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Skype: Am I missing something?

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I am currently reviwing the INQ 1,  and it has a inbuilt Skype client which is heavily promoted in its advertising and some would even say the INQ 1 is simply the Skype Phone version 3.

I have 2 Skype contacts, that’s it! Who actually uses Skype?? This really hit home when reading a post by Jonthan Jensen.

Teenagers don’t seem to be big Skype users so this application didn’t engender as much interest, although adults did show some interest in it.

He is exactly right but its more then teenagers I would say anyone under the age of 25  is probably not a Skype user.  Is it because that Skype is mainly used to contact people abroad?  The only time I haves used Skype, was when one of my friends took a semester in the Czech Republic, this was the easiest way for us all to stay in contact with her for free!

Now I move on to Skype on your Mobile, who uses it?? Hold your hands up now! I am completely at a loss why you would need Skype on your phone??

Am I missing something?

I understand about VOIP, and I think services such as Sipgate are fantastic when on your Home PC, but on your mobile I think they are a complete waste of time. For example if I really wanted to I could use a service like Fring and be able to receive calls on my Sipgate local number on my mobile.  The only I think this would actually be *useful* is when abroad on my holiday and in Wi-Fi coverage!

Maybe I am wrong and Skype is a fantastic resource, for me I think it a waste of time.

I do look forward to reading your comments about Skype!

Ricky

ricky@mobileindustryreview.com

32 replies on “Skype: Am I missing something?”

My wife has an INQ1 and Skype should be useful for IM conversations, it being able to connect to the web through the corporate firewall.

Except that today the IM messages have not been delivered until hours after sending. Sheesh.

I used to be a great Skype advocate – but that's because I'm an expat and it was, at the time, the best way to keep in contact with friends and family back home. I had skype on my laptop, I had the original Skype mobile when it first came out, and I even had the Phillips VoIP841 (which is the WORST bit of tech I have ever bought), and I was a registered beta tester for Skype on Windows Mobile.

My GF moved to the USA last week, so I was ready to fire up Skype again and get back into the swing. Got all three devices fired up.

The voice quality on the desktop client was crap.
The voice quality on the VoIP841 was abysmal – its now unplugged forever.
The Three phone refused to top up even after a 30 minute chat to support.

Finally got the desktop version working to an agreeable level (it turned out that the VoIP841 was swamping my local net). Fire up the webcam and… can't understand every second word. (20Mb connection as well…)

So – I install a really tiny application for google mail (works on gmail and google apps for your domain). Within 5 minutes I am having crystal clear conversations, complete with video, *in my web browser*

All this and skype is still trying to sell me on HQ video at every freaking twist and turn – the entire application is designed to sell more skype stuff.

Pull your finger out Skype and fix the basic service. Until then, you will find me on google talk.

Sorry – rant over.

I think it's sort of like asking who uses calling cards — it's a multi-billion dollar industry but when did you last meet anyone who uses calling cards? Skype does about $500 million in annual revenue, so obviously there are millions upon millions of active, paying users.

My wife has an INQ1 and Skype should be useful for IM conversations; the PC client on my work laptop is able to connect to the web through my corporate firewall.

Except that today the IM messages have not been delivered until hours after sending. Sheesh.

Having a dedicated client on the PC is still better than using a flash based aggregator such as meebo for me.

I used to be a great Skype advocate – but that's because I'm an expat and it was, at the time, the best way to keep in contact with friends and family back home. I had skype on my laptop, I had the original Skype mobile when it first came out, and I even had the Phillips VoIP841 (which is the WORST bit of tech I have ever bought), and I was a registered beta tester for Skype on Windows Mobile.

My GF moved to the USA last week, so I was ready to fire up Skype again and get back into the swing. Got all three devices fired up.

The voice quality on the desktop client was crap.
The voice quality on the VoIP841 was abysmal – its now unplugged forever.
The Three phone refused to top up even after a 30 minute chat to support.

Finally got the desktop version working to an agreeable level (it turned out that the VoIP841 was swamping my local net). Fire up the webcam and… can't understand every second word. (20Mb connection as well…)

So – I install a really tiny application for google mail (works on gmail and google apps for your domain). Within 5 minutes I am having crystal clear conversations, complete with video, *in my web browser*

All this and skype is still trying to sell me on HQ video at every freaking twist and turn – the entire application is designed to sell more skype stuff.

Pull your finger out Skype and fix the basic service. Until then, you will find me on google talk.

Sorry – rant over.

I have a brother living in Canada so I do use Skype fairly regularly. I did used to use Skype on Windows Mobile, but I found that the quality wasn't quite as good – especially on slow devices like the original HTC Touch.

