This week has seen the debut of a much anticipated native iPhone/iPod Touch Skype client.Â We have had the ability to send IM’s on Skype and even make Skype calls, however having a native Skype client on the platform creates a new level of usability and function.
I loaded the application as soon as it was available in the App Store and was completely blown away.Â Skype for iPhone represents a well designed and implemented touch application.Â Like other bloggers, I believe Skype is a very easy way to make long distance phone calls on the iPhone/iPod Touch platform.
One interesting note about the iPhone application – you can only make Skype calls over Wi-Fi.Â Apparently this can be worked around, if you’re willing to jailbrake your handset. On the Nokia Truphone application, VoIP calls can be made over 3G, which is a very useful feature.
I am happy to have Skype as a software application on my iPod Touch – however I see some limitations.Â First and foremost, because the iPhone can’t run background processes, you can’t leave Skype running and be able to do other activities such as checking email or Twitter.Â Skype has to be running and active for you to be available to others while you’re on the iPhone or iPod Touch.
Another complaint is that Skype contacts cannot be implemented with the native contact list.Â It would be great if I could see my contacts’ Skype presence without having to actually load the Skype app.
Comparing to Truphone
So, now that we have another choice in addition to Truphone for conducting VoIP calls on the Apple portable platform, how does Skype compare?
Skype has a huge userbase and will likely appeal to a broader audience.Â However, if you’re looking for value, Truphone should stay on your radar.Â Just this week at CTIA, Truphone announced new unlimited places that allow for ultra-cheap calling.Â Under the new plans, you pay a flat rate and get “unlimited” calls to most geographies.
Under the TruUnlimited plan, you pay only $17 a month and get unlimited calling to landlines in 38 countries and mobiles in 9 countries.
What is your favorite mobile VoIP app?Â Why?
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