Skype on iPhone is Official

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Skype on iPhone is Official

skype-iphone-1.jpg Gigaom's Om Malik was right about Skype launching a native Skype app for the iPhone. The WSJ and CNet are confiming Om's scoop today. When I say the news hit the wires, my initial reaction was "I hope Om go credit for breaking this story last week. He's one of the premiere bloggers and deserves credit from the mainstream media and other tech journals".

Alas, I was sorely disappointed that they didn't give Om credit. Reminds me of the major Skype outage story that I broke, how I predicted that Windows Update was to blame, and no mainstream media outlet cited me, while tons of bloggers gave me credit, including Om.

In any event, a native Skype for iPhone app is great news for iPhone users. Some caveats though. First, it doesn't do videoconferencing. Though you can take a photo from within Skype to serve as your avatar image or pull a picture from your photo gallery.Though you can takw a photo from within Skype to serve as your avatar image or pull a picture from your photo gallery.

skype-iphone-2.jpg Secondly, as I suspected, it only works over WiFi and not 3G. You can blame Steve Jobs and/or AT&T for that one. Will a native Skype app be a compelling app for users over alternatives like Nimbuzz or fring? It's hard to say, since Nimbuzz and fring not only work with Skype, they work with other popular IM/VoIP networks, such as AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and others.

So why switch? It does offer a nice iPhone skinned interface and it supports group chat and conferencing, so those might be compelling features for some. Supposedly, the voice quality is better than fring or Nimbuzz since it is a P2P app that does the transcoding instead of centralized servers like fring and Nimbuzz.

Also, check out this related story:
Skype over 3G on iPhone

Images credit Phil Wolff


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