146 thoughts on “Review: Skype for iPhone. Verdict: Awesome.”

  1. nice review OM
    started up the iPhone for first time in 6 weeks to get this app tomorrow.
    looking forward to trying it
    Blackberry release is 24th May (I think)

    1. I am Looking to update my Phone. Is the i phone to be up updated or am I buying old technology today by buying the i phone.


      It looks like their security sucks. I downloaded it 24 hours ago, logged in and now I find that my Skype password and registered email addy have “changed” – presumably to something Ukranian! Oh, and of course there is money missing from my bank account

      Leave this sucker alone till Skype can spell ‘security’!!!

  2. nice, tomorrow I will start making calls to my parents who are visiting India to test the voice quality against the desktop client……exciting news for sure.

    1. I think this is not going to be that much of an issue since it is only going over WiFi. If it started to fly over 3G, then things would get interesting to be honest.

      1. Hello Om,

        Any issues with contacts and not being able to get uploaded to the iphone app? I am unable to load my contacts..


    2. I would imagine that this ban is in Apple’s contract with these carriers. I doubt their ban on VOIP apps working over cellular data connections is just a company policy.

      1. I am trying to decide between a Nokia N810 and I-phone for when I travel. I assume you have to get a plan through At&T with the I-phone or touch to get skype? Just trying to figure out the cheapest way to keep in touch around the world.


      2. No plan is required for Skype to work. Indeed it will not work (for calls) over a cellular connection — only WiFi. If you’re not using the “phone” portion of the iPhone, there’s not much sense in paying a premium for an unlocked iPhone over just getting an iPod touch — except that you’ll have to use a wired headset to make calls with the iPod touch over Skype — and the iPhone comes with a camera.

  3. Hey Om, I’m really excited to hear this news. This could disrupt a lot of telephony models and increase competition in the mobile market.

    Are you able to make calls over the iPhone’s data connection or is Wi-Fi required?

    What, would you say, is the ratio of calls on the skype-out test that were dropped versus received?


  4. Great review. I look forward to Skype bigtime!

    I also agree with you on the IM aspect. I think for steady Skype users, already it’s their favourite IM tool on their computer, killing of ex. MSN. And why should anything be different on the iPhone 🙂


  5. @Curtis
    I don’t think AT&T will mind that much because it’s Wi-Fi only. Most people still use the majority of their voice minutes on the go, and there are multiple other VoIP apps in the App Store.

    Nice review Om, I’m just curious if you’ve run into the limitations yet (no voicemail, or conference calls).

  6. hey Om,

    U broke the news earlier that its coming and its now here for Iphone. but do U think Symbian Client ia also coming soon. I mean Windows mobile is upported already, Iphone now and Blackberry soon. So Symbian app cant be far behind. Of course they have a Java app but something even better like truphone or Fring?

    is that coming too?

    1. Hardeep

      I am told they will introduce the Blackberry client before the Symbian client.

      When is that going to happen? My guess is Summer 2009.


  7. So how exactly does the current version work? do you need to keep skype on all the time to receive calls ? (if so, then you can’t use the phone for anything else as switching would kill skype). Or does it use the new ‘push notification’ system of SDK 3.0 (I doubt that) which might allow skype to wake up on incoming skype call?

  8. Been waiting for this! Thanks for the news Om!

    I do all my business calling with Skype today, and much of IM convos too. Having the ability to do so away from my desktop – great news! Wi-Fi only is a bummer… but not a blocker.

    Incidentally, for those who are just using IM and not voice, I like Palringo which is a good multi-client and even works over EDGE.

  9. Om, nice review, and I’m pleased to hear about the battery situation. Question for you – did you try it with any multi-user groupchats? Or with any (multi-user) public chats? That is the single biggest thing I am personally looking for in the Skype for iPhone app.

  10. Great review. I’m looking forward to this app!

    One question: Is there a way to buy Skype Credit (for outgoing calls to landline numbers) from within the app?

