Skype Finally Releases iPhone App

The Web Optimist is so happy that Skype has FINALLY released an iPhone app!At long last, iPhone users can now make and receive VOIP calls using Skype instead of trying to use convoluted workarounds. When the iPhone first came out, I hesitated to get one simply because there was no Skype application like was offered to Windows Mobile users. I gave in ( and have never regretted it) and got the iPhone anyway. I tried Skype phones like the Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype, but was turned off by the lack of support for anything but totally wide open wi-fi or Boingo, which pretty much limits where you can use it.

The beauty of the new Skype app is that it can be used to make calls over wi-fi anywhere that you have access to wi-fi. If the access requires a web login, you’re covered because the iPhone allows you to login with a browser, something the “Skype phones” lack.

Calls can only be made through wi-fi, not through Edge or 3G, but I’ve read that the chat function will work through any connection.

And, for you iPod Touch users, you now have an instant wi-fi phone because word is that the app will work for you, too.

So, I highly recommend heading to the iTunes Apps Store on either your iPhone or through the iTunes software and downloading this slick new piece of software. It’s free!

I absolutely love it!


Considering Bundled Service? Maybe You Should Reconsider…

Bundling your telcom services might now be such a good ideaMy area recently suffered an all day service failure with Timer Warner Cable. Everything was down – TV, Internet, VOIP phone – all of the services offered by the media giant. Fortunately for me, it happened on a weekend. Otherwise I would have been screwed as I work from home and do everything over the Internet and phone.

I was furious to think that a company that pushes the hell out of their bundled one-stop package would allow itself to be put in this position (Like they’d have a redundant backup of some kind). All of their customers in the area were without these services. It’s bad enough to have TV down, but if you bundle your services with one company, EVERYTHING goes down in an outage. No TV, no Internet and no telephone.

I currently get high speed Internet and TV from Time Warner. I don’t use their phone service. My VOIP is through Packet 8, but without Internet, I was without my telephone, too.

So, I got to thinking. Like investing, it is probably a good idea to diversify your communications services.

Yes, you might save a few bucks with a bundle, but you run the risk of being without all telecom services in an outage such as what my area went through (and it was not the first time).

So, I’m looking at breaking up these services. I’d like one source for Internet, another for television programming and one for telephone. I am fortunate enough to be in an area where I can get an alternative to all of these (not so fortunate to have fiber optics like Fios yet, though). It could be a mixture of basic cable from Time Warner, DirecTV for premiums, DSL and cell phone service (using VOIP as a backup rather than primary service) or other mashups.

Whatever, I am determined not to let any company put me into the position of having NO service because of a single outage. For me, the teensy savings offered with such a bundle is not worth the potential inconvience or frustration.

Rant over. 😉