UPDATED: Skype for iPhone Now Available! (Everywhere but Canada!)

UPDATE: Skype seems to be live now in the US App Store [iTunes Link]. If you find it in any other App Store's please let us know in the comments. [Thanks daveizzle for the tip!]

UPDATE 2: According to CBC News, Skype will NOT be available in Canada (though it will be everywhere else). The reason, a patent-license restrictions on Skype's end that they won't discuss. Apparently that means no iPhone Skype App for Canada and crippled Skype-to-Skype and IM only for the BlackBerry come may. Sort that out, will you Skype. Now?

UPDATE 3: Important note for JAILBREAK users: if you're experiencing constant crashes, be sure to update MobileSubstrate via Cydia.

ORIGINAL post after the jump!

Skype for the iPhone (and second generation iPod touch), rumored last week by Om Malik, is now confirmed by the WSJ as coming to the iTunes App Store tomorrow.

Skype, the popular VoIP (voice over IP) service that sends telephone calls via the internet, will be WiFi only for calls, of course (carriers will protect their income by keeping it off 3G), but you can IM chat anywhere. How does it stack up to existing apps like Fring that already offer VoIP support? CNet, which has an early review up, quotes Skype a saying:

what the other apps use is a workaround that requires them to channel calls through a server and transcode audio, resulting in poorer-quality calls than Skype can do in its own app.

GigaOm seems pleased:

SkypeIn and SkypeOut, along with Skype Chat, are the key features of this new version of the Skype application. This is a native P2P application for the iPhone and the iPod touch. It allows group chats and conference calls and is tightly integrated with Apple’s Address Book.

Gizmodo, by contrast, thinks:

Third party apps like Fring picked up Skype's slack a long time ago, and lump in multiprotocol IMing, something which gives them a distinct advantage over this official client on the one-app-at-a-time-please iPhone.

[Thanks to John and Icebike for sending this in! And no, we'd have mentioned Om again anyway, even though it would be great if he'd yell at us over Twitter...]

Our own editor-in-chief, Dieter Bohn will be live at CTIA 2009, where the official announcement is expected, so if anything else breaks, he'll let us know. Meanwhile, anyone setting their alarm-clocks to download?

[via arcterex]

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

UPDATED: Skype for iPhone Now Available! (Everywhere but Canada!)


finally i hope we will have proper Skype, cause not Fring nor Nimbuzz are really good with Skype connection, Fring always buggy with Skype. Truphone never launched their version with skype support although i remember reading news it is coming....
anyway, glad it is happening now, cannot wait.

Yeah, call quality will be better, but Ninmbuzz (and Fring) have multi-IM services, making them better for everyday use.
I reckon Skype will be better when it gets push notification, so that we can use it only for voice calls and only be notified of those kind of contacts. (for IM, use nimbuzz, beejive, etc)

I just asked my mom what Skype is because I know she uses it on her windows box. It seems like it does the same thing as iChat does. Text, Audio & Video.

Skype also allows the calling of landlines and cell phones from your account and allows you to purchase a phone number so that people can call your skype account from theirs phones just like they are calling any ordinary number. This is why they are not allowing it over 3G because it is MUCH cheaper to purchase minutes and unlimited plans over skype than it is to purchase a cell plan. I haven't checked their rates in about a year but at one time it was roughly $60 to have unlimited minutes to call the US/Canada and to have a number and a voicemail for an entire year! So, compare that to me spending $40 every month just to buy 450 minutes from AT&T. It's a much better deal, but now people with those skype plans will be able to save their minutes while wifi is available (or jailbreakers will be able to save their minutes whenever they want because there is a way to make the iPhone think that it is on wifi all of the time).

To call via Skype when not on wi-fi, just use Skype to Go... You can set it up on their site, and all you do is call a number which will deduct from your minutes. Once your connected you can call any number in the world. It also has speed dials.

@KB - Wouldn't that defeat the purpose because you are still using your cell minutes to call that number?

