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Skype for iPhone to hit the App Store on Tuesday

post #1 of 75
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Skype, the Internet phone division of e-commerce giant eBay, has confirmed plans to introduce a version of its Internet telephony software for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch users on Tuesday.

The free application, which will be available for download from the App Store, will let users place phones calls to other Skype users on computers or supported mobile phones at no charge. An option to place calls to traditional telephone landlines will also be available for about 2.1 cents per minute, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A clause in Apple's terms of service for software distributed through the App Store prohibits VoIP-based applications like Skype from transmitting data over 3G networks belonging to carriers, meaning the software will only operate when users are connected to a WiFi hotspot.

Both the original iPhone and iPhone 3G will be supported out of the box, as will the second-generation iPod touch which launched last September. The original iPod touch will need access to a third-party microphone accessory for full functionality since it does not include a built-in microphone.

On the iPhone, the Skype application will provide direct access to a user's existing Address Book, meaning users won't have to duplicate their contact lists, according to the Associated Press.

Speaking before the CTIA annual mobile conference in Las Vegas this week, Skype chief operating Oofficer Scott Durchslag said his firm is answering the pleas of customers who've resounded in their calls for Skype to make its way to the Apple handset.

"The No. 1 request we get from customers is to make Skype available on iPhone," he said. "There's a pent-up demand." Durchslag added that a version of Skype for the iPhone with video features is also under consideration, though concerns over user interaction with other applications on the handset remain.

"We're considering video carefully but we have a really high bar on the quality," he said. "If we do it we will have to do it incredibly well."



Meanwhile, CNet News.com sat down with Skype's principal iPhone engineer ahead of CTIA this week for a first-hand preview of the application, which reportedly "looks more like your traditional iPhone app than it does Skype 4.0 for Windows."

In general, the publication found the software to be well organized, with additional support for text chat features, joining conference calls, and taking photo snapshots that can be used to create avatar images.

Some of the features that didn't make the inagural version of the software reportedly include SMS, setting up a conference calling group, purchasing SkypeOut credit directly, and file transfers.

Update: The Skype application is now available for download from the App Store.
post #2 of 75
It is about time. I don't plan to use the phone part too much with my iPod Touch, but if I can chat via Skype on my iPod then I will be very happy.
post #3 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A clause in Apple's terms of service for software distributed through the App Store prohibits VoIP-based applications like Skype from transmitting data over 3G networks belonging to carriers, meaning the software will only operate when users are connected to a WiFi hotspot.

This also excludes EDGE usage. In other words, any cellular data network. However, there was a way to bypass this by manually putting in your cellular data IP address in an ad-hoc network setup to trick the iPhone firmware into thinking it was on WiFi. I'm not sure if this was patched with v2.0, but it worked in v1.x.


PS: To the people that just want something to complain about: We know about Fringe's ability to connect to your Skype and how WinMo has had Skype support for some time now.
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post #4 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: To the people that just want something to complain about: We know about Fringe's ability to connect to your Skype

My problem with Fring was the abominable sound quality, people could hardly recognize my voice and kept asking, who is this calling (+90% of the time, the call would drop out after a few seconds).
Nimbuzz ($1) however worked fine for me. A true Skype app is still welcome (not least I would not have to entrust my Skype password to a third-party anymore).
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

My problem with Fring was the abominable sound quality, people could hardly recognize my voice and kept asking, who is this calling (+90% of the time, the call would drop out after a few seconds).
Nimbuzz ($1) however worked fine for me. A true Skype app is still welcome (not least I would not have to entrust my Skype password to a third-party anymore).

Not that I used it much as I mostly maintain Skype for when I need to call abroad from countries where getting disposable GSM SIMs isn't possible or to use my Skype In number on anything that isn't personal, but I don't recall any such problems with Fringe. Never tried Nimbuzz.

The 3rd-party maintenance of your password is the biggest issue.
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post #6 of 75
I'm in Australia, it's Tuesday, I just downloaded it and the test call works well.

Gotta love the international date line.
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post #7 of 75
Video, you say? And just how is that suppose to happen on an iPhone that doesn't have a video camera? Hmmm... Maybe Skype knows something we don't...
post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: To the people that just want something to complain about: We know about Fringe's ability to connect to your Skype and how WinMo has had Skype support for some time now.

I know you like to complain about the complainers and try to preempt them but they actually provide you with many topics for you to defend and rail against. So stop complaining!
post #9 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I'm in Australia, it's Tuesday, I just downloaded it and the test call works well.

Gotta love the international date line.

Aussie land is looking better and better all the time!
post #10 of 75
Besides Fring, there is also Truphone... so skype is pretty late entering its own arena...!
post #11 of 75
I think I'll like this. Although on the desktop, I almost always like the 3rd party clients, on the phone side, I think the 1st party clients work best.
post #12 of 75
Well I have totally swtiched to Truphone, though if Skype allows you to Skype out without needing wifi (truphone offers this) then I could be tempted to switch back.
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post #13 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by palex9 View Post

Aussie land is looking better and better all the time!

