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iPhone App Review: Skype

Skype One of the world's largest networks has

Skype

One of the world's largest networks has made a case to be the best non-Phone communication app on iOS 4.

iPhone App Review: Skype

Price: FREE*

Producer: Skype Software S.a.r.l.

The Lowdown: Skype is one of the world's largest Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) providers, allowing free Skype-to-Skype calls for all users and affordable rates on phone calls to landlines or cellphones. Desktop versions of Skype come fully equiped with video chat, file sharing, and screen sharing.

The Pros: Skype finally got a much-needed overhaul for iOS 4. The app now comes with the ability to stay on in the background, allowing Skype to receive messages and calls while not in-app. Also included is the ability to places calls over 3G* (like it's Android counterpart), in addition to the previously included ability to do so over Wi-Fi (unlike Android). Calls are clear and quick, with few skips or jumbled-up sound, and the app, as always, is very clean in use and functionality.

The Cons: One of the iPhone 4's most talked-about features is the new front-facing camera. While Apple has its own video chatting app built-in, called Face Time, Skype left out this feature in the newest update for the app, possibly to avoid taxing the 3G service. All the asterisks are a future downside to this app - payment. Skype has stated that iPhone users will have to pay extra to place calls over 3G starting in August, a painful reality, considering that the Android version only places calls over 3G, and for free!

The Verdict: The downsides are few and far between for this app. Even with the 3G payment approaching, many Skype users would be ill-advised to skip using this app, especially with the ability to save precious monthly minutes here and there with AT&T. Skype is a must-have for the penny saver and the common user.

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