I now pay £20/year and that gives me fairly unlimited calls to him, his mobiles, and everyone else in the US and Canada too. To get this service on my phone I prefer to use “Skype To Go” (included in the £20 subscription) which is a UK number I call and that connects me to a voice menu and my SkypeOut contacts directly.

yeah, personally i have no love for skype. not that the service is useless, but rather i think it is a Bad Thing: i favor the interoperability of SIP over the closed proprietary nature of Skype.

that said, VoIP on the mobile is a great thing. you don't need wifi either – when i travel i buy a prepaid sim, top up on 3G/EDGE data (serbia cost me USD $10 / month for unlimited data, provided i left enough airtime on the SIM to potentially pay for some calls) – and i use VoIP via the mobile operator's data connection. sure, it's not PERFECT, but it's more mobile than wifi only, and so cheap that i'm willing to use it. with my N95 i connect via Gizmo5 or Truphone over wifi anywhere, and via 3G in most places. using Fring i can get around some of the operator's port restrictions (how does fring pull that off? i don't know).

in the end, mobile voip is the killer app for me – i want a mobile that i own exclusively and i don't have to play by the operator's terms: i want mobile voip, prepaid data, and no contracts.

in this economy, i hope for MORE mobile voip rather than less. maybe i'm alone in this thinking, but i can say with certainty that mobile voip has saved me hundreds of dollars and is the number one reason why my N95 paid for itself in the first 6 months i owned it (unlocked, not from my carrier).

after i rea David Carrington's post, i thought to add to my own: i have never, and will never, be an advocate for services such as Skype To Go. calling a local number just to be redirected to my final destination sounds absurd to me. that's a calling card in disguise and in the end you pay twice for that call. local calls are free? great. what if i'm not local? you can get the same level of service without the need for some call-through number, by purchasing a decent phone to begin with.

like calling direct from the PC, but want the simplicity of just dialing and hitting the green button? my mobile does exactly that: it connects via whatever data service i have (wifi is always best, 3G/EDGE also work admirably well considering the narrow-band channel), and can replace the functionality of my GSM radio with VoIP without any user intervention. that's the key. i don't want to care where i go – i just want to pick up my mobile, dial some numbers, hit talk, and be connected via VoIP if possible, otherwise GSM. and when travelling? i make sure GSM is not possible, work a little bit to make VoIP possible (just as much work as making your mobile browser pull up google on holiday) and i'm done.

i think i really am alone in this view. i don't think i'm odd, so why is my view unique?

I've hardly used Skype, disliking it's proprietry nature. Instead I've gone for open standards – SIP where I use various betamax services (Poivy etc) and truphone. I use mostly a HW ATA at home (Linksys SPA3102 – cool kit), and nimbuzz/fring on mobile.

There's also plenty of other IM services with higher penetration.

Skype further put me off when I tried a beta client a few months back.. although they've now remedied that

Used occasionally for coverage fillin (no gsm/umts ie in metal building) and when abroad or in free wifi coverage.

I used to use the native N95 client, but appalingly Nokia removed this Internet Telephony app in the N96.

I think Skype for international use is great. I don't quite understand sipgate. For Skype, one example is getting the $9.95/month subscription and be able to call unlimited to landlines in 36 countries, cell phones in 3 to 5 of those countries plus the usual skype-tp-skype calls on either your computer or a phone that does not require a PC. That includes in a local phone number in your country so that if you were out and about on your cell phone, let's say in the UK and you wanted to call the US, you could call your local Skype number and then call your US number and you would only be using your local minutes, nothing more, all part of your monthly $9.95 subscription. For a lot less, anywhere from $2.95 to $5.95 per month USD, you could chose a one-country only option and make unlimited calls. So if you were in the US and your parents were in France, you could call their regular house phone unlimited. Also, you could buy a SkypeIn number in the country of your choosing. So for the same example, you could choose a French number and now your parents in France could use their regular house phone to call your SkypeIn number, which would be a regular local French number for them (that you picked out of a long list of available numbers in a plethora of area codes in 36 countries) and it would ring on your computer or your non-PC SkypePhone that could attach directly to your router.
The Skype for Mobile I believe is still in Beta where we would be able to download it onto our smartphones. I'm sure the smartphone people who have partnerships with the carriers are not gung ho since a lot of carrier revenue could be lost.
Unless I'm completely out of the loop, I couldn't find anything like this at Sipgate. I saw some pretty scary prices per minute for landlines and mobile phones, unless I misunderstood. The cost to call a US landline is $.021/minute regardless of where you are in the world, IF you don't have the monthly subscription. You buy Skype Credit and it gets deducted from that.
Also, you can use that local number from your house phone, so no local minutes are used. So if you want to call the US from your house in the UK, and you had the monthly subscription, you could call that local number and then call the US or 36 other countries and it would all be included in your monthly subscription if you had the World Subscription at $9.95.
Like I said, it's really for international calling.
Now 3UK has released the 3Skypephone and 3INQ. Don't know how they are doing yet, technically, but the concept is that they are cell phones that can also be used as Skype phones. So you would pay for your monthly minutes, but could log into your Skype account and make calls via that. So I could either call a local number and then call around the world or log into my account. The difference might be more receiving. I believe (don't quote me) that by logging into your acct you could receive a call from the US while on your cell phone in the UK without making the person in the US call a UK cellphone. If you signed up for a permanent US SkypeIn number (instead of the French one I mentioned above) then people in the US would call the local US number and reach you on your Skype enabled cell phone in the UK. Great for young people traveling. I investigated a Verizon Blackberry to ck email while abroad and no matter how I worked it, it would be costing me either $.99 or $1.25/minute to call the US.
This is all in addition to the regular free skype-to-skype calls.

