As rumored last week, Skype for iPhone is now available on the iTunes App Store. The free Skype application works with both the iPhone and the iPod Touch, allowing you to make free or low-cost Skype calls using VoIP and your WiFi connection. That's right, it won't work work over 3G or EDGE networks, likely due to business arrangements more than for technical reasons (read: AT&T still wants your dialing dollars).
Skype did a great job of building an app that takes full advantage of the iPhone design–it looks like it just belongs on the iPhone.
Skype for iPhone gives you most, but not all of the core capabilities of it's desktop sibling:
- Free Skype-to-Skype calls from any Wi-Fi zone to other Skype users worldwide
- Call landline or mobile phones at low rates from any Wi-Fi zone
- Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups via 3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS or EDGE (whichever is available)
- Receive calls to a personal online number on Skype
- See when Skype contacts are online/available to IM or talk
“Skype software for the iPhone has been the number one request among our users. We are delighted to deliver on this request and put Skype into the pockets of millions of people around the world who are carrying iPhone and iPod touch devices,” said Scott Durchslag, Skype's Chief Operating Officer. “Skype for iPhone will open up new ways for more than 400 million Skype users to stay connected and take their Skype conversations with them. Skype for iPhone is an experience that offers the same simplicity, ease-of-use and quality our users have come to expect from Skype, combined with an elegance of design and richness so loved by Apple's many customers worldwide.”
Noticably missing from this Skype app is the ability to run in the background with push notifications — a feature promised in the iPhone OS 3.0 this summer. Until then, this initial version should stave off the competition from Nimbuzz and Truphone.
- Skype Available on Apple App Store – official press release