At long last, Skype has made it to the Apple iPhone. And based on our tests of the popular voice-over-IP app, we're happy to say Skype for iPhone was worth the wait.

Skype for iPhone certainly isn't perfect, but it looks good, is easy to use, and offers excellent voice quality - particularly when making Skype-to-Skype calls.

Skype for iPhone offers features similar to those found in the company's other mobile versions, which work on Windows Mobile, Google Android, and Java-based phones.

It lets you see when your Skype contacts are online and available; make free Skype-to-Skype calls; use the SkypeOut feature to make calls to landlines and mobile phones; send instant messages to your Skype contacts; and receive incoming calls via a SkypeIn number.

You can't make video calls or conference calls, as you can with the desktop version of Skype, but you can, reportedly, accept an incoming conference call (though we weren't able to test this feature).

Skype for iPhone

Skype for iPhone: getting started

We downloaded Skype for iPhone from the App Store, signed in with our username and password, and the app automatically imported all of our account info, including contacts and the available balance in our SkypeOut account.

The Skype for iPhone interface is very similar to the Windows Mobile version, though it does have an iPhone feel. The dialpad, for example, looks very similar to the iPhone's own dialpad; the same is true of Skype's contact list, which offers an iPhone-like filtering tab.

Skype for iPhone requires Wi-Fi to make any kind of voice calls. 9to5Mac was able to make voice calls over AT&T's 3G network in the US on an iPhone running the not-yet-released 3.0 software; we tried the same thing on a Apple iPhone 3G running the current 2.2 software, and were unable to connect.

NEXT PAGE: voice quality, and a few glitches

At long last, Skype has made it to the Apple iPhone. And based on our tests of the popular voice-over-IP app, we're happy to say Skype for iPhone was worth the wait.

Skype for iPhone: voice quality great

Voice calls made over Wi-Fi sound very good, though. Skype-to-Skype calls are loud and clear, with quality that is better than your average mobile phone call. SkypeOut calls made to both landlines and mobile phones aren't quite as sharp, but the overall quality is very good, comparable to a very good cellular call.

On one Skype for iPhone call we heard a noticeable and distracting echo, but it lasted less than a minute. The existing SkypeOut rates stay the same on the iPhone.

In all, calls made using Skype for iPhone are of significantly better voice quality than any of the mobile VoIP services we've tested recently. That includes Skype for Windows Mobile and Truphone, a Skype-like service for the iPhone. Skype for the iPhone blows them both out of the water in terms of voice quality.

Skype for iPhone: a few glitches

Skype for iPhone is not without flaws, though. It showed one of our contacts as offline, even though he was connected. (It wasn't until he called that his status changed to show him online.) And the app was occasionally slow to respond to taps on the touchscreen; we sometimes experienced a noticeable delay when trying to initiate or end a call, for example.

You won't find a whole lot in the way of iPhone-only features in this version of Skype. You can use your iPhone camera to take a picture to use as your profile photo, or you can upload a picture from your existing photo roll. But that's about it.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict

Skype for iPhone: Specs

  • Apple iPhone
  • Skype login
  • internet connection (Wi-Fi)
  • Apple iPhone
  • Skype login
  • internet connection (Wi-Fi)


If you're looking for a solid mobile VoIP service for your iPhone, we can easily recommend Skype. Sure, rival services such as Truphone have some features that Skype for iPhone lacks - such as the ability to chat via third-party IM services such as AIM and Yahoo Messenger. But, to us, call quality is what matters. And Skype wins that battle easily.

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