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Skype App Updated, Allows 3G Calling On the iPhone

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the free-for-now dept.

Communications 109

silverpig sends this excerpt from the Wifitalk.ca blog: "Skype has just announced that an updated version of its iPhone app has been released to the App Store and now allows calling over 3G. While this functionality has been available on the iPhone since a January update to the SDK, and while other apps such as Fring have enabled 3G VOIP calling through their apps, Skype has been noticeably absent from the VOIP-over-3G landscape. Until today." A reader adds: "Included in the app update are some UI tweaks and a call quality indicator to help you predict what your VOIP-over-3G call quality will be like. Most interesting in the announcement is the suggestion that while Skype-to-Skype over 3G will be free for 2010, Skype is investigating pricing options and may charge for it in 2011. This could lead to smartphones being sold with data only + Skype plans."

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109 comments

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399274)

Eat my shorts slashdot !!

Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399278)

Sopssa is a troll. Remember it moderators.

Re:Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399420)

hopefully that asshole gets the message and posts on channel 9 instead of slashdot.

Re:Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399470)

Standing, legs spread in a kiba-dachi. Naked. The crown of the baby Obama begins to peek out of the colon. As the stander begins to sway in the birth motion, the baby Obama slides out of the colon, swinging in a shorter, quicker arc, mouth free to scream, as the live-water birth plops into the birth pool.

*BLAT!* Childbirth is a miracle of life, the most beautiful thing to happen to all involved.

-- soppsa (Can't post all the time with bad karma and all)

Re:Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32404202)

Sopssa is a troll. Remember it moderators.

You forgot to also mention node 3 and BasilBush

data only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399362)

data only plans? can't believe that

Re:data only? (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399570)

data only plans? can't believe that

Yeah, that would be too awesome. I'd love an iPhone with a iPad-like Data plan, but it won't happen.

Re:data only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32402446)

You can do it. At least in Canada. You can buy a data plan for a SIM card. Just say that you want to use it in your HSPA USB modem. Don't ever pronounce the word "phone" however, since they will be confused and will want you to buy a voice plan.
The downside is that you need to buy your own (unlocked) phone. And you get no rebate on the monthly data plan (starts at $CAD 30 for 500 MiB)

Just use the iPad plan (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399766)

1) Buy an iPad

2) Use a MicroSim adaptor [microsim-shop.com] to use the iPad data only connection in your favorite mobile device.

3) This step intentionally left blank.

Although I can't find any reports of someone ACTUALLY doing this (just lots of reports of people using an iPhone SIM in the iPad3G) it seems like it should work.

Re:Just use the iPad plan (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399808)

The cell company will still have access to your IEMI and know that you aren't using an iPad.

Yes, but it works the other way... (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400190)

The cell company will still have access to your IEMI and know that you aren't using an iPad.

That is true, but just because they have access do that data does not mean it's blocked or will not work. There has been plenty of success in people using the iPhone sim in the iPad 3G (though the phone companies have less reason to care about use in that direction).

In a data only plan, data is just data and because the plans are sold with explicit data caps it seems like they would be OK with other devices using the plan, as long as originally you had bought an iPad to use the plan to start with.

I don't get it.. (2, Insightful)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399366)

Why would skype over 3g be different than skype over wifi? They are both tcp/ip connections right?

Re:I don't get it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399384)

wifi is free, 3g covers far more area.

Re:I don't get it.. (2, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399416)

Because they can, and because iPhone users (and to some extent all smartphone users) are accustomed to paying extra for random things.

On a semi-OT note, this sort of thing happening with "normal" internet connections (like the one your house has) is one of the things net-neutrality campaigners are worried about.

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399446)

Well I don't even think fring on my android phone even knows what type of connection it uses. It doesn't let me know at least :)
As for my regular internet getting this treatment, I'd switch to one of the 10-20 others delivering to my address in a heartbeat!

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399512)

I'd switch to one of the 10-20 others delivering to my address in a heartbeat!

Lucky you. A lot of people live in areas with ISP monopolies.

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399524)

> Well I don't even think fring on my android phone even knows what type of connection it uses. It doesn't let me know at least :)

Skype for Android has been confirmed as coming out soon (later this year) with video calling. We just need a few more front camera Android phones - or a mirror!

