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Friday, July 1, 2011

What’s On My iPhone: Skype for iPhone and iPad

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Skype for iPhone is great, just great. It works so beautifully and it has been a welcome solution to telephone connectivity while travelling internationally. Forget your local cellular company and their over priced international calling plans. Forget buying a local sim card in the country you are visiting, especially if you’re a Verizon customer, and even if your iPhone is an unlocked AT&T version. Just forget it all and get Skype for your iPhone or iPad.
For iPhone users there is something very special and fancy you can do: purchase a telephone number from Skype and when you’re travelling overseas, just before you get on the flight, forward the calls going to your iPhone to your new Skype phone number. Then, when you get to wherever it is you’re going, chances are you’ll find a Wi-Fi spot sooner or later and when you do, launch Skype on your iPhone and any messages that were left will be waiting for you without any international phone charges.  As I write this, I’m guessing I could do that from my iPand too, huh? Will try.

To forward your incoming calls on your iPhone to your Skype number, select Settings and then Phone where you will see a screen like the image to the right. Once you select Call Forwarding, you will be able to enter your Skype phone number to receive the forwarded calls.

You can set your Skype account to be refilled in increments. I have mine set to add $10 at a time when I’m reaching the lower end of my credits. That way I am assured uninterrupted calling. Skype rates are incredibly affordable and when I’m back home in the United States, I turn off my call forwarding, but continue to use my Skype account to call family in South Africa and friends in other countries.

Sad fact: It’s sometimes clearer to call on Skype on my Wi-Fi connection at home than it is to use my AT&T cellular connection. I sometimes turn off my cell phone radio, turn on my Wi-Fi and make a call if I don’t want to sound like I’m at the bottom of a pond.

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