I have used Skype on my current device (Blackberry Bold via iSkoot) and my previous two devices (SE P1i via Fring and Palm Treo 750 via Skype for Windows Mobile). All bar the offical Skype client for Windows Mobile worked well. Both iSkoot and Fring allowed me to Skype out, which when you have relatives who don't use computers let alone have a broandband connection, then it helps to call them with being tied to a PC. With a Skype subscription (£2 per month), I can get a Skype In number so relatives overseas can call in. without paying IDD rates. Skype really is for adults rather than teenagers.

Each of these devices have been connected to 3 and I had the Internet Max (formally X-Series Silver) add-on which allows you to use Skype.

**Puts hand up** Me, me, I use it.

Calling abroad. I have friends abroad so comes in handy then.

SkypeIn comes in handy too. I have a London number with SkypeIn because I'm based up in the beautiful North East where the air is fresh and the rent is cheap.

I've tried Skype in a number of mobile guises but all have been crippled by delays in presence updating, delays in IM arriving & flaky call quality. I use Skype a bit from my PC but generally find using a phone easier. Deals from people like DeFi Mobile remove the per call charge anyway which was in the past a reason to use Skype.

Truphone's new client for the iPhone & iPod Touch supports Skype so will be interested to see if that raises the stakes in 'Skype for Mobile'. Truphone's implementations are pretty good so this is one to watch.

I like the idea of Skype on a mobile because of the presence & the ability to have the same access to my key contacts on a mobile as well as a PC but it does need to work!

I have about 113 contacts in Skype and I use it as my primary IM platform (I don't use it for calling.. just for chatting). I used to use MSN Messenger but switched over to Skype because more of my friends use Skype than MSN. And you are very wrong about “anyone under the age of 25 is probably not a Skype user” Since I'm 21 and I have only about 5 contacts who are older than 25. I guess we both are from really different societies/cultures/regions if you say than you don't know anybody using Skype. (I also use Skype on my mobile phone – again just for IM/presence and not calling)

I live in Ireland.

My Borther lives in America.

My Sis in India.

My Mum in Austria.

My Dad in Macedonia.

We looked at Skype….couldnt be arsed……use MSN/Google when we need….but more often than not just pick up the phone….

Hoops,
It is really interesting to hear your view it was a opinion pieace so please don't take my comments to seriously. It is very interesting that you use skype as an IM client mainly, as for me MSN messenger/ FaceBook Chat are the biggest IM protocols.
Out of Interest I am 20 year old university Student living In Manchester UK

Take a quick look at our call quality guide, which might be useful – and if you still have the same problems with video calls, give me a shout and I'll put you in touch with one of our troubleshooters, who should be able to sort things out for you.

I honestly assumed it had something to do with MIIT or some other branch of the Central government disrupting the traffic. Even if we both wear headphones I get all sorts of strange sounds and one city may work while another bombs.

btw – If the app did not muck with my audio settings I'd be more inclined to use it.

Thanks Peter.

I use skype. I don't have the most contacts but more than a dozen skype contacts. The brilliant thing about the integrated skype on the INQ1 and other compatible phones is that you can also call landlines abroad using skype call credit. Thus anyone who has any relatives abroad would be interested in this feature if they were aware of it. This is what I think you are missing. (The skypephone to landlines feature). 3 were really on the ball here. Who actually uses their mobile to make calls abroad? Hardly anyone because it's so expensive. At least this way they increase the amount of calls abroad, whilst getting a small cut from Skype.

I use skype. I don't have the most contacts but more than a dozen skype contacts. The brilliant thing about the integrated skype on the INQ1 and other compatible phones is that you can also call landlines abroad using skype call credit. Thus anyone who has any relatives abroad would be interested in this feature if they were aware of it. This is what I think you are missing. (The skypephone to landlines feature). 3 were really on the ball here. Who actually uses their mobile to make calls abroad? Hardly anyone because it's so expensive. At least this way they increase the amount of calls abroad, whilst getting a small cut from Skype.

Any expat like myself is a Skype addict. You can call your family and friends anywhere in the world for free. Having it in the mobile is specially useful for receiving calls. You have the phone all the time and your family can call you for free. Skype adds 350 thousand new subscribers every day.

Any expat like myself is a Skype addict. You can call your family and friends anywhere in the world for free. Having it in the mobile is specially useful for receiving calls. You have the phone all the time and your family can call you for free. Skype adds 350 thousand new subscribers every day.

Setting up skype and using this from abroad is more complicated than you think. I will be in Germany during weekdays and back in UK during week ends. As I have used skype for sometime thought its great, all that I need is to get internet access using a PAYG simcard brought in Germany.
No this does not work as the service providers block access to skype.
You need proof of address and bank details and practically your whole life story handed over to these service provider before they can sell you an iPhone. So very complicated.
Is there any one who can suggest a simple, cheap method to get internet access in Germany? Please letme know.

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