Re:I don't get it.. (2, Informative)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399662)

Net neutrality campaigners aren't just worried about "normal" internet connections, whatever that means. Net neutrality principles apply to *all* internet connections.

This situation is the reverse of the normal network neutrality problem. Normally you would expect AT&T to charge extra for the use of Skype, and that would be a clear net neutrality violation. Having Skype charge extra for using AT&T's network is less bad; Skype is not an ISP and there are many competing VoIP alternatives which do not charge. However, if AT&T is involved in Skype's decision to charge, for example if AT&T is charging Skype directly and Skype is passing that cost on, then it's still a net neutrality problem.

Re:I don't get it.. (3, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399430)

Right, in the sane world there would be no difference. I was doing Skype over 3G EVDO like 3 or 4 years ago, but then again my Treo wasn't controlled by Apple and the network it ran over was Sprint.

In the AT&T/Apple world, you the consumer don't make choices. You don't run software willy-nilly. They allow you to run software, and if that software is seen as taking away profits from either entity then it won't get approved. Or in this case gets approved after 2 years of complaints, threatened lawsuits, and the FTC breathing down AT&Ts neck.

Er, not to intrude on the soapbox (3, Informative)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399534)

...but there's a half-dozen carrier-neutral SIP/IAX2 apps on iTunes, and even more free apps purpose-built by companies offering VoIP over wifi/3G. I use one to connect to an Asterisk server and get great integration with my office PBX that is effectively a high-quality wifi phone.

The announcement here was that Skype feels it solved problems inherent with changing latency of 3G to the point you can walk around and have a decent phone call. That's huge if it works because service quality where I am can change block-by-block. I'm sure they'll have an Android version of this too in no-time if that's the case.

Apple is "Evil to the core(tm)". By choosing their products and harsh requirements for software reliability I'm forcing vendors to jump through hoops to sell me something. Maybe that's the trade-off for a device that just works.

-Matt

Re:Er, not to intrude on the soapbox (4, Informative)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399660)

All that shit "just works" on my N900, including Skype. Imho, the only mobile platform that doesn't "just work" is Window Mobile.

Re:Er, not to intrude on the soapbox (3, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399724)

Skype has been working over any data connection on nokia phones for years, both via 3rd party applications as well as native one.

Heck, the main complaint is that native skype app on nokia won't give you video calling at the moment, unlike the 3rd party apps that do.

PR1.2 (2, Informative)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400420)

Nokia only just added video calling for Skype on the N900 last week in PR1.2, but that delay seems like just Nokia's Symbian heads acting like douche bags with respect to the Maemo/MeeGo platform designed to help them hold the high end phone market.

Re:PR1.2 (1)

tincho_uy (566438) | more than 3 years ago | (#32406194)

Skype calls and IM worked out of the box on the N900 since day one. What are you talking about? The video calls are new. I've just tested them and they work with skype and gmail with no issues. I haven't tried SIP video yet, though.

Re:PR1.2 (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32408462)

Video didn't work until last week after PR1.2. SIP video kinda worked if the other party initialized, but you couldn't initialize, and skype had no video.

Skype 3G VOIP "Just Worked" on WM Since 2007 (3, Informative)

meehawl (73285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400312)

the only mobile platform that doesn't "just work" is Window Mobile.

Skype Mobile on WM has done 3G VOIP since 2007 on my Sprint network. It pretty much Just Worked. Bonus: have been enjoying occasional Video VOIP calls since then with Microsoft Portrait. That Just Works as well.

Re:Er, not to intrude on the soapbox (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32401698)

Apple is "Evil to the core(tm)". By choosing their products and harsh requirements for software reliability I'm forcing vendors to jump through hoops to sell me something. Maybe that's the trade-off for a device that just works.

-Matt

Shhhhh stop making sense, people might hear you.

Re:Er, not to intrude on the soapbox (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 3 years ago | (#32404782)

By choosing their products and harsh requirements for software reliability I'm forcing vendors to jump through hoops to sell me something. Maybe that's the trade-off for a device that just works.

Then why can't Google have Google Voice or Adobe have Flash on an iphone? Oh, I know why, only apps Apple thinks are "ok" are allowed. This isn't just a quality issue. This is a control issue where control refers to what Apple wants to control. And before you get back to the "but something like Flash isn't good quality for the user" we aren't just talking about users here. We are also talking about developers. The Apple deal for developers has always been the short end of the stick. They can pretty much tell you to fuck off anytime they want. The door is only open for you as long as your business matches their business interests.

