Do you want to make FREE calls on your BlackBerry?
There are a number of Skype compatible applications which you can load onto your BlackBerry in an effort to contact others in a new and innovative way.
Are these applications worthy of your hard earned dollars, or even a free trial download?
Can our BlackBerry devices even handle the types of calls we are going to try and make?
Lets find out!
The Big Deal about Skype on the BlackBerry
So there is a big deal being made about having the ability to access Skype functionality on your BlackBerry. I myself have only used it as a curiosity on my PC at home, in an attempt to keep in touch with friends in South America. Due to a long series of technical glitches, my friends and I decided to abandon that particular method of communication at the time.
When I was asked to write this article, I thought to myself, “It would be great to be able to make free calls on my BlackBerry”. I then thought back to my troubling experience with Skype the first time around. Perhaps they have grown and will be more stable. Perhaps this will be an easy process this time around and Skype will actually enhance my life as so many other people have claimed it has enhanced theirs.
To tell you the truth folks, I am not really holding my breath on this one.
IM+ for Skype
- Call Skype users on their pcs
- See who is online and chat with Skype users
- Call any destination for less
- Skype SMS
- Network Independence
- One Time fee – Future updates are FREE
- Stay connected to your Skype network while on the go
- Enjoy Skype calling and chat functionality anywhere
- Track your online status and those of your Skype friends
- One click to call any Skype contact
- iSkoot for Skype is FREE
- Sign in with your existing Skype account
- Real time update of of your Skype contact list
- High quality audio transmissions
- Text Chat
- Use SkypeOut to make calls to cellular and land lines
The Real Deal on Skype for your BlackBerry
The processor which is used in the most recent BlackBerry devices (Xscale) is only 312Mhz. This is nowhere near the 400 Mhz which Skype requires as a minimum for operation. Clearly these applications are jumping through a few hoops to bring you a pseudo Skype experience.
Additionally, all of these applications claim to allow you to make Skype calls from your BlackBerry. These statements, while technically true are very misleading. Your calls are not free in any sense of the word. You will be charged in two separate locations for your calling activities.
The first hit you will take is on your phone plan. The Skype client does not work the way it is implied. Instead of limiting access to just data functionality while placing a Skype call on your BlackBerry, the various software solutions will actually place a call to your BlackBerry, which then call out to complete the connection.
Does this not contradict the entire purpose of loading the software onto your BlackBerry in the first place?
The second place you will notice a hit is in your SkypOut credits. It sounds like such a sweet deal, sign up for an unlimited Skype account (Just under $30), ditch your phone plan and just keep the data. You will be be making calls left right and center and all your friends will be jealous of your low cellphone bills.
The reality is that each call you make is deducted from your SkypeOut credits. If you have no credits left — no call for you!
In conclusion, I have to say that I will be staying far, far away from any of the current Skype applications for the BlackBerry. Do I make international calls on my BlackBerry? I sure do, but it is much more convenient (and economic) for me to just buy a calling card with kick ass rates whenever I know I’ll be communicating overseas.
It just makes no sense to me that I should pay for a Skype account and everything that entails, just so I can make calls at a slightly cheaper rate than normal. All this while still burning the minutes alloted to me by my provider.
I am sure that there are certain instances where the use of these applications would in fact come in handy. For people who find themselves wanting and needing Skype access from their BlackBerry on a regular basis, by all means, Skype away!
For everyone else, stick to Skyping on your desktop.