Stay in touch with friends and family, for free
Skype has been around for many years now, allowing you to make voice calls across the internet, but with this great little app, you can ditch the big, clunky computer in exchange for the sleekness of the iPhone, and make use of its services while on the move.
The menus are all clearly organised and easy to navigate, with a simple design that is becoming very familiar on the Apple device.
You can filter your list to view only people online or by Skype contacts to make chatting much easier, and adding these is an extremely easy process (see ‘How To’). Being able to access the iPhone’s contacts is great, too, as you don’t have to create a duplicate list if you don’t want to; just add a person’s Skype details to their original profile.
When you select a contact, you can view their details or click to call, send an SMS or start a chat with them. You can make calls to other Skype users completely free, which certainly is a useful feature for those who like to rack up the minutes, and the charges for calling a normal phone number are also very cheap, which can make international calls a lot less of a kick in the stomach come phone bill time.
It would have been better to be able to buy Skype Credit from within the app, instead of being transferred to the Skype website, but this is only a minor issue as it’s still very easy to do. Other notable missing features include the ability to transfer files and the lack of video calling, which seems a glaring omission when held up against the iPhone 4’s addition of FaceTime.
The app, however, now allows you to make calls over 3G, which was something it previously didn’t accommodate. It also lets you multitask, so you can receive calls while other apps are running and you can switch to another task mid-conversation.
The sound quality is high and the use of push notifications is very useful, too. All in all Skype is a simplistic, but useful app that could prove to be one of the most money-saving functions your phone has to hand.
Skype on the iPhone is lacking a few features that could make it excellent, but as it stands, it’s still a great app.
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