      1. Hi, Can you use Skype Landline numbers on this ? That would then allow any none Skype users to call me on a generic local number that Skype sells for the cost of a landline. This feature does not work on the 3 network as they are too worried about customers not needing any credit.

  11. One issue–do you have to leave the phone on all the time, running the Skype app? If not, then how can you possibly receive calls on it? It would seem that this really is only useful for making Skype calls from the phone, not receiving them. Or am I missing something?

  12. Any idea if it will be available internationally from the get-go? I will be spectacularly annoyed if this (too) is US App Store only at first.

    What is the idea anyway with region coding applications?

  13. Omguy, how does the Skype wifi experience on iPhone comparento your uma experience on the Blackberry 8900 at home device?

  14. “Few of the calls I made got dropped”

    Can you please elaborate on dropped calls? What percentage was dropped? and Is that consistent with skype desktop app?

  15. I just downloaded the official version in Australia, so it’s definitely available internationally from the get-go.

    I’ve also confirmed that you can’t receive calls or chats unless the app is open. If I don’t have it open, I’m not “signed in” for anyone else using Skype. I wonder if that will change once the iPhone OS 3.0 is released and we finally have the ability to push notifications in the background.

  16. Kris–Interesting. Yep, I bet it will be different with 3.0. So for now, limited functionality to receive calls, unless you leave the phone (and app) always on. Will probably be best used for making calls when in foreign countries and near a Wifi hotspot.

  17. I believe the second generation iTouch uses a newer/faster ARM Core compared to the 3G iPhone – may be that is reason of poor battery life on the iTouch? I know my iTouch dies on me sooner then the original iPhone

  18. Found on: http://tinyurl.com/iskypereview

    Important solutions to the COMPLAINERS:

    1. Complaining that you can’t use Skype on 3G?

    * Just Jailbreak your iphone and install voipover3g app from cydia. Jailbreakers will be able to save their minutes whenever they want because this app makes the iPhone think that it is on wifi all the time.

    2. Complaining that you can’t run skype in the background while using another application?

    Visit http://tinyurl.com/iskypereview for the rest of the post….

  19. > For those of you that use Skype on a daily basis and own an iPhone, this could very quickly become the simplest
    > way to make long-distance calls.

    I use Skype to make long distance calls on a daily basis. (I sometimes even use it to make local calls because it’s so easy). I also have an iPhone.

    What i don’t understand is why having skype on the iPhone would make it become the “simplest way to make long-distance calls” as opposed to, for example, Skype on the computer.

    With Skype on my computer I don’t have to hold a phone to my ear during the call
    I don’t have to juggle another device to start and stop calls
    I don’t have to worry about running the battery down on my iPhone

    So, while I think it’s great that Skype is on the iPhone, I don’t see how it will make my iPhone the device of choice to make my LD calls. I will continue to use my MacBook Pro to do that.

    There are two circumstances where i can see preferring to use the Skype iPhone client:

    – when i’m connected to the internet via VPN and can’t use skype reliably (not often but it happens)

    – when i’m offsite and have access to a good wireless network but have bad cell phone reception

    I guess a 3rd circumstance might be

    – when using my computer is not practical–for example, when pacing while on a call in office or doing chores at home–times when i don’t want to be tied down to being within speaking range of my computer.”

    1. Ben sitting on your couch and logged into your WiFi you could easily send and receive calls without being in front of you computer. It is simple, like in the way now checking email is simple to do on an iPHone/Bberry without running to a computer.

  20. in the long run SIP is more important for voip than skype is.

    skype is proprietary – and skype doesn’t make much effort to integrate with the ptsn … there is no inbound number available in most local markets around the world, despite the pleas from customers year after year.

    FRING already supports skype on the iPhone … and it also supports SIP, so it is a more versitile voip client.

