This week has seen some big news coming out of the CTIA Wireless 2010 trade show in Las Vegas, but I was saving the best for last. Beginning this week, Skype is now available for Verizon Wireless users. As of yesterday, Skype is available on nine 3G smartphones, including Android devices and BlackBerries. New and existing Verizon Wireless customers with Android 3G and BlackBerry 3G devices can get a link sent to their handsets to download the Voice over IP application.
With this app, users can make and receive Skype-to-Skype voice calls including to any contact around the world, send and receive unlimited instant messages with other Skype users, manage their Skype contact list from the app and even make calls to international phone numbers at competitive Skype calling rates.
“Skype mobile will change the way mobile consumers in the United States make and receive calls,” said John Harrobin, senior vice president of digital media and marketing for Verizon. “With an ‘always on’ capability, Skype mobile on your 3G smartphone means you never have to miss a call or make an appointment to connect with Skype users around the world. With Skype mobile, we’re untethering Skype users from their PCs and enabling them to stay connected—on the best wireless network in the country.”
Customers will need a Verizon Wireless smartphone and of course a data plan to use Skype mobile. However, it is interesting to note that Skype-to-Skype calls will not be charged against a users’ monthly minute allowance nor the data plans. Skype mobile will be available to select BlackBerry devices, including the Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition and Tour 9630 smartphones; as well as the Motorola DROID, HTC DROID ERIS, and Motorola DEVOUR.
To get Skype users can visit he following Web sites via a PC to send a text message to their handset:
Additionally, users can text SKYPE to 2244 to receive the link. Android customers can also download the app from the Android Market.
First Impressions of the Skype App
In a quick test of the service this week, I found it to work reasonably well. I’m a hardcore Skype user and have the service installed on my desktop PC, laptop and I even have a cordless Skype handset so I’m not always tethered to my desk or PC. So the ability to go wireless with Skype has long been attractive to me. I’ve tested other VoIP devices on my mobile phone, but Skype has been the dream.
The most noticeable thing following the short install – which was a snap – is that the app loads up seamlessly. It is a faster boot up than on the PC! The interface is a streamlined version of the desktop version and shows my current contact list – with those online being highlighted in green. The only trouble I had in testing was that the phone didn’t ring as I had other versions of Skype running with me logged in. Thus, the computer rings first followed by the standalone handset and finally the mobile version.