Skype iPhone App Review.
Skype comes forth as the main provider of VoIP services worldwide, even with its close competitor offering similar services Truphone. While Skype wanted to maintain a certain level of consistency across all platforms, the development team didn't manage to surprise us with most of the features, and although a few capabilities are notably missing, iPhone users will be glad to see a couple of improvements for Skype on this platform.
As with the PC/MAC version, Skype's screens come well organized and with added capabilities to rearrange your contacts through filters, sort contacts alphabetically or see only who's online. VoIP calling comes free of charge between two Skype users, while calling landlines or mobile phones will get you into buying SkypeOut credit online. $10 worth of credit will get you more than enough talk-time to not only try out call quality, but also stay on the phone for hours without spending a dime with your cell network company. Granted, just like with Truphone, you'd have to be connected to a Wireless network to use the app and place a call. The app won't work over the 3G network, due to cellphone network company restrictions. You will be able however to use the app as a IM to chat over 3G, although that's not Skype's flagship feature.
If you're into Apple and their design methods, you'll be happy to note the seamless integration between the app and the iPhone's native environment. To dial a number, choose one from the iPhone's contacts or import Skype information from your contacts. One thing to note for iPod Touch users is the need for earphones with an embedded mic to talk.
Of the iPhone specific features that give Skype for iPhone a unique style is the ability to take a photo from wihtin Skype to use it as your avatar image, or even pull out a picture from the camera-roll. We'll be looking for some more iPhone specific features in the next versions of Skype, such as the ability to send an SMS, purchase SkypeOut credit directly without going online, a file transfer protocol, and, something we believe a necessity, is the ability to get Skype voicemail native on the iPhone.
As with Truphone, if you get an iPhone native call, a text message or any warning, the active call gets put on hold without warning. Deactivating the screen and putting the iPhone to sleep will have the same annoying result of signing you out of Skype. Perhaps the SDK 3.0 will deliver new APIs and an upgrade in this respect.
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