    While voip on iPhone might apply some useful pressure on the the crazy tariffs charged by the carriers ($130 for voice, data, long distance), it is the itouch that will recieve the really big impact of voip -in a stingy market where the next 25% cohort of featurephone subscribers looks around for a practical smartphone.

    a voip enabled an itouch is a $250 upfront cost with only $50 annual committment … that is a really big deal.

    of course if apple really wants to have a game-changer with voip, then apple would introduce ‘mesh’ networking technology (with a firmware upgrade to the ‘airport’).

    THAT would change /everything/.

    1. after trying to use Fring for a while i now withdraw my endorsement of it.

      it is totally unuseable on any/every wifi network i can find (on all versions of osx mobile, and on two different 3G and one 3Gs).

      upstreams is inaudible.

      worst of all fring INSISTS on *NOT* having a revenue model, so it cant afford to hire engineers or tech suport to fix horrible auido quality.

      fring’s SOP is to blame the customers voip gateway instead of accepting responsibility for their own mediocre engineering.

      fring has no telemetry engine so it cant even debug/log where the bottlenecks are actually located.

      fring is a total FAIL (and its UIis graceless, ineffecient, and awkward).

      —- however, that doesnt take away from the *principle* that SIP should be preferred to (proprietary) skype! …

      … however, if skype were to FINALLY (all the years later) actually get some local numbers (outside of usa market) i would probably just give in & give up a standards based approach.

      at this point i am prepared to be al liitle bit pragmatic & agnontsic about “standards” if i cac actually have a product that will work!!

      (I thought SIPphone would be a solution – at least they charge for their product! – but there is not much difference my callers can experienc … despite what seems to be a GUI that suggests a vastly superior engineering effort as compared to fring),


  21. I am so far quite happy with FRING (on iphone) which allows me to chat not only to my skype buddies but also to host of other messaging platforms such as MSN, yahoo, ICQ, googletalk etc etc …. I think its quite cool with its SIP client to make VOIP calls over wi-fi using my iphone.

    So, I’m not that impressed or going ga ga over the skype app for iphone. However, it really surprises me that skype took so long to bring on their official version. Wonder why? Any thoughts???

    1. Yeah, it’s extremely buggy. Iphone 3g – it crashes at least every minute making it one of the least usable apps in the app store. Methinks Apple/Skype didn’t do any proper QA on this one!

  22. Few additonal thoughts after downloading and trying skype client:

    1. the tones on the skype dial pad have an annoying slight delay so it feels like the app is responding more slowly to the touch (using original iphone, not 3G). You almost feel like you’re in a bad lip synch movie. Maybe response time is not noticeable on 3G.

    2. Most of my calls will use skype out, not skype, which means I’d like to see my iphone contact list as easily as my skype contacts. The skype contact list is 2 clicks away (counting launching Skype). The iphone contact list is one additional click away because you have to select the phone icon first. Contrast that with how desktop skype works, both contact lists are in one UI.

    3. Skype takes longer to load than iphone app (which makes sense in part because it goes online to get contact info)

    4. Phone numbers dialed in skype call history do not resolve against the iphone contact list. So even if it’s a phone number of someone in your iphone contact list it won’t show that person’s name, it just shows the number.

    5. Unlike iPhone app. pressing Call button does not recall last made call

    6. Call speaker option does not show up until the call is connected. In contrast iPhone app lets you put the iPhone on speaker once the call is ringing

    7. No access to iPhone favorites–perhaps not surprising–though it does give access to iPhone contact groups

    8. Couldn’t figure out how to create favorites for Skype

    9. Can import phone numbers from iPhone into Skype phone book–but i much prefer how desktop client shows contact list for skype and Mac address book in same window, just sorted separately

    10. As a weird test, i tried to call own cell phone from skype from my own cell phone. Don’t ask me why. Just wondered what would happen. Not surprisingly it “works” (iphone app rings), but when i tried to answer it of the course the call ends because skype app quits once iphone app launches. OK, that test was inane!

