Official Skype software arrives on the iPhone

— 6:00 AM on April 1, 2009

Being a fancy smart phone with Internet access capabilities, you'd think the iPhone was bound to run voice-over-IP software eventually. And indeed, a version of the popular Skype VoIP client made its way onto the Apple App store yesterday.

In the words of Skype (the company), the free-to-download iPhone version of Skype (the application) offers the following "core" features:

  • Free Skype-to-Skype calls from any Wi-Fi zone to other Skype users worldwide
  • Call landline or mobile phones at Skype's great low rates from any Wi-Fi zone
  • Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups via 3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS or EDGE (whichever is available)
  • Receive calls to a personal online number on Skype
  • See when Skype contacts are online/available to IM or talk
  • In case that list doesn't make it clear, the catch is that you need to use Wi-Fi for free VoIP calling—so forget about jettisoning your voice plan and relying on a flat-rate data plan for calls.

    Still, if you're connected to a Wi-Fi access point, you can take advantage of both the regular, free VoIP functionality and landline calling at "Skype's normal low rates." Also, you can use your usual 3G, GPRS, or EDGE phone connection to sign into the software, update your contact list, and use the instant messaging feature.

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