updated 12:15 pm EDT, Sun May 30, 2010
Skype 2 gives rare option of 3G VoIP
Skype this weekend rolled out its long expected Skype 2.0 for iPhone (free, App Store). The update is the first for the iPhone to support 3G calling and treats Skype-to-Skype calls like they were on Wi-Fi. Pure VoIP calls are free until the end of the year and will carry a "small monthly fee" afterwards.
Calls to traditional phone numbers have always cost money and use SkypeOut minutes regardless of what connection is used. Skype's update also brings "CD quality" audio using a more advanced audio codec on Apple's faster hardware, starting from the second-generation iPod touch and including the third-generation model, the iPad and the iPhone 3GS.
The iPhone implementation is one of the few to permit true VoIP calls over 3G. Verizon subscribers have access to a special version of Skype for Android and BlackBerry but are required to use voice minutes whenever away from Wi-Fi, eliminating one of the key advantages of a VoIP app.