    11. Can’t seem to set default view of my iphone contact groups. Always defaults to All Contacts.

  23. What am I doing wrong — I can’t seem to make use of my bluetooth headphone with Skype. I have the Apple bluetooth made for iPhone, shouldn’t that work?

    1. I don’t think that you can use a bluetooth headset with Skype for the iPhone yet. That’s awfully lame. They really need to get on that…

  24. Hi Om..

    I live in japan n could download skype app early this morning…It works amazingly fine. I could make few calls.
    And chat also. I turned on the PC and started skype on it…on both (PC & iPhone) chat messages were getting displayed :)) call it a bug ..but still i just love this app…right from GUI its same Skype from normal PC.
    Thanks for sharing information


  25. I think the biggest omission in this version is lack of SMS. I send a lot of international SMSes and the Skype desktop client does a great job with configuring such that the SMS “comes” from your mobile number even if sent via Skype. I can usually send 3-4 for the price of one regular SMS.

  26. Just downloaded the app on my iPhone running 2.2.1. It’s pretty slick. As you mentioned, as long as there’s plenty of bandwidth available, calls appear to work just fine.

    My one immediate nit is that you can’t use a BlueTooth headset. Apparently, only the mic and speaker are available which makes it a bit of a bummer… but not completely unusable ;).

    1. Yes. No Bluetooth is pretty bad.
      Headsets with mics work though, although, I’ve noticed that if you start a call regularly and then try to plug in the headset, it won’t work, and vice versa: if you start with a wired headset and unplug it, you get to sound either way.

      Also, I’ve noticed that on some calls the dialpad doesn’t work at all. Trying to click it just makes the menu options disappear and reappear. Which this can really be a problem for some phone calls. Although, others, it works just fine, seems like it may have something to do with the number you are calling. Hm.

    1. iPhone OS version 3.0 will remedy this — more importantly, even when you’re not running the Skype app! That will allow you to accept incoming Skype calls while you’re in the middle of composing an e-mail, which makes that feature a LOT more useful.

  27. Regarding SkypeIn Number :

    When someone calls me on this number I assume the Skype app needs to be open to able to receive calls – will this change with iPhone 3.0 push notification or something?


    1. Correct assumption. Right now, it must be turned on.

      Not sure about with 3.0 … although people are running 3.0 now, so I’m sure someone knows.

  28. I have a HTC TyTN 2 which has two built in cameras, one facing you for video phone use. It would be really nice to see Skype add this feature to the mobile version, be it iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, etc. Then it would really shine and could be comparable to the desktop versions.

    Thanks for the review…even though I don’t have an iPhone, it is great to see development continue across the various platforms. They recently released an updated version for WM, which your article prompted me to download.


  29. Great Review OM!

    Installed it first thing this morning on my 1st Gen Touch (2nd Gen coming soon!) and couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear when that familiar Skype logo appeared on the Home Screen!

    The interface really is nicely done, can’t wait to start using the voice feature once my 2nd Gen Touch gets here.

    Also am dying to finally get a dedicated Skype App on my BB Bold! It’s about time!!

  30. found on: http://tinyurl.com/iskypereview

    UPDATE: Complaining that Skype is crashing every minute on your jailbroken iphone?

    * Saurik has just released a new mobile substrate and the issue is fixed. Just update ‘mobile substrate’ from cydia. Once this is done you can enjoy uninterrupted calls on skype from your jailbroken iphone.

    1. just because i like a device you straight away jump to conclusions that i am getting paid for endorsement. seriously, are you getting $$$s to hate on me and the Curve

  31. Very cool and will definately come in handy when traveling overseas as I’ll no longer have to bring a laptop to make cheap calls back home.