Re:I don't get it.. (0, Troll)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399752)

In the AT&T/Apple world, you the consumer don't make choices.

I'm certain you are very wrong here.

You don't run software willy-nilly.

Wrong, with a few exceptions.

They allow you to run software, and if that software is seen as taking away profits from either entity then it won't get approved.

Cite one example of this from Apple.

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400284)

Cite one example of this from Apple.

Why do you think that it took 2 years to get Skype on the iPhone?

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400384)

Cite one example of this from Apple.

Why do you think that it took 2 years to get Skype on the iPhone?

Are you from an alternate universe where Skype hasn't been on the iPhone for over a year now?

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402006)

I think the point is that it's not been available over 3G.

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402094)

I think the point is that it's not been available over 3G.

AT&T has allowed this for over half a year now. And even when AT&T disallowed it, this in now way constitutes a response to "cite one example of this [software not being approved for taking away profits] from Apple."

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

kuwan (443684) | more than 3 years ago | (#32405334)

Why do you think that it took 2 years to get Skype on the iPhone?

Because Skype's been too busy with their thumb up their ass trying to figure out how to "monetize" Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G for the iPhone. And, as others have pointed out, Skype has been available for some time on the iPhone, they've just restricted it to only working over WiFi up until now.

AT&T lifted the 3G VOIP restriction months ago and Skype should have been able to release an update the day that AT&T did that. After all, it requires MORE code to check if you're on a 3G connection and display an error message. When there are no restrictions you don't need any code to check what type of connection you're using you just use the data connection without regard to where it's coming from. But no, Skype sat on their asses trying to figure out - Hey, how can we get iPhone users to pay us more money? Then some conceded dumb fuck said - I know, let's start charging for Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G, that will get us making some money.

Yeah, the service that's always been free for any other computer, phone or any other device. Skype's going to start charging us for the 3G data plan that we're already paying for. Well, I'm sorry Skype but you can go fuck yourselves if you think I'm going to pay you for that.

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

ninjakoala (890584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32401288)

I've been using Fring to make Skype calls over 3G on iPhone since January. It even works with SkypeOut. It's just a matter of logging in to your Skype account from Fring's client.

The main difference here is that the official client gets the 3G support. The SDK terms were changed in January to allow 3G, so basically Skype have been slow / bound by contracts (they've claimed the latter).

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#32407918)

Absolutely, but you're wrong to blame it on AT&T and Apple. ALL cell phone companies are greedy and have gotten away with too much. If your Treo was as common as iPhones are and the 3G VOIP app was as easy to get and use, you can bet Sprint would have acted to protect their lucrative voice calling service.

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#32408240)

What? The Treo at that time was the most popular smartphone. Not all cell phone companies are alike. AT&T and Apple are just one of the biggest anti-consumer companies in the world.

Re:I don't get it.. (2, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399596)

Competes with the phone company selling minutes. I have a skype in number and the last two weeks I've been directing conference calls to my skype account. I still use Skype on my iPhone for talking, just connected to my WiFi router at home. If I had taken those calls directly to my cell, I would have been way over on my minutes this month.

I'm sure the cell phone company would much rather bill me for the over use of minutes. (although I do have like 2800 roll over minutes)

Let's compare with !(apple/AT&T) (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399644)

Why would skype over 3g be different than skype over wifi? They are both tcp/ip connections right?

Right. They're not different on my Nokia N900. Are they different on Android? Are they different on European iPhones (since they don't go via AT&T)? Is that different on other phones on AT&T's network?

Re:Let's compare with !(apple/AT&T) (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399922)

Why would skype over 3g be different than skype over wifi? They are both tcp/ip connections right?

Right. They're not different on my Nokia N900. Are they different on Android? Are they different on European iPhones (since they don't go via AT&T)? Is that different on other phones on AT&T's network?

They're just as different on the iPhone as they are on any other sufficiently advanced phone. They are just different network adaptors, something like eth0 and eth1. I know the iPhone makes the difference clear to developers, so that they can account for differences in latency, bandwidth, and reliability, of 3G vs WiFi. I would assume Android, and other phones that are sufficiently advanced for the difference to make a difference (i.e., an email and WAP only phone, the differences probably doesn't matter), also have similar ways of telling which you are on.

