Inbox Liquidation, Part 54
My inbox is bursting at the seams, it seems.
Skype and Verizon Wireless?: One of the surprises to come out of the recent Mobile World Congress show is that Verizon Wireless and Skype have signed an agreement that allows a specially designed Skype client to be available on several devices (Blackberries and Android phones). Om Malik uncovers some sources who say that this deal is exclusive for 2-3 years. What kills this for me is that all calls (either Skype-to-Skype or Skype to international number) are routed through the Verizon Wireless voice network, meaning no WiFi. Not to mention the fact that the Verizon Wireless 3G network doesn’t support voice and data. Meh.
Skype and the iPhone: Related to the above, Skype is planning on issuing a version of their iPhone app that will actually allow calling over the AT&T 3G network. Previously, Apple’s SDK forbid this practice, but this has recently been changed. The stated reason for the delay is that Skype wants to ensure the iPhone experience is tuned for an optimal experience. Skype isn’t tuning the software, if you ask me. I think they’re waiting for the next version of the iPhone OS to release, but that’s just my theory.
Restaurant Paging over SMS: The Recess Paging System is something that’s recently been brought to my attention. Instead of those annoyingly large restaurant pagers that they give you, just send an SMS to the patron when your table is ready. Clever idea, though any heavy user of SMS will tell you that it’s not always reliable. And, of course, there’s always the “it’s a great tool to spam market to your customers.”
Voxbone Provides SMS Support for iNum (+883) Numbers: One thing that makes virtual numbers more real is the ability to text message the number. I was real happy when Google added this feature to Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral) numbers. Voxbone is now providing this service to their “global” iNum numbers (which have an ITU-assigned country code of +883). I wish more carriers supported these global numbers–for calling and SMS–but the list keeps growing.
Fonolo Comes to iPhone: I got heads up several days ago that Fonolo was launching an iPhone app in the App Store. The application lets you search through the phone tree of many different companies toll free numbers. You can find exactly the right point in the phone tree and have Fonolo call you when it has navigated to that point. In short, you spend less time navigating the phone maze and more time dealing with the company you’re trying to deal with. It’s a free app and a free service.
Calliflower Adds Skype Support: I wish I had an opportunity to use Calliflower more than I do. While you could always use Skype to enter a Calliflower conference, albeit via a PSTN number, now you can dial the Skype user CalliflowerSkype and get into any Calliflower-hosted conference. It certainly makes it cheaper and easier to join a Calliflower-hosted conference. In theory, this should give you better voice quality as well, but when I tried dialing the *CalliflowerSkype *user from my Mac’s Skype client, I saw it was using G.729–the same codec as if I were using Skype to dial into the PSTN number.