Yes it would use minnutes but not international minutes. It probably wouldn't make sense for domestic calls.

I wonder if this will have the same problem I experienced with Fring, where if your phone locks the call disconnects but if you turn off autolock it gets disturbingly warm.
Hopefully I can establish a better connection than I ever did with Fring also. The few times I was able to connect there was a lot of static and very noticable lag.

Quote: "jailbreakers will be able to save their minutes whenever they want because there is a way to make the iPhone think that it is on wifi all of the time"
Question: Does 3G have the bandwidth to do a skype call with clear audio?
If yes, since you are paying ATT 30/mo for unlimited bandwidth I wonder if failure to allow this on 3G would be some form of non-net-neutrality that ATT could be taken to task for. You pay for the band width, you should be able to use it how you see fit.

well I don't have a skype account and every time I try to create a new one the app crashes. I am too lazy to go create an account so for the moment this app does nothing for me.

I am already enjoying it. I test called my buddy across the pond and the quality was excellent. Can't wait to see if calls can come in thru pns.

Well not even that worked. I can't type anything on either screen. When I click on a letter it gets big like normal and then the app crashes.

As soon as I touch the username box to enter my login info, it crashes. I've soft and hard reset my phone. I wonder if it's because my phone is GASP jailbroken?

My is doing the same and is jailbroken... My guess is this might be a prevention measure because of the 3g to wifi trick mentioned. I don't have that app and I don't think it even works or else I couldn't get it work but anyway it's useless now

Anyone not jailbroken having the crash issue? I've reloaded the app three times and reset my phone three times too.

Well I used it to call one of my friends. The call is clear, if not more clear than on 3G. I don't have anybody who uses skype but I'll get the word out to my friends.

Crash fix:restart in Safe mode,create your account,log in and then restart. Winterboard is causing Skype to crash(low mem?) . After that Skype will log in automatically.

Crash fix updated: it's not Winterboard it's Clippy.Get the SBSettings toggle and turn it off until the developer provides a fix.

Hi there,
just downloaded it from the german app-store and it works really well! Had no problems at all till now. Finally we can use skype without the known probs from Nimbuzz or Fring...

Yep, it's Clippy. Remove it and all is well.
Clippy has too many issues anyway and I rarely use it...

I just saw over on bigboss that the issue seems to be with mobilesubstrate. Looks like we will have to wait for an update to that

Voice quality was spotty in my tests. The other party was also on skype via iphone and we were both on Wifi. Car started fine, but quickly deteriorated to un-usable.
Skype from computer to computer is far clearer than land-line, so hopefully Skype will get this tweaked shortly.
I'd like to know why a Canadian can put skype on their computer, but not on their iphone. It appears to me that there are some big-money limitations being placed on this app right now by the major carriers.

For all users with issues with SKYPE w/ jailbroken phones.
Fire up CYDIA, let it refresh the sources, then it should show and update available for MOBILESUBSTRATE.
Update this, restart your device, then all should be solved.

Here is an interesting thing I found on http://tinyurl.com/iskypereview
Important solutions to the COMPLAINERS:
1) Complaining that you can’t use Skype on 3G?
Just Jailbreak your iphone and install ‘voipover3g’ from cydia. Jailbreakers will be able to save their minutes whenever they want because this app makes the iPhone think that it is on wifi all the time.
2) Complaining that you can’t run skype in the background while using another application?
Just install ‘backgrounder’ from cydia on your jailbroken phone.
3) Complaining that you cant use gtalk, msn and other IM’s?
Its a SKYPE only app. Duh! Use Beejive or someother app if you want to chat using other IM’s.
4) Complaining that there is no video conferencing, SMS and other desktop client features ?
Play the waiting game for a while. The folks at skype will definitely be releasing these features in not-so-distant future updates.

Call quality is much more superior to the Fring or Nimbuzz! obviously cause it goes through skype gateways :)

New Clippy and Mobile Substrate already available. Update seems to disable Clippy when Skype is running. So now you can log in to Skype.