In the case of Skype, they are (presumably going to be) charging for 3G voice calls because they can. Their charges will be less than price for voice minutes from the cell carrier. Skype seem to think that the revenue from this will be greater than the revenue from having more people use the service for free. I wouldn't think that's the case, but I'm obviously not in a position to know one way or the other. But having free Skype-to-Skype 3G calls means more people will use it which means more people who might pay for a Skype number.

This is also the reason all the people who think things like the App Store are locked in to generate revenue are wrong. It isn't. It's run at close to break-even in order to get more people to buy iPhones, which is where Apple makes their money. If they nickel-and-dimed people on the App Store, they'd sell fewer iPhones and lose far more money than they'd have made. Other industries could learn from this (MPAA, for example, and Hulu and NBC's nonsense).

Re:Let's compare with !(apple/AT&T) (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32407764)

On the n900, the devices are called wlan0 and gprs0. IMHO, it's a way better naming than ethX, but at the end, who cares, as long as you can identify who's in use? Now, about the revenue of the app store, how can you tell? I'm sure you are just making a wild guess here, and mine is that you are totally wrong. Let's say every iPhone user is buying 10 USD worth of apps, that is already reaching a quarter of a billion. Are you saying that this is insignificant? I don't think so.

Re:Let's compare with !(apple/AT&T) (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32408574)

On the n900, the devices are called wlan0 and gprs0. IMHO, it's a way better naming than ethX, but at the end, who cares, as long as you can identify who's in use?

I never said what they are called, just that they have labels like those, using examples most familiar to people here for a point of reference, but I assume the developer never deals with that directly, and just uses APIs that say "this is only for WiFi" or "if we're on 3G, let me know so I can do things differently", etc.

Now, about the revenue of the app store, how can you tell? I'm sure you are just making a wild guess here, and mine is that you are totally wrong. Let's say every iPhone user is buying 10 USD worth of apps, that is already reaching a quarter of a billion. Are you saying that this is insignificant? I don't think so.

Apple has maintained for years now that the iTunes stores are run at close to break-even. You're most likely correct that the iTunes stores generate a lot of revenue, but I never said they didn't, I said that revenue is not the purpose of app lock-in, and that the stores aren't a big profit center for Apple.

Fuck psto!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399376)

Fuck Fuck Fuck

even slower? (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399428)

I rarely miss multitasking on my iPhone, but Skype is the app that really reminds me how important it would be.

Re:even slower? (3, Informative)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399690)

iPhone OS 4 will support keeping Skype and other similar programs running in the background (essentially), if you hadn't heard.

Awesome! And good timing for iPhone OS 4 (2, Interesting)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399442)

I've been playing around with VoIP on 3G using the SIP client from Acrobits and it's fairly reliable on low-bandwidth codecs in most areas around here. Bad reception does affect VoIP calls more than cell calls, but overall this covers about 90% of places where I talk outside of the car.

Then again, if there was better prices on airtime maybe I'd be less inclined to go 100% VoIP. Canadian carriers offer unlimited incoming minutes for $15/mo, but after the upper cap on packages they can't do better than 3 cents/minute for outbound? So long as pricing is designed to deter cell phone use I'm going to continue migrating away as fast as possible.

I am very curious about the technical details of Skype's service. What Codec are they using for their VoIP traffic? Is it GSM/g.729 for the low-bandwidth, or something proprietary they cooked-up? I'd love to see what they considered a reasonable call quality trade-off for 3G service limitiations.

-Matt

Re:Awesome! And good timing for iPhone OS 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399908)

Canadian and US carriers are wierd, in Europe you dont pay to receive calls, only make them.

Re:Awesome! And good timing for iPhone OS 4 (1)

gibbsjoh (186795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400974)

From what I understand, this is because in Europe and elsewhere there are special STD codes for mobiles (07xxx here in the UK) and the caller pays a higher rate to call one. That can be as much of a difference as between £0.01/min landline to landine and £0.10/min or more for landline to mobile. In the States (when I was there anyway) your mobile number is in the same geographic STD code as landlines - so the caller can't tell if the number's a mobile or not, and hence pay the same amount to call it as if it were a landline. The remainder of the termination charge is then picked up by the mobile user with "incoming minutes."

