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Skype on iPhone - Skype on iPhone

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

6/10

Review Price free/subscription

One current weakness with the call handling abilities of this iPhone client is that you can't setup multiparty calls. This is a bit bizarre because you can actually join a multiparty call if someone else invites you. Multiparty calling is useful because it allows you to create spontaneous teleconferences with multiple work colleagues or just to get everyone on the line to agree a time to meet in the pub. Naturally you can start a multiparty text chat session, but it's not quite the same thing is it?

Speaking of the chat feature, unlike voice calling you can use it over the EDGE or 3G network so at least you can chat via text with your mates when you're out and about. However, one annoyance that we noticed is that the chat keyboard can't be re-orientated into landscape mode, which would have made tapping out messages a little bit easier. There's also no support for file sharing at present, which is a tad limiting if you use Skype for work purposes.

On the plus side there are a few features that are currently exclusive to the iPhone version. For example, you can take a picture directly from within Skype and use it as your avatar or alternatively select an image from your existing photo library.

Overall, though, Skype on the iPhone isn't quite the revelation that we expected it to be. The biggest issue is simply the fact that it can't be run in the background ready to receive incoming calls. This means that Skype callers will potentially have to email you or call you via the normal mobile network to tell you to run up the application, which kinds of defeats the purpose of the whole thing. It also puts the iPhone version at a serious disadvantage to other versions. However, this is likely to be cured when the new V3.0 iPhone OS is released later this year.

The other major downer is the current lack of support for making voice calls via EDGE or 3G. Again this may change in the future, but it will not just depend on support for it in V3.0 of the iPhone OS, but also the willingness of carriers like O2 to allow the service to proceed unhindered - something there's no guarantee of because it has the potential to eat in to their core call revenues.

Verdict

Although this version is very useful when you want to make cheaper calls abroad, and blends in beautifully in terms of design with the iPhone's own mobile calling features, it's definitely not the best version of Skype on a mobile phone.

Scores In Detail

Performance
6/10
Value
8/10
Features
4/10
Design
8/10

Our Score

6/10
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AndyR

April 21, 2009, 3:57 am

Used this the other day to call Oz for 15 minutes using my iPhone. Worked flawlessly so seriously impressed with that!

Phani Areti

April 24, 2009, 4:10 pm

i am using it almost every day on my iphone since it has been released. i must say i was a bit disoppointed that o2 is not supporting skype call but if you have wifi access all the time ..y do u need o2? i hope the 3.0 update will fix it.

Frank 4

May 16, 2009, 2:50 pm

For historical record:Skype calls are available on i-Phone since long time!in fact - long


time before Apple had put its i-phone on the market.


Apple has stolen/taken/bought the name i-phone from Taiwan company "Linksys" producing


internet telephony,among other things,with the name "i-Phone";they are designed specically


for Skype and they are called .... "i-phone" and skype-phone in the same time.


Anybody complaining about i-pod and i-phone knock-offs?Why?God is happy when one croock steals from another croock!


What about the name "Apple"? - Steve Jobs stolen it from famous rock band TheBeattles!


They have recording company called "Apple Corp.",as every old child knows.


Mr Steve Jobs was allowed by generous rockers to use the name Apple under condition,that


he will stick to computer bussines,without venturing into MUSIC!


And now what?only 2 rockers left - I do not know if they care...


So,Misters Trusted Reviews! - SteveJ and his AppleCo are villians and they do not deserve


your protectionism,they deserve to be copied.ThankYou China for yours music devices!


There are many in US,who think,that mp3player is SteveJob's invention!!!!What do you think in this department?Do you know,who invented "MP3compression" and when?I will buy you Singapore Sling if you know!!Serious...I am waiting in the LongBar.

Jasonpmsmith

May 14, 2010, 12:49 pm

in response to Frank, the German company Fraunhofer-Gesellshaft developed MP3 technology and now licenses the patent rights to the audio compression technology - United States Patent 5,579,430 for a "digital encoding process". The inventors named on the MP3 patent are Bernhard Grill, Karl-Heinz Brandenburg, Thomas Sporer, Bernd Kurten, and Ernst Eberlein.


In 1987, the prestigious Fraunhofer Institut Integrierte Schaltungen research center (part of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft) began researching high quality, low bit-rate audio coding, a project named EUREKA project EU147, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).


Dieter Seitzer and Karlheinz Brandenburg


Two names are mentioned most frequently in connection with the development of MP3. The Fraunhofer Institut was helped with their audio coding by Dieter Seitzer, a professor at the University of Erlangen. Sponsored Links


Dieter Seitzer had been working on the quality transfer of music over a standard phone line. The Fraunhofer research was led by Karlheinz Brandenburg often called the "father of MP3". Karlheinz Brandenburg was a specialist in mathematics and electronics and had been researching methods of compressing music since 1977. In an interview with Intel, Karlheinz Brandenburg described how MP3 took several years to fully develop and almost failed. Brandenburg stated "In 1991, the project almost died. During modification tests, the encoding simply did not want to work properly. Two days before submission of the first version of the MP3 codec, we found the compiler error."


What is MP3


MP3 stands for MPEG Audio Layer III and it is a standard for audio compression that makes any music file smaller with little or no loss of sound quality. MP3 is part of MPEG, an acronym for Motion Pictures Expert Group, a family of standards for displaying video and audio using lossy compression. Standards set by the Industry Standards Organization or ISO, beginning in 1992 with the MPEG-1 standard. MPEG-1 is a video compression standard with low bandwidth. The high bandwidth audio and video compression standard of MPEG-2 followed and was good enough to use with DVD technology. MPEG Layer III or MP3 involves only audio compression.


Hope that this quells your rage. Ta

Jasonpmsmith

May 14, 2010, 12:51 pm

@Frank P.S. where can I collect my Singapore Sling?

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