back to article Android goes Skype, iPhone to follow soon

Skype has announced an Android version of its mobile VoIP service, and hinted that an iPhone client is in the works too - but anyone expecting proper mobile VoIP on Android will be disappointed with Skype Lite. Officially still in beta, the Skype Lite service works in the same way as Skype's UK offering with network operator 3 …


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  1. Test Man
    Thumb Down

    Skype mobile client - rubbish

    So this is the same as the Skype For Your Mobile, which is the beta version for Symbian mobiles? Rubbish then, cos you can't use Wifi at all. Yes, Skype does try to spin this into some sort of amazing thing, but the whole point of Skype is to use it over Wifi so it's completely free. Quite why they don't allow it as an option I don't know but it wouldn't surprise me if it was a political reason, instead of a technical reason.

  2. Mo

    Proper Skype client?

    The iPhone/iPod touch is certainly capable of running a full-blown client. It'd be a shame if all we got was the 'Lite' version (which would only work on the iPhone—not the iPod touch).

    The biggest thing I use Skype for is SMS from the desktop, to be honest. I'd pay a couple of squids to have that as an iPod touch app.

  3. Richard

    Skype already on the iPhone

    Skype is available on the iPhone albeit through the Fring app. I use it with my Skype number to send and recieve calls, its not perfect, but it does work. Skype will have no issue getting approved by Apple as long as the app only works over Wifi and no over 3G. Fring only works over Wifi unless you hack it, but I'd rather stick to Wifi.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple terms are clear...

    I've seen the Apple iPhone developer agreement and it's reasonably clear about Voip: it's not allowed over the mobile-phone data channel. They don't prohibit it over Wifi: although of course they can ultimately ban any app they like, if they had decided that they didn't want Voip-over-Wifi I don't think they would have made the prohibition specific to the mobile data channel.

    A more serious problem is that because it doesn't allow "background" applications, you can't realistically receive _incoming_ voip calls.

  5. Alastair

    Skype on iPhone

    There's an app called Fring that already does it. Not very well, but it does it.

  6. MacRat

    Why Skype?

    Why does the press so badly want everyone to join the Skype/PayPal/eBay customer service hell?

    VOIP doesn't require touching Skype.

  7. Paul
    Black Helicopters

    not a technical problem with skype client

    the nokia tablet runs a proper skype client, offering chat and voice, so there's no reason why a non-lite app can't run on G1 or iPhone, other than Skype entering into an agreement with the G or A to not offer the software so that G and A can limit what people do.

  8. Anonymous Coward
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    Fuck's sake be consistent


    "Remarkably Skype has managed to spin this into a feature: "Call on Skype wherever you are - no WiFi or 3G required", as though the ability to make phone calls over the phone network were something new. There are, of course, savings to be had for long distance and international calls, especially if those called are logged on to Skype.

    Currently Skype Lite is available for a range of Java handsets ,and given that Android runs something akin to a Java Virtual Machine for all applications the port is unsurprising."

    um .... Android does not run a java VM. So porting it to something that is not a Java VM is not "unsurprising". It's work a developer has had to do. So if you're going to sneer at Skype's marketing bollocks, will you at least pretend you understand the technology involved when you're writing about their announcements please Bill ....

  9. A J Stiles

    Please not Skype

    I'm with MacRat. Skype is a terrible piece of caged proprietary software.

    As long as it remains caged and proprietary, it will never be compatible with Asterisk, which is the Real World's favourite VoIP system *precisely because* it was released under the GPL. And as long as it remains caged and proprietary, it will remain terrible; for some of the terribleness springs directly from the cagedness.

    On the other hand, I suppose if it keeps people from talking about bling, Kerry McFadden putting a new pillowcase on the bed in the spare room, their plans to binge-drink the weekend away, new trainers, and using the word "innit" on the Real World's VoIP systems, this incompatibility might actually not be such a bad thing.

  10. Mr Spoon

    I hate to say it, but WM is leading here.

    Awful as Windows Mobile is (truly it is, I'm a freetard on all my other devices) it seems to currently be the only choice if you want a wide range of apps, not those chosen by the vendor. Android will fill that role eventually, I hope, but it's too young to have the range of apps just yet.

    The problem with WM and VoIP unfortunately is that the earpiece isn't easily accessible by developers, however they're slowsly finding their way on this issue. I believe Skype supports the earpiece on certain OMAP devices from HTC, and Agephone (a good SIP client) supports it on HTC OMAP devices, the Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, and the SonyEricsson Xperia X1. Possible the Touch HD too, I forget.

    Aside from that earpiece issue there aren't any restrictions, all the VoIP clients can use 3G. Whether your 3G connection is up to it is another question, mine has the bandwidth but it's not stable enough for SIP really, and at times has awful latency. Annoyingly whenever *I* test it it's fine, but when I need to make a call to someone it's invariably awful and I end up having to make the international call from my mobile as normal :(

  11. Mage Silver badge


    VOIP only barely works on HSDPA and hardly on 3G or EDGE. Not at all on GPRS or GSM.

    So the "3" fake skype (3G call to server which then uses Skype ) is actually technically a good solution.

    VOIP WiFi generally only works at home. Public WiFi / Hotels etc have too much traffic, the jitter and often speed is not good.

    Also a 3G sector can only support about 5 VOIP calls but 100s of regular 3G voice calls,

    I have very good VOIP at home. It's because it uses QOS managed separate virtual channel using SIP built into the Cable Modem and doesn't go over the Internet. The ISP gateways it.

    Thus unlike 3rd party VOIP it works like a landline (even fax and 33k modem work on it). DECT handsets and a Brother MFC fax/scanner/printer plugged in.

    VOIP on the phone carrier is a nonsense anyway.

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