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Skype, Truphone, and Boingo: It’s All Related

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Today’s been a relative cornucopia of news related to Skype, Truphone, and Boingo, three services I like quite a bit. They are only related insofar as they all involve Skype in some way.

First off, let’s talk Skype on the Mac. Dan York reports he’s gotten to play with the new Skype 2.8 client for the Mac, which offers some “unique” features:

  • Screen Sharing with Macs, Windows, and Linux
  • Improved chat management: ability to sort chats in the drawer and set priorities to chats
  • Quick Add: much easier to add people to chats
  • Mood message chat: mood message updates from your friends as chat messages
  • Large avatars: 256×256 pixels
  • Hidden avatars in incoming contact requests
  • Ability to add your own notes to contacts

You should go read Dan’s post for the blow-by-blow, or go check out the post on Skype Journal. I’m sure I’ll have my own once the client is released (supposedly tomorrow, on the 6th of January, so check here to see if it’s available yet).

The other feature present in this new Skype relates to my friends at Boingo: you can now use Skype Credits to pay for Boingo WiFi hotspots on a per-minute basis, no monthly or daily fees required. It sounds a bit pricey at $0.22 a minute that Dan mentions in his post, considering that Boingo’s monthly rate is now a jaw-dropping $9.95 a month for North America! Might be a better deal abroad. I’ll have to see how this works before I can comment further.

Finally, Truphone announced today that the latest version of their iPhone/iPod Touch calling application, which now includes the ability to both IM and call Skype users! IM is also supported for Gtalk (calling also available), MSN. and Yahoo. Calling is coming for MSN and Yahoo. Twitter support is also in the app as wel. The new Truphone app for iPod Touch/iPhone will be available on the 12th of January.

I talked with newly appointed Truphone CEO Geraldine Wilson about the app this evening. I had to ask some dumb questions about the app, being that I don’t have an iPhone or an iPod Touch to try it on myself. At this point, the app still has to be in the foreground in order to receive calls or receive IM messages. No support for SMS yet, either. It’s also not clear when IM and Skype capabilities will be available on other supported handsets.

I’m wondering, though, if we won’t see Truphone some how join up with Boingo in order to provide a seamless experience in the more than 100,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide? Or how about somehow using Apple’s Push Notification service for IM and inbound calls? It would certainly make it easier to use Truphone anywhere.

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