I have been personally skeptical about VoIP on the mobile. Reasons being that I have a tonne of bundled minutes in my package and all the VoIP clients I've used are either clunky+geeky and/or a change in behaviour is required to use effectively. So, I just cant see the point of making a call via VoIP unless it's international, but then if its international, I’d rather use my laptop. Unless of course the mobile phone is designed to be a VoIP phone then usability is addressed and away we go.
With Skype for iPhone I will probably end up eating part of my hat. I use skype all the time on my laptop and desktop. I use it both personally and for business. Skype has become part of my family lingo, we use it to video call each other and even my mum who recently retired says, as if its a term she has used all her life, "I'll skype you tomorrow!".
So I donloaded Skype first thing this morning. But my deep down geek reared its head, am I sill online when its not the top app? It's not and this is a big imitation of the app. If its not running as the top app then you are effectively offline. So what's the point of it? Well my view is its great to make cheap international calls and the occassional skype chat, but its not seamless and requires proactive effort to take incoming calls and IM's.
Despite this slight flaw, Skype is one of those apps that has trancended geekyness and has for many of us a unique emotional ranking (I can't shake the geek), and this is where I believe it has the edge.
So, I'll be honest, although it has this limitation it only took me 2 secs to get up and running and whats more, its free from the iPhone app store, so what do you have to lose?
Overall on first impressions it is simple to use and it works - if you are a skype user you will immediately appreciate it. I can see myself using it to make international skype out calls which you can make to any of your iPhone contacts seamlessly.
No doubt I will leave it as the top app whilst on the sofa to take calls from my mum. I do look forward to video. And in the office it will be great to switch to mobile and walk away to take or make a call -- but note to do this requires a behavioural change and only because its Skype am I willing to do it.
IMHO for the app to be truly unbelieavably life changing it needs a setting to be always on. I understand the iPhone is optimized to save on battery life so something needs to be tweaked and I hope that using the SDK 3.0 this can be addressed using some background processing.
Does it work? Yes. I ran some basic tests, first to test out the call quality and secondly to see if the mobile app supports HulloMail. I asked a colleague to call me. Great audio. It really works well.
The sequence of events using HulloMail as Skype voicemail is:
1 – Call coming in to iPhone Skype App
2 – Call went through to HulloMail. Chris leaves me a message and HulloMail notifies me I have a new voicemail.
3 – using the iPhone Mail inbox I see the HulloMail voicemail from Chris
4 – Select the MP3 in the email
5 – MP3 audio plays
6 - From the iPhone Mail App, I can now reply to teh voicemial by email, text or call back in one easy step.....
Side note - instructions for setting up HulloMail for Skype.
You first need Skype Out. Then under Call Forwarding tab in your Skype settings enter your Personal HulloMail Number.
Your Personal HulloMail Number can be found in your registration email and under Service Info tab @ www.hullomail.com/login.