Thank Heavens.... this application is also available for the ipod touch. I wish someone would submit it to a third party application site so i can get it.. i can't get an apple store ID.

Following info found on: http://tinyurl.com/iskypereview
UPDATE: Complaining that Skype is crashing every minute on your jailbroken iphone?
* Saurik has just released a new mobile substrate and the issue is fixed. Just update ‘mobile substrate’ from cydia. Once this is done you can enjoy uninterrupted calls on skype from your jailbroken iphone.

I doubt it's Skype's fault that it cannot be released in Canada. Rogers has a stranglehold on everything iPhone here and they don't play nice.

I have jailbroken iphone 2g and have a problem with Skype too. First i had to remove clippy, and only after that could login into Skype. But i can't download contact list to the end - application crashes all the time. Frustrating...

Upgrade on Cydia worked for me. I was doing the test before and it would make horrible sounds and crash. Thanks Saurik!

This is absolutely outrageous. For skype not to be released in Canada is not only a slight but terrible shove in the wrong direction. If they want to force users to jailbreak their touch / iPhone then this is the right way to go about it. Clearly they had no understanding as to what type of frustration this would cause for Canadian Skype users. I know more than just a few touch and iphone users will be considering cutting off their skype plans if this is not remedied soon!

You can set up a US account on itunes for free do a search, And it Mobilesubstrate that needs to be updated in Cydia,
Works perfectly everytime :P

Skype works over EDGE/3G on FW 2.x.
Install VoiPover3G (Cydia)
SSH iPhone “/Library/MobileSubstrate/DynamicLibraries/VoIPover3G.plist”
edit *plist and add “com.skype.skype”,

Found on http://tinyurl.com/iskypereview
April 1 UPDATE: Complaining that after updating mobile substrate voipover3g and backgrounder isn’t working?
Saurik just released another update of mobilesubstrate 0.9.2805-1. This version fixes the problem entirely allowing for mobilesubstrate addons to work with Skype app. You can now use Skype app with VoIPover3G! and backgrounder. Just update mobile substrate on Cydia once more and enjoy skype on the go!

i have upgraded to latest mobilesubstrate 0.9.2805-1 but now i am facing serious problem with skype. After login if i am trying to message to the another user, as soon i am touching the keypad my skype crashes automatically.
I received mail from Saurik "However, the problem is not MobileSubstrate: I made a multiple minute phone call over 3G using 0.9.2805-1 (which now lets you use things like backgrounder and voipover3g with Skype): you have some other extension installed that's not working, and now its able to get injected into Skype."
Can somebody help me what could be possible extension that is causing problem...

So in case anyone is wondering, the reason why Skype is nto availible in Canada is because we have a rule about Phone programs that they must offer a 911 service at all times. Thats why you can't get a skype in number in Canada and its why they won't allow it into the app store as well, because it does not hat E911

@vyna, I had the same problem too. In my case it was mcoolphone.
However I'm still not able to make/receive skype calls.

Trying to use Iphone app and connect to nonSkype phone but app keeps trying to use 3g network (not allowed). I've disabled 3G in settings but app keeps giving me error message about 3G. Thanks

I'm in the communications department at Rogers and want to respond to some of the questions raised here. Rogers isn't involved in decisions about which apps are offered on iTunes in Canada - that's between Apple and the developers. Rogers doesn't block Skype and our customers will be able to use the Skype app if and when it is available in Canada.

I have serious problems with the notion that a lack of e911 service could be keeping SkypeIn from Canada. e911 is only for outgoing calls, not incoming calls, and we can already get outgoing call plans with Skype. By the aforementioned logic, if e911 was the problem then that service wouldn't be available either.
I don't know what the real problem is, but people need to stop repeating the e911 thing and find it so we can do something about it.

Hi all i am using Skype and my phone is jailbroken and even unlocked .... the only problem i face is ... skype eats up battery faster than any other app at a rate of 50% ... which means the battery back up is now only 4 hours ... does anybody else have the same problem ???

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