Yeah, how's it going up their?
post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jxt View Post

Video, you say? And just how is that suppose to happen on an iPhone that doesn't have a video camera? Hmmm... Maybe Skype knows something we don't...

Come June, I'd assume things will be changing quite a bit for iPhoners
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post #15 of 75
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An option to place calls to traditional telephone landlines will also be available for about 2.1 cents per minute

Are they kidding? I have Skype Unlimited on my computer, and they still want to charge me for calls to regular phones? Sorry, that's a dealbreaker.
post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by palex9 View Post

Besides Fring, there is also Truphone... so skype is pretty late entering its own arena...!

I find both Fring and Truphone to be pretty weak apps. Hopefully Skype's app will allow me to finally delete those two.

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post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jxt View Post

Video, you say? And just how is that suppose to happen on an iPhone that doesn't have a video camera? Hmmm... Maybe Skype knows something we don't...


Welcome to 2007! The camera on the iPhone should be able to record video now. It captures digital images. It's the software that's lacking. Do you know how many phones with lesser quality cameras have been recording video already? Open your eyes.
post #18 of 75
It's nice to have a decent APP from the CRAP store for once.
post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by meeksdigital View Post

Come June, I'd assume things will be changing quite a bit for iPhoners

Read: the camera will be facing the user on the next release. (or if not, the next next release)
post #20 of 75
Australian here.

I can confirm Skype will not work over 3g. The message reads:

"Skype calls over 3G networks are currently not supported due to restrictions that may be placed on your data plan. For more information contact www.skype.com."

Which is BS, cause i'm paying $20 for a gig of data. But hey, it's obviously a generic message.
post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both the original iPhone and iPhone 3G will be supported out of the box, as will the second-generation iPod touch which launched last September. The original iPod touch will need access to a third-party microphone accessory for full functionality since it does not include a built-in microphone.

So the 2nd generation iPod Touch has a built-in microphone? I don't think so. Don't you mean the iPod touch second-generation ipod is supported with an external microphone accessory?
post #22 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Are they kidding? I have Skype Unlimited on my computer, and they still want to charge me for calls to regular phones? Sorry, that's a dealbreaker.

No, I don't think it costs you anything when you make oversea calls with your Skype Unlimited within WiFi area, at least it didn't when I tried it.
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Are they kidding? I have Skype Unlimited on my computer, and they still want to charge me for calls to regular phones? Sorry, that's a dealbreaker.

Umm, you access exactly the same Skype account you use on your computer, think of it as logging into Skype from a different location.
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post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This also excludes EDGE usage. In other words, any cellular data network. However, there was a way to bypass this by manually putting in your cellular data IP address in an ad-hoc network setup to trick the iPhone firmware into thinking it was on WiFi. I'm not sure if this was patched with v2.0, but it worked in v1.x.


PS: To the people that just want something to complain about: We know about Fringe's ability to connect to your Skype and how WinMo has had Skype support for some time now.

Good preemptive call, but if you want, and have access to a Nokia Symbian (or other Symbian brands) phone you can download JoikuSpot (www.joikuspot.com - free version) and connect to your iPhone via wifi -------> 3G to make phone calls. It works.....
post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Well I have totally swtiched to Truphone, though if Skype allows you to Skype out without needing wifi (truphone offers this) then I could be tempted to switch back.

Truphone's service is abysmal, and their service is even worse. Yes, they offer the ability to make calls via 3G when it works. The best thing SKype has going is Skype to go if you need to make calls to mobile or landlines. In fact we are implementing it in my organization as a way to call back to State in DC rather than making long distance mobile calls.
post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphster View Post

So the 2nd generation iPod Touch has a built-in microphone? I don't think so. Don't you mean the iPod touch second-generation ipod is supported with an external microphone accessory?

Yes the iPod touch 2G needs a headset with a microphone, like the Etymotic hf2, in order to use Skype. But it's certainly worthwhile.

I downloaded it, since I just got my iPod touch, but haven't bought a headset yet.

My only quibble with the Skype app is that it doesn't display contacts the same as the Mac desktop version: online contacts ABOVE real phone contacts.

One way I use Skype is to not waste cell minutes for those calls where I'll be on hold forever. So, I have a bunch of numbers like that that i really don't want to see.
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post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jxt View Post

Video, you say? And just how is that suppose to happen on an iPhone that doesn't have a video camera? Hmmm... Maybe Skype knows something we don't...

You could still receive incoming video calls and send pictures with the current model iPhones.
post #28 of 75
Got it this morning and it is working beautifully.

NOTE: The Skype app is only available in a few countries right now.

Most likely Australia, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom and the USA, as posted on the Skype site. http://skype.com/allfeatures/togo/

Once again, it is worth getting a US Apple Gift Certificate. It works from Canada, and getting the app was easy. No problem, it works on Wi-Fi only.
post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

You could still receive incoming video calls and send pictures with the current model iPhones.