JG

Re:Awesome! And good timing for iPhone OS 4 (1)

GennarinoParsifalle (714027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32401478)

This could be a valid explanation, but do not explain the fact that, AFAIK, US mobiles pay also for receiving SMS. To me, it seems simply a weird and somewhat greedy contract.

Re:Awesome! And good timing for iPhone OS 4 (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402194)

We also have normal portability, so a phone number that was an AT&T landline could now be a Verizon cell, and have moved from NYC to Los Angeles.

Re:Awesome! And good timing for iPhone OS 4 (1)

shaze (665876) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402680)

I also use Acrobits Softphone and use a Thinktel (http://www.thinktel.ca/en/about/ournetwork) backed Residential provider called Digitel (http://digitalvoice.ca/rateplans.php). They are by far the best and cheapest provider I've tested so far, and their plans include many European and Asian destinations like Skype's. I cannot wait until 4.0 comes out, then I'm dropping my voice plan altogether and switching to just data.

I predict... (3, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399468)

I predict that in the near future all 3G subscriptions will be data only, paying by Gb. Voice will be data like any other. As soon as one provider starts pricing like this, all the others will be forced to follow suite.

Re:I predict... (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399548)

People will go where the perceived value is, so unless one company somehow makes it look like you're saving money by being charged at a metered rate then all companies would have to do this simultaneously or it would be suicide for the first company to do this.

Re:I predict... (2, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399560)

Doesn't seem likely with 3G, but 4G is expected to be IP-only, which would really make that look like the only sensible model.

Re:I predict... (4, Interesting)

NevDull (170554) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399614)

Personally, I think Google is waiting for Skype to fight the data vs. telephone case and then follow the "open" path Skype has created to swoop in with Google Voice end-to-end VoIP apps and scale out like sand in a sandstorm.

Re:I predict... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#32403556)

Personally, I think Google is waiting for Skype to fight the data vs. telephone case and then follow the "open" path Skype has created to swoop in with Google Voice end-to-end VoIP apps and scale out like sand in a sandstorm.

Carriers can make sure that VoIP is unusable without doing anything special. VoIP has a very nasty requirement that no other usage has - it is very time sensitive. Latency can turn a great VoIP connection into garbage. HTTP and other traffic wouldn't notice it. And not just any latency, but jitter especially.

Imagine a carrier randomly delaying a bunch of packets 50ms, then 0ms, then 50ms then 0ms. The receiver will get no packets, then a pile of packets, then no packets. Do it wildly enough and the VoIP connection can be just awful even though both ends are getting every single packet (as VoIP discards late packets).

Jitter's already pretty bad on cellular networks, so it's hard to tell if a carrier is doing it intentionally or it happens to be natural cellular traffic.

Re:I predict... (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402080)

I don't think that will happen any time soon. Carriers love charging you money and having you not actually use the service. They charge you $xx/month for xx minutes per month no matter if you use these minutes or not. Same with the data packages. If they billed by the GB then their revenue goes down drastically since most people don't come close to using everything they're paying for.

More like free minutes, tiered bandwidth/GBs (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 3 years ago | (#32403874)

it's more likely that it'll be they just decide to give everybody unlimited minutes for a flat rate, and sell you the data connection. as like $1/GB/month

That's nice (5, Informative)

Majix (139279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399664)

Gee, thanks for "allowing" this, you're all too kind. Of course the Nokia N900 [nokia.com] has had Skype over WiFi and 3G since last fall, and with the latest update does Skype-to-Skype video calls as wells (over whatever TCP/IP connection you have of course, including 3G)! But I'm sure it will be a great innovation and a lot of fuss about it when the iPhone 4G or whatever invents video calls later on.

Re:That's nice (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32399816)

Why is it every time there's an phone article, you N900 guys come out and tout your unloved phones? Yes, we all know you can do everything in an unrestricted way on your amazing wonderphone. It's time you guys faced up to the fact that the experience of using it is truly awful and nobody wants to buy this phone, regardless of what it can do. I'm not sure Nokia could give these away for free. All this reeks of desperately trying to justify your purchase to an uncaring world. We're happy with our phones and obviously don't care about yours, so please stop telling us about it.

