Monday, October 30, 2006

Skype (Windows Mobile version) on TyTN

I just installed Skype Mobile on my TyTN, and it works great, albeit with some limitations.

(I believe that everything I say below is correct for all Windows Mobile devices, although my experience is only with the TyTN.)

I've never used Skype before, so I first installed it on my PC, set up a user, and set up my contacts list with a few friends. All were Skype users so all calls are free. The setup on my PC took about 15 minutes, and it worked fine over cheap speakers and mike.

Then I installed the Skype Pocket PC edition onto my TyTN:

Interestingly they show a picture of the TyTN on that page, but don't list it as a supported device. But it is listed on the Skype developers list of supported devices. I installed it per instructions, the installation was very quick, and it worked fine the first time. (Caveats and details below)

The best thing about Skype is that I can leave my PC running, with Skype logged in, and also log into Skype on my TyTN over Wi-Fi. When a call comes in, it rings in both places, on the PC and on the TyTN, and whoever picks up gets the call. It's really beautiful, and makes the Skype work perfectly in a mobile fashion.

One caveat: Skype on the TyTN (and I think on all Windows Mobile devices) does not work over the USB sync cable, only over Wi-Fi or 3g connectivity. So it means that I can't really use the TyTN in place of a PC handset on a long-term basis, since I want to sync and recharge. But that's not a big drawback, the whole point of Skype on the TyTN is mobile use.

Another caveat: Skype on all Windows Mobile devices works only over the speaker and mic, not over the phone speaker and mic. In other words, Windows Mobile sees it as a PDA app but not a phone app. This means that Skype can be used as a speakerphone or with the wired handset/mic that comes with the TyTN (which is great for music too), but Skype cannot be used just like a regular phone call (with the TyTN held to the ear) and apparently not over a phone Bluetooth headset.

Lastly, I've only used Skype Mobile on the TyTN over Wi-Fi, not over 3g or other cellular data connectivity, so I can't report on quality over cell connectivity. Over Wi-Fi on my home network (ADSL) the quality was great, certainly as good as many cellphone calls. Hotspots may be worse. I'll post again when I've tried it in other settings.

Bottom line I'm very impressed. Installation was incredibly easy, and it meets my dream of working seamlessly in multiple locations as the TyTN moves.

More later.

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