Text chat works. I'm doing it now with a friend in Germany.

The problem is the keypad covers the last messages, so you can't see them and it seems like there's a huge time lag, where there isn't. When I try to scroll down, it can't. Nice.

I figured it out. Every time you send a message string, you've got to hit the Cancel button to hide the keypad and see your message and the next reply. Cumbersome. It would be nice if it hid the keypad when you hit Send, OR if the chat message list were smart enough to adjust when the keypad is open.

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post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

Yes the iPod touch 2G needs a headset with a microphone, like the Etymotic hf2, in order to use Skype. But it's certainly worthwhile.

I downloaded it, since I just got my iPod touch, but haven't bought a headset yet.

My only quibble with the Skype app is that it doesn't display contacts the same as the Mac desktop version: online contacts ABOVE real phone contacts.

Yeah, I guessed as much. My post was really for AI's benefit as they don't seem to realise that.

I have downloaded and am impressed with the GUI, it looks quite smart. There is two views for contacts, one that gives a list that yes while I agree with you it is not the same as the Mac version it does have an 'online' tab for showing you your online contacts who are currently online.

I am not into the headset idea though, not really what I want. There is a little microphone attachment for the iPod touch 2G that looks okay, I will wait and see if you can use skype with that and have the other callers voice come out of the speaker.

It is certainly a move in the right direction but the huge problem is still there that Apple will still not let you run Skype in the background. So unless you leave your iPod/Phone sitting with Skype running on top then nobody is going to be calling you on it.

They are releasing a Blackberry client next month, I think I will be much better off waiting for that and using it on my Bold, I can keep it running during the times I want to be online for Skype. Of course leaving wifi on means battery drain but that would be the same on the iPod even if it did support background apps. I will be surprised if the BB client looks and works anything like the iPod/Phone client though, it is very good.

Come on Apple, why is it that 3rd parties are the ones making your baby look good? Hurry up with the background apps will you or otherwise this is nothing more but a great feature crippled by Apple.
post #31 of 75
This can end the FUD about Apple not allowing Skype in the App Store.
post #32 of 75
Are you really saying Skype is the first decent App for the iPhone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's nice to have a decent APP from the CRAP store for once.
post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This can end the FUD about Apple not allowing Skype in the App Store.

Sure does. Took only a year to do something that is pretty basic. Is complaining about only being allowed to use wifi to make VoIP calls still allowed though?
post #34 of 75
It wouldn't look so good with blank screen from deprecated battery life. Are you really going to drag this argument around to every topic about the iPhone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphster View Post

Come on Apple, why is it that 3rd parties are the ones making your baby look good? Hurry up with the background apps will you or otherwise this is nothing more but a great feature crippled by Apple.
post #35 of 75
Tried to download the app, and got error message: "Your request could not be completed. The item you've requested is not currently available in the Canadian Store".

Nice.

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post #36 of 75
The point is that Skype is the reason it has taken SKype so long, you make the assumption it is something that is basic to implement.

If you truthfully feel that carriers not wanting VoIP to be used across their infrastructure is unreasonable, then go ahead and complain, but complaints aren't likely to make much difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Sure does. Took only a year to do something that is pretty basic. Is complaining about only being allowed to use wifi to make VoIP calls still allowed though?
post #37 of 75
Here is another odd feature. I was logged into Skype via my computer talking with a friend about iPhone Skype. I loaded the iPhone app, and got my friend to Skype me. Both the computer and the iPhone rang. I answered the call from my iPhone, and the call screen on the computer went away and Skype on my Mac went idle, while I continued my call.

Updated my profile pic whilst holding a hands free conversation as well. Only made the one call out, and one call in to date, both went for about 15 mins with no problems. Voice quality was equal, to a normal call. Still some lag, but still very useable.
post #38 of 75
I guess Canadians will have to wait longer for Skype ... who's is to blame now? prime minister? Rogers? WTF
post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The point is that Skype is the reason it has taken SKype so long, you make the assumption it is something that is basic to implement.

If you truthfully feel that carriers not wanting VoIP to be used across their infrastructure is unreasonable, then go ahead and complain, but complaints aren't likely to make much difference.

Other than AT&T, which operators are you talking about? Are the operators limiting Nokia, LG, Motorola, SonyEricsson from using VoIP apps? Survey says: NO!!! Typical spurious answer for a basic shortcoming.
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Other than AT&T, which operators are you talking about? Are the operators limiting Nokia, LG, Motorola, SonyEricsson from using VoIP apps? Survey says: NO!!! Typical spurious answer for a basic shortcoming.

So, what's your point? That Apple is responsible? ATT? Apple+ATT? If (1) or (3) why would having a Skype-type app on 3G or not matter for Apple? If anything, Apple would sell more iPhones by providing additional choices for voice-calling?

It would be nice if you could stop arguing and make your point.
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