Re:That's nice (1)

Pennidren (1211474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32399890)

Why is it every time there's an phone article, you N900 guys come out and tout your unloved phones? We're happy with our phones and obviously don't care about yours, so please stop telling us about it.

Um, ditto?
Why is it that every time there's a phone article, it is about the iPhone? Or sometimes Android.

(I don't own any of the above mentioned phones)

Re:That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32400338)

Oooh, so you are so happy with your phones, that N900 and video calling over skype makes you write so long reply?
Sounds like you are not so happy :P
(btw, N900 can multitask, too... :P)

Re:That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32401242)

The Fox and the Grapes...

Re:That's nice (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402732)

It's time you guys faced up to the fact that the experience of using it is truly awful

Care to back that statement up? IMO, the interface of the N900 is far superior to that of the iPhone, being far easier to use (especially for multitasking), while still being extremely easy on the eyes.

Re:That's nice (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32407960)

Why is it every time there's an phone article, you N900 guys come out and tout your unloved phones?

Maybe because we are tired of hearing about "news" that aren't news at all? Maybe because we are tired of the Job's marketing for the masses, that also reaches Slashdot? Or because we are open source and freedom lovers, and can't stand the fact that people are diving into the jail of the first computing platform all time, where you can't decide what software you can run? Choose the best answer...

Yes, we all know you can do everything in an unrestricted way on your amazing wonderphone.

That is correct. Including: installing Chromium, Opera and Mozilla, just because I feel like it, and without anyone to tell me that it is forbidden. Or compiling my own software if I want to (I did my own port of "joe" and "mtr" because I really missed them). Sorry, I quite don't want to buy a Mac to be able to port a tiny text editor...

It's time you guys faced up to the fact that the experience of using it is truly awful and nobody wants to buy this phone, regardless of what it can do. I'm not sure Nokia could give these away for free.

Any reason that is pushing you to say this that you would care mentioning? The only thing that I don't like is the slowness of Empathy, the rest of is pure wonder.

All this reeks of desperately trying to justify your purchase to an uncaring world.

Well, it's justified already by the numerous customer support tickets I have answer with it, all the email and podcasts (Floss weekly for example, using Gpodder) I have read, the music I listen using the FM transmitter and so on.

We're happy with our phones and obviously don't care about yours, so please stop telling us about it.

Sure we'll stop... as soon as the iPhone propaganda will stop too! Oh, and I forgot... We'll also stop when people will praise Apple and their god M. Jobs for being so nice to allow this or that apps to reach the store, when the only information that there is, is the lack of freedom. Seriously, I'm sick of all this, and people like you that don't understand how much installing the apps you want is important.

Re:That's nice (2, Insightful)

bushing (20804) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400784)

Gee, thanks for "allowing" this, you're all too kind. [...] But I'm sure it will be a great innovation and a lot of fuss about it when the iPhone 4G or whatever invents video calls later on.

You do realize that the company that is "allowing this" is Skype, not Apple, right? There was an Apple-imposed restriction on apps using VOIP over 3G, but that was lifted back in January -- hell, that's even in the summary of this article! Other apps that were released or updated since then have supported it.

The news here is that Skype finally updated their own app, and Skype may start charging for their service when used over 3G -- money that would go to them, not to Apple, AT&T or anyone else. That's the only "innovation" we're talking about here.

Re:That's nice (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32401738)

The problem isn't apple in this case, its AT&T. Apple has had to limit features by request ( demand ) due to AT&T's inability to handle the traffic.

Re:That's nice (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32405542)

My Sony Ericsson phone on "3 Mobile" has completely free skype to skype calls. They don't even charge data. Skype to phone calls only cost skype credit, and not data either.

3 are mad.

Nokia N800 - 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32406296)

Skype came pre-installed on my Nokia N800 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_N800 [wikipedia.org] . It worked over any data connection since day 1. I've used it only over WiFi connections, but I have used it in very remote locations where WiFi wasn't much better than EDGE for connectivity. That was back in 2007.

I'm still using my N800 daily and Skype on it when I travel.

Apple, as usual - 3 yrs late. They were 3+ yrs late to portable digital music too, as you'll recall.

