You may look at the image to the left and ask yourself, “Kevin, why on Earth would I want to install an application that makes phone calls? I have an iPhone for cryin’ out loud!!!” If you are asking me this, then you don’t know about Skype.
Skype was originally designed for use on PCs. After installing it, you could then instant message anybody who was also a Skype member (membership is free). The bonus is that you can also CALL other Skype members. For free.
That’s right, you can call any other Skype member, regardless of whether they’re in London, Ohio, or London, England. During these calls, you don’t sound like you’re on a phone, either. You sound like you’re in the same room. This is the beauty of making calls between Voice over IP (VoIP) users.
Now, you can also make calls to non-Skype users, hence the need for the keypad you see in the image. Those calls sound like regular phone calls and cost about 3 cents a minute, depending on where you’re calling. This was great on a PC, especially for myself and other podcasters who did interviews over the phone while recording their shows on their computer.
The beauty of Skype on the iPhone is this: If you’re in a low cell phone signal area, yet have access to wi-fi, you can make your call via Skype instead of AT&T. If you’re low on AT&T minutes, you can use Skype instead over either wi-fi or 3G to make your call. If who you’re calling is also on Skype, you can call them via Skype without spending any money and with better call quality. Oh, and there’s that IM functionality I mentioned earlier. Why call them if you don’t have to and why spend the money to text them when you can just Skype them?
The iPhone edition of Skype was released today so I am just checking it out now, but the latest edition of the MacBreakWeekly talks about the Skype app. You can find that episode here.
Skype – Link
Skype for iPhone – Link