Skype for iPhone Appears in the iTunes App Store
Article by George Norman
On 31 Mar 2009
Popular VoIP and instant messaging (IM) client Skype has been officially ported to the iPhone and iPod Touch and consequently is available for download in the iTunes App Store (link here). iPhone and Skype fans all over the world have been anxiously awaiting for the software to go live on Apple’s site ever since it was confirmed that Skype will make an iPhone and iPod touch version of their software available to the world on Tuesday, the 31st of March 2009 – and they respected that release date with the utmost rigorousness.

People keeping track of these things, or those people who have already read our previous Skype for iPhone report (details here) will remember that Skype for iPhone comes with some drawbacks (and by that I mean limitations to the software) and some advantages (features only available on the iPhone version of Skype). Now that Skype for iPhone has been released, we can take a better look at the features the software provides.

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But first, a quick reminder of the things you we already knew you were supposed to get in Skype for iPhone: connect through WiFi not 3G, cheap calls to landlines (2.1 cents per minute), group chat and conference call support, Address Book integration, SkypeIn, SkypeOut, Skype Chat. And the things you would be missing out on: video calls, SMS and file transfer, directly purchase SkypeOut credit.

Now here are the features noticed while putting Skype for iPhone and iPod Touch through its paces:
- The UI is typical of what you’ve come to expect from Skype. The navigation bar at the bottom gives you quick access to features like Contacts, Instant Messenger, dialing pad, call history, profile.
- Sort contacts according to alphabetical order. Alternatively you could sort your contacts according to their online availability (who is online at the moment).
- Choose to see all ongoing chats or just the new messages you receive.
- Your Skype contacts list and your Address Book are closely related. One button allows you to access the iPhone Address Book whenever you wish to initiate a call from Skype.
- Functionality in the info page: update/change status, buy credit, check your voicemail, access/edit your profile.

Skype for iPhone future enhancements wish list:
- SMS and file transfer capabilities that we already get in Skype 3.0 for Windows.
- MMS and video calls.
- Notifications for the times someone tries to get hold of you but Skype is not all fired up.

Please note that Skype for iPhone has been made available for users worldwide, with one little exception – Canada. Due to a mysterious patent-license issue on Skype’s not Apple’s side, Skype for iPhone will not be made available in Canada.



Tags: Apple, iPhone, Skype, Skype for iPhone
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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