One of the most useful demonstrations about the iOS 4 is that it can multitask with VoIP applications such as Skype. As world travelers should know, Skype is essential to keeping in touch with those wherever you are, at the cheapest rates – as long as you have an internet connection.
With the option to purchase a virtual phone number complete with voicemail, you could actually scrap your landline in favor of using Skype. And now you can ditch your voiceplan too on your iPhone 3GS or 4.
Skype today finally rolled out Skype 2.0.1 for iOS devices, which will run in the background on multitasking enabled iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (and some jailbroken iPhone 3G too).
"This means you can receive Skype calls while other apps are running, even when your iPhone is locked. And during a call, you can keep the conversation going while you switch to another task, such as checking a movie listing or reading an email," Skype's Peter Parkes wrote in the company blog. "We’ve also updated the app’s graphics to support iPhone 4’s Retina Display."
Perhaps even bigger news is that Skype has scrapped plans to charge for calls over 3G. It originally planned to created a new tier of service for users who wish to place calls over a 3G network, using data instead of voice minutes from the carrier. Now those plans have changed and 3G calling will be free – costing only the data from your provider.
With a virtual Skype number, you could in theory downgrade your voice plan to the very lowest level and rely purely on the data network for your voice communication.
Another interesting bit is that a third-generation iPod touch with Skype loaded is now a replacement for a VoIP phone while it is in Wi-Fi range.