    However, using it domestically makes no sense to me:

    1. It doesn’t ring on an inbound calls to a skype in number or skype-to-skype unless its running, so its really only useful for outbound calls.
    2. I have an unlimited calling plan so I wouldn’t go through the trouble to launch skype to place a domestic call.
    3. I make my calls on the go, in my car, etc so can’t use it most of the time because it needs wi-fi.

    The use-case continues to be cheap international outbound calls, and perhaps IM from your iPhone.

      1. Canadian users: Just set up a US Store account (without a credit card), download the app and then sync your iPhone and all is well. Just be sure to log back into your regular Store account before you sync your iPhone.

  32. I would like to add to the discussion the fact that skype is totaly insecure with closed source code. I would love to see it die – long live the google talk with its open jabber implementation. I hate installing some 3rd party software – i would like to have my preffered jabber/icq/etc client hooked up to some open voice/video protocol and use it that way.
    more information about the security issues with skype http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype#Issues

  33. Here’s a more interesting question. If Skype tried to submit an App that ran over AT&T’s 3g Network – what are the odds that Apple would approve it. I have my own views, but this would be an interesting line of inquiry.

    1. It’s explicitly forbidden in the iPhone developer agreement, and I suspect by Apple’s individual carrier agreements. It would severely cut into the carriers’ profits.

  34. I have been waiting for this for a long time; making use however of another good LD app Truphone, which works well over WiFi. But my horror to find that everyone gets it except Canada!!! However, thanks to a tip from an iPhone user in Quebec, there is a nice workaround, and it is now happily installed on my iphone. The few calls I have made work well. Looks like this will be great for international calls and skype on the PC will be used more for video. Wander how the call quality will keep up as more subscribers use it for LD in their homes/wifi zones.

    Does anyone know why Skype for iPhone has been blocked in Canada? Which company/regulatory /patent issue has blocked it? Curious.

  35. Looks like its a great combo of “skype” & “iPhone” to generate this great hype in the last two days. I think it will be really “game changing” when it would be allowed to make calls over (of course i’m not talking about the capability on jail-broken iPhone) (3G) cellular network. Well, that could spell “death of mobile voice plan” when one only need a data plan (probably by then unlimited data plans (or even a metered approach?) much affordable) for all his communication needs. Do we foresee a scenario where the mobile operator ends up just being a pipe provider? Will that ever happen? Well, technically its very much possible today itself but the question is whether the “key stakeholders” ever allow so called outsiders to come and whip away their long-standing business model where the have been long squeezing the consumers for their own benefit?

  36. There is one country where it is not available on the App store: Canada. Due to some codec licensing issue; when I asked at the press conference this evening, COO Scott Durchslag responded that there is some Canadian licensing “ambiguity” the G.729 codec that needs to be resolved; they hope to have it available for Canadians “soon”. Most interesting in that the company licensing G.729 internationally is based in Montreal.

    At the same press conference, Scott announced that Skype for BlackBerry beta will be available in May, initially for Bold and 8900 Curve.

  37. This app is fantastic and I have just used it on a conversation with my friend for at lease 40 mins. It’s great to have this on the iphonr and not feel tethered to you PC on way or another. The only drawback back for me is the ability to have it running in the background. I would like people to be able to call when my iPhone is on the Springboard….but…what would this do to batterylife?

  38. This app is fantastic and I have just used it on a conversation with my friend for at least 40 mins. It’s great to have this on the iphonr and not feel tethered to you PC on way or another. The only drawback back for me is the ability to have it running in the background. I would like people to be able to call when my iPhone is on the Springboard….but…what would this do to batterylife?

  39. Found on http://tinyurl.com/iskypereview

    April 1 UPDATE: Complaining that after updating mobile substrate voipover3g and backgrounder isn’t working?

    Saurik just released another update of mobilesubstrate 0.9.2805-1. This version fixes the problem entirely allowing for mobilesubstrate addons to work with Skype app. You can now use Skype app with VoIPover3G! and backgrounder. Just update mobile substrate on Cydia once more and enjoy skype on the go!