Typical Apple Newbie Profound Lack of Knowledge (2, Informative)

meehawl (73285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400350)

Skype has been noticeably absent from the VOIP-over-3G landscape. Until today

Skype has been doing VOIP over 3G on my Sprint HTC Windows Mobile phone since 2007. And fring has also been doing that for almost as long. Bonus: for several years I have proudly demonstrated my nose hairs to a chosen few with Video VOIP using Microsoft Portrait on Windows Mobile. I hear that Apple's newest phone may finally have Video VOIP thus summer... I guess we will have to eagerly anticipate a bunch of Apple Astroturfers chiming in with "Video VOIP has been noticeably absent from the mobile phone landscape... until today"-type comments.

Re:Typical Apple Newbie Profound Lack of Knowledge (1)

teg (97890) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400536)

Bonus: for several years I have proudly demonstrated my nose hairs to a chosen few with Video VOIP using Microsoft Portrait on Windows Mobile (...)I hear that Apple's newest phone may finally have Video VOIP thus summer...

Windows Mobile, eh? The platform that Microsoft has discontinued due to failure and generally being awkward, and Skype dropped [zdnet.com] . You can't download Skype for Windows mobile anymore.

As for voice chat on cell phones, it was awkward (and thus completely unused, other than once for trying) on my Nokia N95 - and I doubt even Apple can get around the "holding your phone at arms length in front of you is awkward and stupid" issue. Apple certainly needs multitasking (which Microsoft won't have on their phones [osnews.com] replacing the now discontinued and obsolete Windows Mobile), and things like FM radio would be really nice. Front facing camera, OTOH, is a waste.

Re:Typical Apple Newbie Profound Lack of Knowledge (1)

meehawl (73285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32401252)

The platform that Microsoft has discontinued

Actually, it's more like forked.

The legacy 6.5.x (I am counting its equivalent Win CE here, because WM 6.5.x is basically a profile for that) is so ingrained in so many vertical markets that it will likely be around for another decade, at least. Especially in Asia, where the stylus+resisitive+inking combo is essential for quick messaging.

The reason to fork the platform is because MS simply wasn't getting enough traction in the US,and moving to a new codebase that basically runs Silverlight as a front-end on top of XNA enables MS to accomplish two things: 1) Unify its game/consumer and handheld markets, and 2) Produce a flashy new baseline interface using lots of sans-serif and finger-swooshing (ala HTC's SenseUI) that will het all the US-based dittohead bloggers excited.

We have different definitions of "failure". I've no especial love for WM, but I respect a platform that enabled millions of interested people to get their smartphone and handheld computing on for almost a full decade before the Second Coming of Apple's Phone (I'm counting the ROKR as V1).

Also, you don't need to hold the camera at arm's length. Adaptive face tracking makes the experience much less fraught.

Re:Typical Apple Newbie Profound Lack of Knowledge (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402024)

the Second Coming of Apple's Phone (I'm counting the ROKR as V1).

Shhh, the fanboys will have you murdered in your sleep for claiming that the ROKR was anything other than entirely a Motorola creation with absolutely nothing to do with Apple, no how, no way, no sir...

Re:Typical Apple Newbie Profound Lack of Knowledge (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400648)

Video VOIP was around before that and the concept of video phones has been around for decades. It's funny that it probably won't really take off until Apple or Google add it to their devices though. Apple and Google have taken a lot of technology that's already been around or isn't particularly new, but they actually make that technology usable for the 95% of people who are non-technophiles.

I hope they keep the pay as you go model intact (1)

davvr6 (823826) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400400)

Please Skype if you are reading this? Skype is great! I talk to land lines for pennies an hour and if I call a mobile I know it costs more. Now they are saying effectively that if you call from a mobile it will cost more and I can live with that. We have an excellent wireless router and skype from my iphone is often better than with my voip service which is free in US and Canada. I am always chipping away at the Euros in my account because I am seldom doing skype to skype. I am willing to pay something modest but I only want to pay for it when I use it. How much data does a minute of skype voice calling use up? I have a 1 GB plan and I rarely use more than 500MB.

Re:I hope they keep the pay as you go model intact (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#32401356)

In the UK, I have a phone that includes a skype client on it. It uses the regular voice network for voice calls and costs me absolutely nohing for skype to skype calls, I can also do calls to foreign country numbers using my skype credit. In fact, you can get a pay as you go card and not have to refill it or anything to use the skype functionality.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32400818)

I've been doing this on my blackberry for a long time now. iPhone finally got around to playing catch up with everyone else. Why is this front page?

