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App Review: Skype for iPhone

I’ve been a fring user for quite a while, but I usually use my vonage SIP account to make VOIP calls from my iphone.

Had a problem the other day though with fring due to the lack of speakerphone and inability to pass through tones once a call was connected. I’m please to say that the new skype client seems to address both of those points for me. Thanks to the Japan app store I even get to try it out early!

The app is pretty simple and works exactly as you would expect it to. It also fails exactly as you expect it to, but will explain that in a minute.

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I made a few test calls. Call quality over wi-fi was good. Not quite as good as cellular, but as good if not better than using vonage over fring. Connection time was very fast. Speakerphone worked well, and the dialing pad can be brought up during a call and tones are sent, so voicemail systems are no problem (something that messed me up earlier in the week with fring).

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Now for the hate. And this is not directed at skype, but at Apple and the carrier overlords. Time to give it up. VOIP wants to be free. So stop it with this “no voice over 3G” crap. It’s anti-consumer and we all know it works fine, so there is no excuse other than carriers prefer to make more many than slightly less money. Sooner or later consumers are going to take the matter out of the hands of the carriers. I do not think it will be pleasant.

Other problem of course is the lack of background processes or push notification. Hopefully OS 3.0 will help this out, but a phone that needs me to run a client app to receive a call is really not much of a phone. Well, on second thought, the I call you when I want and you can call me when I want thing might have some potential…

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Not sure how this will effect my connectivity. I use fring mostly for IM and for emergency phone calls. skype has a nice app, but I’m not sure how much use I will have for it with the wi-fi only restriction. It does make a nice new option though and free is a hard price to beat.

update: Corrected the wi-fi/3G thing. Thanks Spundot! Blogging at 3am is perilous. Sleep now….

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