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April 25, 2008 / Marco

Skype for Mobile Cell Phones is Disappointing

Not surprisingly, I just found Skype for Mobile released as a beta application. The fact that Skype is now paying attention to Symbian and UIQ platforms is a good piece of news for many users, but who wants this overly slapdash attention?

The Skype mobile client has been written in Java, meaning the interface is quite cumbersome and application execusion is a tad slow. Also, from an accessibility perspective, it’s not compatible with Symbian screen readers like Nuance TALKS and Code Factory Mobile Speak – confirmed on my N82 which has TALKS installed. Obviously they have selected Java to address a wider range of handsets without being forced to adopt a costlier platform-specific approach. Equally important is the way Skype handles VoIP conversations. It uses your internet connection for text chats, but routes all calls through the PSTN (phone) network. This very limitation defeats the rationale behind developing and using Skype. It’s worth mentioning that iSkoot for Skype also makes use of such a solution for VoIP conversations, but Fring doesn’t.

To download Skype for your cell phone handset, visit http://www.skype.com/ on your cell phone. At the end of the day, it seems to me that if IM+ for Skype adds free Skype-to-Skype call capabilities, it would become the best Skype client, surpassing iSkoot for Skype, Fring, and the newly released Skype for Mobile beta. I’m a bit disappointed because the Skype client for Nokia tablet devices does make use of the available internet connection for all sorts of Skype calls, but Symbian S60 users shouldn’t keep their hopes high.

Related Info: iSkoot Chat Application

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