Skype for the iPhone: Expectations Still too High

skype-iconFinally, Skype has arrived for the iPhone and the expectations of the masses of consumers are met by reality: Skype is just not that iPhone friendly. You may check out the App Store, AppleInsider, Macrumors or even utilise the app youself – I am sure you will quickly find that Skype, while a great try, has a long way to go.

Firstly, Skype has always been easy to use and decently performing telephony/video-phony and chat app. That much has not really changed. Naturally, video chat is out of the question for the iPhone but you can text chat (with other Skype users) and make virtual telephone calls. Skype retains its easy to use interface and adds iPhone friendly dial keys and accessible buttons that feel at home on the small screen. Similarly, once signed on, your contact list automatically pops over from your Skype account and is as easy to connect with as pressing buttons.

As long as you remember your login information, you should be able to use Skype, however there are some caveats. You cannot chat and use telephony functions at the same time, nor can you reliably keep a call going as many users complain of stability problems. The biggest problem that I can think of however, is that currently, I cannot sleep the screen whilst making a telephone call. Skype is quite processor intensive; combined with dissallowing screen sleep, calls may be shorter than you expect due to battery drain.

Finally, Skype cannot be used via 3G or 2,5G interfaces. It must be connected via WiFi. You can chat with whomever you wish for as long as you want via any interface but for ‘telephoning’, you are left with only one option: WiFi.

For the price (sic), Skype is a great application and considering how its Mac and PC counterparts have forever changed the telephone market, it is a luxury and privilege to finally have it at the App Store and at our mobile fingertips. However, stability, hardware issues and limited 2,5 and 3G use taints the release as somewhat unspectacular.


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