cell phone), but you can also initiate a text message by selecting "Send SMS" from … Read more
In these tough economic times, everyone is looking for a good deal.
And Sascha Segan at PC Magazine seems to have found a darn good bargain if you're looking for a cheap wireless plan that offers unlimited data and voice calling. The service, which costs only $70 a month with no monthly contract, is offered by a new mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, called Zer01 Mobile.
The company also offers unlimited international calling to 40 countries for an additional $10 a month.
Segan reports in his story posted on Thursday that the company is using a form of … Read more
Webcams aren't the first product to spring to mind when you think of Blue Microphones. The company has a solid reputation in the pro audio world for making high-end boutique microphones, but they've been slowly dipping their toes into the waters of consumer audio products, such as the Snowball USB podcast mic, and its baby brother, the Snowflake.
Now we have the Eyeball, a $99 Webcam that borrows on the design of the Snowflake, but leaves behind the intolerably cute product name. We compared the Eyeball with the Logitech Pro 9000 and the MacBook's built-in iSight camera … Read more