Skype updated to support iOS 4 background VoIP multitasking

Skype for iPhone now with background VoIP multitasking

Skype for iPhone has just hit version 2.1 and brings with it the ability to run iOS 4 background VoIP multitasking. Yes, you finally have the ability to leave Skype running and answer calls as an almost equal citizen to the built in, old-school Phone app.


If you try it out, let us know how it works for you.

[iTunes via BGR]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 54 comments. Add yours.

OneOfDaKine says:

Why no video chat added to the update?

dloveprod says:

I can't believe it, video chat in 2011

Mike says:

Does it suck up all your bandwidth like a plecostomus on algae while it does nothing in background?

Jbbarrette says:

Not available for me quite yet o guess.

mv rob says:

Works great! Now my Skype number is proving to be very useful since I cant make a phone call on ATT at my house!

Sean says:

And the video calling portion of this update is where again? I'm not seeing it for some reason... :(

macharborguy says:

so does it multitask with the iPod Touch 3rd Gen as well, and if so, how well does it work as a Voip Phone?

Dunpizzle says:

Wake me up when videochat is enabled

BuffDaddyDeluxe says:

Skype is gay, we have to purchase points to use it now. It used to be free.

parabel says:

It doesn't work for me, every time I exit the application, I go offline for my contacts :( Any ideas what's wrong here? Does it have something to do with my 3GS being jailbroken?

Jeremy says:

Really? No video chat? What's the point?

rjmccollam says:

Worked great...I got IM notifications and was notified when a call came through. Didn't try leaving the application while on a call, but what I did try worked well. Even though Skype could be doing a lot more to make their app awesome, this is a good jump forward. Now I will end up getting an online number and using Skype a lot more.

PeterM11 says:

Now just add Video!! Please!!

Lemon says:

Awesome. Now I can truly use voip as it was intended and take advantage of my unlimited data plan.
Off to call AT&T to lower my voice plan.... :)
Oh, that's right, if I did that I lose my unlimited data plan. I'm stuck in this plan forever. :(

ThatGuy says:

Multitasking is disabled on jaibroken 3GS phones. Stinks....until someone figures out how to fix it.

Jake says:

I have an epic bug with new update on my iphone 4 that I can reproduce every time. When you make or receive a call using skype on the iphone and hang up the volume for all other iphone functions becomes corrupted and really really quiet. Only fix is to double click home button to go into multitasking and close skype manually. Then you can open skype and use chat functions normally. But this is a pretty bad bug to be corrupting volume for system wide functions. Happens on two iphone 4s I have tried.

jordandev says:

Multitasking seems to be disabled on jailbroken phones. Fail.

Al says:

Any idea what kind of battery this sucks up while running in the background? Also, ATT, please remove the requirement to purchase monthly minutes. Please!

Al says:

So, Skype can "duplicate functionality" like having a keypad dialer and offering voicemail but Google Voice is chucked out for that same reason? C'mon Apple!!

iphoneduke says:

so im guessing we get video chat when duke nukem forever is released?

Farbod says:

Im not paying for this... Gimme google voice!

Vi__Di says:

Works fine on 3gs with iOS 4. Though there are "issues":

  1. Battery lasts for 1-2 hours only (when talking). Cannot replace GSM calls yet.
  2. Skype-in call rings on the PC first and goes to iPhone only if declined.
  3. Does not start automatically (after iPhone reboot)
  4. No ringtone customization.
excaliburca says:

You forgot to add that they're also no longer going to charge extra for people to use Skype over 3G after the first of next year:

jasonact says:

No. that's not why Google Voice wasn't approved. Skype uses a VOIP protocol, which GV does not. It uses the carrier's voice network to place phone calls. Right or wrong, that's the duplicate functionality and the reason GV was rejected. It had nothing to do with the keypad and voicemail, which other apps have.

BrianTufo says:

I can't believe they didn't add video calling to this. What a bogus update!!!

Lemon says:

Doesn't work. Shows I'm offline within a matter of minutes.

Webvex says:

This is great. Now if they'd just give us the option to turn off voicemail, I'd get a Skype-In number again. Google Voice has the same problem, and I hate it when messages go to Skype or GV.
Video? Meh. I'm an adult, so I couldn't care less.

John says:

Yep, mine always shows offline after a few minutes. Seems like sometimes it stays online longer, others almost instantly. Is there something I am missing? I have tried "double tapping" home to get out of it, and just closing it as normal. Help.

