Truphone adds Skype, Twitter to iPhone client

Starting next week, the App Store download will incorporate functionality for Skype, Twitter, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger communications.

David Meyer Special to CNET News.com

The Internet telephony company Truphone has turned its client for the iPhone and iPod Touch (download) into an aggregator for a range of popular VoIP and instant-messaging applications.

Truphone announced the new functionality on Tuesday at the Macworld 2009 expo in San Francisco. Starting next Monday, all Truphone subscribers using one of Apple's handhelds will be able to use the free client for Skype, Twitter, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger two-way communications.

Truphone's users have already been able to use Google Talk voice chat functionality, but they will now be able to make calls to their MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and Skype contacts as well. The company's chief executive, Geraldine Wilson, said in a statement that the features would let Truphone's customers "choose which mode of communications they want to use at any moment--all from within the one application."

"This represents another step toward making Truphone the open 'all-in-one conversations hub' for iPhone and iPod Touch users," Wilson said.

Calls between Truphone and Skype will be free over Wi-Fi, and will cost the price of a local call over the handset's cellular connection. As the iPhone is usually sold with an 'unlimited' data plan, instant messages should not cost anything above that flat fee, unless the user is roaming internationally.

Truphone also produces clients for Nokia and BlackBerry smartphones.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.