  40. I completley agree to your verdict… The skype app is awsome… However, I do have one question… I am currently using skype-in… Meaning I do have a normal phone number where people can call me on my skype… I know that skype-in works when the app is up and running… But what happens if the app is not open and the iPhone is on stand-by??? Will it soon be possible using skype-in whenever I am in the range of a free wi-fi network – without starting the app???

  41. yes after the mobile substrate fix through cydia , skype is running very smooth on my phone…..I just made a few calls via the iPhone to my parents in india via skye to skype and skypeout to mobile and both were pretty good in voice quality. Impressed with the app so far after a few days of testing.

  42. I have an iPod Touch, I got the App Skype, I tried to call someone. I could hear the person but she could not hear me. I assume that I need to install a gadget on my iPod Touch, like a micro. Is that right ?

  43. I’m going to China from the U.S in a couple of days. My question is if I pay for a skype# i think 9.99 or something. When I’m in China, as long as I’m connected WiFi I can call anyone in the U.S and I wont have some outrageous data plan charge. i.e ..completely free? Is this correct?

  44. Great app. And also the same great voice quality I am used to from the desktop/laptop!

    There are only two big things missing:
    1. Push notifications (when the iPhone is standby or using other apps).
    2. The screen should be dimmed, based on your defaults. Half an hour call will ruin your battery life…

    Video (viewing) is nice to have.

  45. Nice review/preview. While it has been a little while since the original post I can see the discussion continuing quite actively.

    So maybe you’ll be able to help me with this question:

    When using skype for iphone on my iPhone 3GS with its supplied apple headset the connection is great, so is voice quality BUT whenever the screen ‘dims’/turns off the call gets put on hold.
    While without the headset the iphone naturally turns the screen off when you hold it up to your head this same ‘turning off the screen’ does not affect the call when using the headset the screen will dim, then turn off (based on my ‘Auto Lock’ settings which will then put the call on hold.

    Is there no way to keep talking with Skype running but the display being off?


  46. Is there are a way to add people to a chat in the Skype iPhone client? I’m running Skype on an iPhone 3GS and routinely have to send the same information to two or more people. I could easily add additional people to chat in the desktop client, but no so in the phone client. Am I missing something?

  47. I thought skype was a good idea, I could communicate with my family. But as they say all good things doesnt lasts long.
    I used called Skype phones and cell phones but now it seems that the skype owners have discovered a machine to make money the rates now are so high if you buy 10us skype credit you only talk maybe 10 minutes. Then even if I pay a telephone company. because they have to recharge skype for 3 to 4 times of what I pay for a landline or cell phone contract. So I say that Skype is not anything cheap because even if you call skype to skype you always have problems, the call is cut or you get an information that your computer is slow. i think they lie because when you make a call whit skype credit this information is not displayed.

  48. How do you make an international call on iphone skype? I tried and it automatically places a 1 in front of my contact number which is not correct if you are trying to call international

  49. If any body don’t know about Skype then let me tell you that, Skype is a chatting application. I chat with my friends online from skype. What i feel is that Skype is better then yahoo. The reason are

    1 Best video chat quality.

    2 Cheap international phone call.

    3 Best voice quality.

    And there are many more + points of Skype as compare to yahoo.

    I have installed it, What about you?????????/

  50. wow very impressed with my iphone4. best unlocked gsm phone in my opinion right now. great touch screen, love my black one but probably going to get a white one. it’s responsive and the processor is faster, email is practical and the games and apps are great for downtime. love my new unlocked phone. got my last 2 at gsmallover.com and going to get one more for my daughter. 2 thumbs up

  51. I have recently bought an unlocked iphone 3gs .I have a prepaid at&t line with unlimited phone calls + 200mb data plan($75/month).Apparently i am not a techy guy and would like to know, in what way will skype help me? Is it useful for making only phone calls ? do i still need need to buy a data plan?
    Thanks in advance

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