Wojtek says:

Is there any reason to use this instead of the nimbuzz app? I can't see any.

dloveprod says:

I just checked Skypes new prices, may they rip, an online number used to be 24 bucks a year now its 60, I think not

Webvex says:

@Dionte, I think you get a pretty big discount if you get the number for 12 months. That and a yearly subscription for unlimited minutes is still far cheaper than using AT&T minutes. Of course, then you have to watch out for data usage, but if you're usually around wifi and you use something like Google Voice as a switchboard, it can be a pretty flexible solution. It's also useful when you've got spotty cell coverage but have wifi available

peterg81 says:

Has anyone else noticed overheating and excessive battery drainage when left in the background. Overall works great for me. I also noticed the bug when the system clicks/noises transfer to ear speaker after making or receiving a skype call. Anyone else experiencing that?

Invid says:

Why would they disable multitasking when jailbroken?
Do they honestly think this will discourage people from jailbreaking? I just went back to Nimbuzz's client. Works fine with multitasking, and they actually got their update out in a timely fashion.
Keep it up Skype. You'll just drive me and my subscription dollars to another service. It doesn't matter if you're cheaper if I can't use your service.

skype says:

for those of you saying that skype will not stay online.
You must double click the home button to exit skype and then choose another running app from the running app list. Once you have chosen the other app, you can then click the home button once to go to the home screen.

parabel says:

@skype: Nope, doesn't make any difference for me, I've tried that before, too. It doesn't seem to work for anyone with a Jailbreak. Stupid Skype, they sure know how to drive customers away!

Nick says:

The Skype app is still buggy. Try calling someone and then putting the app in background. Do it a couple of times and see Skype struggle.
But, I'm not all unhappy. Glad they made it out the door and bug fixes can come in time. Also, 3G calling is now free. The biggest plus for me was Skype used to go on hold when a notification happened. Not anymore.. Yippee! For those crying for Video, I'm sure Skype is planning something. I didn't expect them to even have this version out for another 2 months given their past record.

TychoQuad says:

What the hell is Skype doing that always causes problems with jailbroken phones? Every single other app from the app store I install works fine, yet this is the second time they have had problems, the first is why we get that message on first launch. (by the way Skype, it's out of date, it makes no mention of iOS 4.0)

summerhot says:

I beleve The right-side pic is holding it right.
well, glad to hear that skype for 3G is free.
"Well, it's about time. Touted back in March as one of the pillar apps to benefit from the new multitasking API, Skype has finally been updated to iOS 4 compatibility." and good update!
for iOS4, 'iOS4: Everything You Need to Know' and iOS 4 Upgrade Guide: Install iOS 4 on Your iPhone -> A guide helps you upgrade your iPhone or iPod Touch to Apple's new iOS 4: iFunia iPhone Column

Dan Hawk says:

I find it amusing that people are all irritated and are calling the non- multitasking on jailbroken phones a "fail".

greenday says:

Its working with Ipod touch 3rd gen. I have tested with the 32 GB one.

Michael says:

Wow! Multitasking support in addition to Skype dropping their plans to charge for 3G usage is a HUGE update. Everybody crying for video call in addition to that (even though there was no announcement whatsoever) and calling this a non-update without that function is plain nuts...

Emre SUMENGEN says:

I guess Skype should stop trying to chase after Jailbreakers, as even Apple is struggling doing it.
And hey, I've got a lot of other options When I'm Jailbroken :)
So, I guess this is not a definite win for skype.

Natho says:

jailbroken people: I installed backgrounder and set skype to 'run as in the forground' it now seems to be behaving the way it should, the red bar appears when I remain in a call and close skype, and a push notification and ringing appears when i receive a call. I'm not too sure if its draining more battery life this way though.. any thoughts?

Sekelli says:

Skype Multitask dont work for me why?!

deviantdj says:

I noticed a major decrease in Battery Life when running skype in the background. I can usually go the entire day without plugging my phone in running multiple apps. This just drained er like a horse. I think skype needs to check on leaks on their app, and retest performance.

gooner21 says:

I agree with up abit of battery...

Gwappa says:

Drills the battery like theres no tomorrow!

Xion5460 says:

Mine runs through my battery within a few hours without doing anything else on my phone. I'm almost impressed by how massive this battery drain issue is...

HC says:

how do i remove the red bar at the top of my phone saying skype? ive tried touching it, swiping my finger across it, signing out of skype. nothing seems to wrk. plz help :)

AC says:

Did you ever get an answer to this, as I have the same question...

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Reverendhongry says:

I have done away with my cell phone and now use my ipod as though it were an iphone. for a $90 (yearly) investment I have unlimited outgoing calls and an incoming phone number. Then for $60 (monthly) I got a wifi hotspot device from Sprint. I now have wifi anywhere I go and can make/receive calls from my ipod. This is essentially an iphone now, for a lot less $$ than what I was paying for my phone.