March 30, 2009

Skype for iphone and blackberry...traveling soon.

As of this Tuesday, traveling life as we know it will be changed for the better. What am I talking about? According to the Red Herring, Skype has announced that you can now download the application from itunes for the iphone and ipod touch. Unfortunately BlackBerry users will have to wait until May.

So what does this mean exactly? It means that if you are traveling with an iphone or ipod touch, and you get a wireless signal, you can now make free Skype to Skype calls, or use Skype Out, and for pennies, you can connect with your friends and family back home. Visiting New York from London and you're eating lunch in Bryant Park? Great, use the free Wi-Fi and your Skype application, and call home for much less than it would from your local carrier. I should note that it will work only in Wi-Fi mode and not with AT&T's 3G network.

Although Wi-Fi signals might not be as easy to come across in developing countries, you can always find Internet cafes or kiosks in most tourist towns. So maybe it's not free, but it's still pretty cheap to possibly access their Wi-Fi service and call home on Skype.

All I can say is that I wish this service was available before. I've been traveling with a quad band GSM phone that is unlocked, and I've had to buy local SIM cards in each country to make calls. I won't be able to completely rely on Skype from here on out, since there are many instances where I can't get access to a Wi-Fi signal. But if I know I'll be close to a Wi-Fi signal, then I can plan on much cheaper, and longer calls home.

If you're using Microsoft's Windows mobile, Google's Android, or have a Nokia phone, it won't be long either before Skype is an option on these operating systems.

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