iPhone finally gets Skype
From tomorrow iPhone users will be able to download a Skype application from iTunes, though they'll still be prevented from making calls over 3G connections, and will still miss out on the functionality offered by alternative Skype clients.
Announced at the CTIA show currently taking place in Las Vegas, the native iPhone client from Skype will provide free calls to other Skype users and cheap calling through SkypeOut: as long as one is securely connected to a Wi-Fi network.
CNet got a good look, and concluded that what's missing is text messaging, file transfer and integrated voicemail. It also lacks an integrated way to pay for additional SkypeOut credit - surely an appropriate use of the recently announced incremental-billing platform available through iTunes.
The iPhone's inability to run more than one application at a time would seem to make multi-functional applications, such as Fring or NimBuzz, more popular. Both those applications integrate with multiple messaging and VoIP networks, including Skype.
Nimbuzz and Fring are required to route connections through their own servers, so the connection between the handset and those proxies isn't using Skype's technology - which Skype reckons means lower quality calling and greater latency, but we won't know that until the software is launched tomorrow.
With all the clients being free there seems little reason not to download and compare, but many users will go for the "official" client by habit. ®
yeah and? its the back end that needs a kick in the arse
What is the oft-mentioned grizzle with cellular? The cost. Just love the arrogance of most users bitching about how expensive cellular is... most are clueless on the amount of investment is creating an infrastructure.
Until WiFi is here there and everywhere, and has the coverage and concurrent capacity of cellular, you have to suck it in and pay for cell, whatever that cost is.
In the interim, the kludge is roaming between WIFi and cell services - it's not seamless, nor simple, nor deterministic given WiFi hotspots are *not* free and cell charging regimes are wildly variable - try including algortihms on the mobile handset as in when/where to switch between WiFi/cell?
Want to go WiFi totally? WiMAX....
Not THAT bad...
The client is a little bit crashy, for sure. But i i didnt have the scrolling issues mentioned. Apart from that it does what it says on the tin. It wouldnt be the first v1.0 of an iphone app that was plagued with issues, issues that usually get fixed rather quickly once the feedback gets back to them. It looks nice and it's free and it will certianly be my client of choice when they fix it. For those that simply can't put up with that/like to whinge/bitch/moan then try Nimbuzz in the meantime which is ok too.
Not Very Well Tested
The chat window won't let you scroll, so no way of seeing any new messages when the screen is full, jolly useful! Is any testing done these days??