updated 10:30 pm EST, Mon January 5, 2009
Truphone gets Skype
Truphone (booth no. 3228) on Monday debuted the ability to make and receive Skype calls and instant messaging (IM) from its iPhone and iPod touch applications. Scheduled to be available to all customers during the week of January 12th, Truphone customers on both Apple devices can now reach their Skype friends via their Skype IDs. Separately, Truphone also announced today the availability of well-known instant-messaging services using the Truphone application on the iPod touch and the iPhone. The new features include full two-way instant messaging over MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk on the iPod touch and on the iPhone (with the latter beginning next week) as well as support for Twitter in its TruFriends view so users can view posts and post directly from within the Truphone application.
In addition, customers can also make and receive voice calls on Google Talk; calling functionality will be added to MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger in the coming weeks, the company said.
The company notes that Truphone-to-Skype communications are free over the Internet, and iPhone users can also place and receive Skype calls and messages when not in a Wi-Fi-accessible location for the cost of a local call*, using the Truphone Anywhere feature.
Customers of Truphone for both the iPhone and iPod touch can now simply import all their contacts from these accounts to Truphone and chat with them from the Truphone interface. The Truphone client on both devices displays a list of online users with its built-in presence functionality.
Instant messages are always free of charge to send and receive when in a Wi-Fi environment. iPhone users can also instant message when out of Wi-Fi range; data charges will be covered in the customers unlimited data package*. Truphone says it will also add the same functionality -- the ability to send/receive to IMs -- using other leading instant messaging services throughout the year.
"The introduction of Skype calling and instant messaging represents yet another breakthrough for Truphone," said Geraldine Wilson, Truphone CEO. "What this means for Truphone's customers is that they can now call or message all their Skype friends using their iPhone or iPod touch. This allows iPhone and iPod touch users to have a choice in how they stay in touch with friends and colleagues around the world--all within the one application."