Personal experience; not reliable enough yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32400844)

Based on my personal experience with N900 + Skype in a Finland, I wouldn't quite go as far as to forfeit voice call plans in favour of VOIP-over-3G, at least not yet.

The upside is that it's a cheap way to make and receive foreign calls, and works quite well when it works, the downside is that congestion (data traffic typically being low priority), moving from one cell to another, moving to spot where the phone downgrades to 2G, etc. will cause a VOIP call to drop easily. Which can be incredibly aggravating if/when it happens several times in a row, of course. Not to mention that if cell phone carriers don't increase capacity soon, their mobile data would be even more congested than it currently is, assuming people would see VOIP-over-3G (or 4G) as a viable option.

So, in my opinion, it's an excellent addition to complement a normal voice plan, but I certainly wouldn't rely solely on it at the moment.

The iPhone is 2008 news. Droid's the future. (0, Flamebait)

gavron (1300111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32400904)

Nobody cares anymore. Apple/AT&T iPhone sales are flat.

The Droid rules.

Oh, and Skype works on 3G or WiFi out of the box. No "patch" needed.

Sorry, Apple. Once again you led the way to herds of dead buffalos at the bottom of cliffs.

So much for the "Jesus Phone".

What iPhone doesn't do (patch or not), Droid _does_.

E

Re:The iPhone is 2008 news. Droid's the future. (1)

kuwan (443684) | more than 3 years ago | (#32405372)

Nobody cares anymore.

Oh you'll start caring if Skype pulls this same bullshit for their Android client and starts charging for Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G. I think you might care about that.

Re:The iPhone is 2008 news. Droid's the future. (1)

gavron (1300111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32406478)

> Oh you'll start caring if Skype pulls this same bullshit for their Android client and starts charging for Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G. I think you might care about that.

I use both the Android and the Nokia N900 because they are open-source. Nobody will "start charging" for anything. Should they, someone will write a replacement.

For that reason I don't use Skype on my Android (nor the Nokia N900). I use SipDroid. It's free, I still get unlimited minutes excluding international dialing, and I'm not encumbered by "worrying" about Apple's app-store policies, Skype's cellular contracts, or any company's policy.

Kind regards

E

smartphones being sold with data only (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32401688)

Dream on.

What will happen is the data plan price will go up if voip on iphone ( and others ) become popular and you will STILL pay for voice.

small montly fee for skype to skype calls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32401938)

The update says that there will be a small montly fee for skype to skype calls after 2010, is this normal for skype?

Besides from that, 3g does not matter much to me since I have a unlimited national calls and unlimited data(it's a company number and the unlimited is because we also currently have 2000 WAN connections from the same provider). I use skype when travelling to avoid those 3$ pr minute rates and data rates are too expensive to use abroad anyway so I called from hotel/cafe/resturant/etc wifi and it worked fine for me.

Does skype realle have to run in the background to recieve calls? Couldn't it use push messages to start it up when recieving a call?

They could cripple it like on Verizon. (1)

awyeah (70462) | more than 3 years ago | (#32402038)

Don't forget folks - if you have a Verizon BlackBerry, the deal isn't the same. When you make a call through Skype over 3G, it uses minutes from your voice plan. See their website [verizonwireless.com] [WARNING: There's Flash on that page]. You get free Skype-to-Skype calls, and international calling goes against your Skype credits. So it is still beneficial to have it, but not for making calls to domestic US phone numbers. Now - I don't know how the technology works - if Skype is actually routing through the voice network or data network for domestic calls - but either way, they'll charge you just the same.

I wouldn't put it past AT&T and Skype to work out a deal like this.

Now can I get Skype for Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32402762)

that allows WiFi calling?

That has been on the n900 for month!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32404260)

The Nokia n900, sold for about the same price as the iPhone, has Skype natively. But not only: google talk and SIP. The latest update of Maemo (just few days ago) has just added video support for both SIP and Skype. What is the point of this "news" now? Again advertize for Apple products? Thanks but no thanks...

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32407632)

Or you could just jailbreak it, stop being a tool for apple any anyone that pays them and be free to do anything - like use ANY application over a 3G connection. For those of us that are free, skype has been available on 3G for quite some time now :)

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