Thursday, 22 July 2010 15:54

Skype 2.0.1 for iPhone goes multitasking but NO BLUETOOTH!!


Skype has finally released Skype 2.0.1 for iPhone with full multitasking support, including the decision to drop charges for calls made over the 3G network, but in what is a massive disappointment, there is still no support for Bluetooth headsets.

For some unknown reason, Skype refuses to allow its Skype for iPhone software to talk to Bluetooth headsets.

Yes, Skype has, at long last, not only introduced multitasking for its iPhone software, but has also thankfully decided to drop the ridiculous idea of charging for any Skype calls made when connected to a 3G network (as opposed to a Wi-Fi network where calls would always be free), but the lack of Bluetooth support is a serious oversight.

It's impossible to know whether the blacklisting of Bluetooth for the iPhone is a decision Skype has made because of pressure from Apple or from telecommunications companies, but whatever the reason, it sucks. Bigtime.

Yes, I am deliriously happy that I can now keep Skype on in the background on my iPhone 3GS (and, when I get one, the iPhone 4), and presumably also the iPad too where Skype works very nicely.

I'm also overjoyed that 3G Skype charges have now been abandoned.

But I'm red hot over Bluebooth being banished from support, ballsing up the benefits of Bluetoothing with your iPhone. Bloody hell, Skype, fix it. Can we please have a Skype 2.0.2 with Bluetooth support ASAP?!

Skype's blog has a bit more to say on the appearance of the multitaskable, no-3G-call charge Skype 2.0.1, which I've reproduced here.

The blog states that: 'In May, we upgraded our iPhone app to allow users to make calls over 3G data connections. Today, I'm pleased to introduce a brand new version of the app. It allows you to make calls with high quality sound, and supports multitasking.

Continued on page two, please read on, where I remind Skype about yet another missing feature...

'This means you can receive Skype calls while other apps are running, even when your iPhone is locked. And during a call, you can keep the conversation going while you switch to another task, such as checking a movie listing or reading an email. We've also updated the app's graphics to support iPhone 4's Retina Display.

'Download it now for an even better Skype experience on your iPhone (opens in the App Store).

'At Skype, we believe that better call quality and better availability (which is achieved with an app capable of multitasking and/or making calls over 3G) lead to increased call frequency and longer calls. We also believe that the mobile world is in a period of significant change, for example, with some operators starting to move to tiered pricing models.

'In light of that, we no longer have plans to charge a supplement to make calls over 3G. We're delighted to make it easier for you to talk for even longer and do even more together using Skype.

'Multitasking requires iOS 4 and an iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, or a third-generation iPod touch (32GB and 64GB models from late 2009).'

Well, Skype, congratulations. But this software should have been made available much sooner after iOS 4.0 was delivered, especially seeing as Skype was on stage during the initial iPhone OS 4.0 preview.

And the lack of Bluetooth support leaves me feeling black and blue, instead of the true blue feelings of happiness I should be experiencing in celebration of multitasking support and the dropping of those awful and thankfully no-longer-impending 3G charges.

Hurry up, Skype. Don't forget that missing video call support, either!



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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