Skype for iPhone vs Jailbreak

There's been not a little hype over the launch of the Skype app for iPhones - not least because, according to the official Skype blog, "Skype for iPhone has been downloaded more than one million times - around six downloads every second".

Cellcos are not pleased - even with the app limited to Wi-Fi usage only - and want regulators to step in, which effectively brings the Net neutrality debate (inevitably) to cellcos.

While we're waiting for the FCC to sort that one out, one question worth asking is: what's the user experience like‾

Initial reviews at the usual tech/gadget blogs like GigaOm, Wired Gadget Lab and Ars Technica have been mainly positive.

However, not everyone is pleased, if the comments section of the Skype blog post trumpeting a million downloads is any indication:

"Pity you can't make calls on a WiFi network with a VPN running -- as your app thinks it's then on a 3G network and disallows calling."

"When I select a phone number to dial from my contact list it does not automatically place the +1 in front of the number, forcing me to dial the number manually. Is this a major oversight of the programming team‾"

"I have installed Skype three times on my 3G iPhone. I can not hear the other party who says they CAN hear me. I also can not hear the ring on the other end. Is there some hidden config button I missed‾"

"˜Judging by the tens of thousands of reviews on the App store, I would presume about 999,996 people promptly uninstalled it when they realised it rarely stays open for more than 15 seconds without crashing. I gave up after numerous reinstalls and reboots"&brkbar; this has to be the buggiest package *ever* to make it t the app store."

"Today I purchased credits (on my pc). The skype app on the touch keeps showing that i need to purchase credits. When i click to purchase credit and log in I have ten dollars credit but the app will not show I have credit and therefore not let me make any calls. This sucks."

Oh dear.

To be fair, one commenter suggests the problem isn't the app - it's the users who unlocked their iPhones with the Jailbreak application.

"Actually Skype works perfectly "&brkbar; You and everyone like you complaining about crashes has a JAILBROKEN iPhone. Sorry folks, but Skype isn't responsible for problems with your buggy phones. Uninstall the Jailbreak, load the latest iPhone firmware, and Skype will work like a dream. IMO Skype has no responsibility whatsoever testing or debugging your buggy, broken by design firmware."


Cue argument over whether this is the fault of users who unlocked their iPhones or Apple for locking it in the first place.

However, says another commenter, the Jailbreak factor doesn't explain the impact of Skype on battery life:

""&brkbar;During 'just installed', my iPhone 3G battery consumed far faster (empty in a half day). Now I uninstalled it, then the battery consumption is resumed as normal "&brkbar; My iPhone 3G is of cource, not "˜Jail broken'."

The Mobile VoIP Arbitrage saga continues "&brkbar;