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Revisiting Skype…Seriously No Wi-Fi? Try Fring!

With zero 2.1 update news to toss at you, we might as well keep the Skype talk alive all day right?  For those of you just checking in, Skype launched right on time last night at midnight and generated all kinds of early excitement.  That excitement however, appears to have been pretty short lived once everyone actually had a chance to open the app and notice the “Skype mobile does not currently work on WiFi” message.  Not a misprint.  (Say what?)

My initial reaction was, “Who cares?  We get 3G everywhere!”  So I posed a question on Wi-Fi importance to Twitter and also checked out the comments on both our poll today and the original Skype post and am now turning to the Skype and Verizon screwed up side.  Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself…

What if I wanted to use Skype for its IM feature and I’m at home using Wi-Fi?  I guess I can’t.

What if I travel overseas and have no cell coverage?  Out of luck.

What if I’m off in the boonies with no coverage except the Wi-Fi at Billie Bob’s Chicken Fry?  Too bad.

What if I’m at work in a basement cubicle with terrible coverage?  No soup for you!

What if I’m at home with no coverage and my wife BlackBerry Skypes me?  S.O.L.!

Seriously no Wi-Fi?  Does the “does not currently” message mean that it will eventually?

An Alternative!

As many have already pointed out, there is a handy little app for free in the market called Fring which works over both Wi-Fi and 3G with your Skype account.  Oh, and it also allows you to connect to almost any IM program that you currently use.  Cha ching!

Download…

Download Link

  • benjr06

    Nimbuzz is better than all mentioned and includes skype. Interface is better, call quality is good,

  • jasenm

    I actually really enjoy this app. I made my first call on it tonight to another Skype user and it went perfect. Everyone in our software company uses Skype so this will be very handy for me. But to each his/her own I suppose.

  • pyroholtz

    BTW…Fring sucks. It doesn't support “Speaker” instead of the earpiece and it has a very cumbersome interface. I found in my own experience that the ping lag was horrible. And, on top the latency issues the sound quality sucks, mainly because their servers are located on a different continent. So, to sum it all up, Fring blows ass and I'm hoping Skype Mobile will overcome their Wifi limitations. Just my 2 cents though, maybe everone else has better luck.

  • phenom

    Interestingly enough, I caught an interview with the Skype Project Manager @ Verizon, followed by an interview with the Vzw CTO, and both said that they wanted the Skype app to operate over 3G, NOT WiFi because of the challenges with WiFi to 3G handoff, and what not. I think it's pretty #fail, but that's me. I think Google needs to buy Skype, and whomever makes that iPhone app called 'Line 2,' then merge those in w/ Google voice. I should be able to fully switch over to Google Voice for all calls texts, etc so WHEN I'm in my basement office not getting a signal, I can read and respond to texts, READ voicemails, and call back from the landline. Meh.

  • teejay

    Fring works almost flawlessly. we used it to call my sister-in- who is down in Chile. the call was dropped twice throughout a 2 hour conversation but we were quickly re-connected. i dont know if it was due to the possibility of a bad internet connection down there, or my phone just crapping out…

  • Jason Grier

    What do people use for facebook chat? I wish the Android verson would support facebook chat — I've been waiting for a well working facebook chat app for a while!

    • http://twitter.com/BrianBrick Brian Brick

      The aim app has integrated facebook chat now in case that is something you are willing to check out

    • Anon

      Meebo.
      Perfect.

    • ANgel

      Use Ebuddy…it supports fb chat plus every other chat you can think of…except skype. LOL

      • benjr06

        Nimbuzz does almost everything Ebuddy does and includes Skype. I've been using it for months.

  • Anon

    My view on Skype Mobile for Verizon not working on Wi-Fi is summed up in this post over at Android Central:
    http://www.androidcentral.com/stop-calling-phon

    I know it's hard to settle in an age of instant gratification. But there is a work around. It is bothersome? Sometimes. But sometimes we have to MacGyver-it.

    You can do Fring, you could download the com.skype.android.lite.apk (original beta skype app), or something I'm sure is out there that can work around the issue.

    I mean my biggest pet peeve right now is that the Gmail app won't let you choose from address on your composed emails. You can't choose in the app or on the browser in the 3 different views you can choose (current setup, old mobile setup, and desktop setup). So after reading around I found K9 mail ( http://www.androidtapp.com/k9-mail/ ) that will let me set up different from addresses and gives me the capability to choose the from when I compose a message. Why am I doing this instead of bombarding Google to fix? Because they'll get to it when they can and if the issue get's starred enough ( http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?… ). Till then, they probably have bigger fish to fry (like actually getting 2.1 update right). So my annoying workaround does the job I need it to.

    Let's take a breath…
    If it doesn't work for you, c'est la vie, and find something that will or move on.

    I hope that doesn't come off arrogant because it's not meant to. Apologies if it did.

  • fuyuasha

    At the expense of sounding elitist or whatever, if the reason there's no VZN-Skype-on-Wi-Fi is purely VZN profit (forces the non-cognoscenti to use their plan minutes) then fine, keeps the riff-raff out of eating too much data – that would be worse obviously because it would hasten the advent of the probably inevitable tiered data plans.

  • ajavgeek

    I like fring except there is no option to set notification like no volume at night time. I get messages all night and which I just don't like (if I forget to kill app)

    Other than that works for me

    • kellex

      I can't find anywhere to control the notification in it. Vibrate and noise…someone point me in the right direction.

      • LTD10

        Hey Kellex. That's the thing with Fring, its not customizabe. I have used it for three months now. I cant get msn chat to work on it either. In a perfect world Fring would be the all time best app if it combined with Handcent. BUT, as we all know……. right now Fring works for me. I also love seeing whos online and the different colors for different accounts, skype,aim,msn etc. They just did an update last week and a few things were added, but, Fring can still be better.