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, 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?