Skype is a communication company headquartered in Luxembourg that provides voice and video communication through computers and cell phones. It's a commonly used service and at peak times over thirty-million people use Skype, according to the company's website. If you own an iPhone 3G, you can use Skype directly from your cell phone. However, there are restrictions that apply only when using Skype on an iPhone 3G.
To use Skype on the iPhone 3G, you must first download and install the application on your phone. Skype voice calling requires iOS version 3.0 or higher and Skype video calling requires iOS version 4.0 or higher. Both operating systems are compatible with the iPhone 3G, but the application itself doesn’t support video calls on the iPhone 3G. However, provided you have the proper OS installed on your iPhone 3G, you can still use Skype to make voice calls, as well as send text messages and instant messages over both the Wi-Fi and 3G networks.
The quality of calls and the ability to make them over the 3G network is restricted by the quality of the network in the area in which you are making and receiving calls. If there is no 3G network available in the area you’re calling from, you cannot make Skype calls over 3G in this area. Similarly, if you are in an area where your iPhone 3G continuously drops calls through your carrier’s network, you will also drop calls when making them via Skype.
Any software application is limited by the hardware on which the application is running. For example, to make high-definition (HD) video calls, a device must incorporate a camera capable of taking pictures in HD. Since the iPhone 3G doesn’t have an HD camera, HD video calls aren’t possible on the device. The quality of voice calls is also restricted by the iPhone hardware. Additionally, if you are using a headset, the voice quality relies on the type of headset you're using.
In 2009, when AT&T was the sole provider of cellular service for the iPhone in the United States, Skype was only available through Wi-Fi network connections. AT&T considered Skype as competition and restricted the use of the application over the company’s 3G cellular network. This restriction was lifted and in May of 2010 Skype released a new version of the software application enabling usage over the 3G network. Currently, the iPhone 3G supports Skype voice calls on both the 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
It's free to make calls and send instant messages to other cell phone users who have the Skype application installed. When you use this feature, you're making and receiving calls directly through the Skype application. You can also use Skype to make calls directly to someone else's cell phone, forward calls and send text messages. The latter ability is restricted to Skype users who pay a premium to use the service. Despite the cost, this can be a less expensive option than purchasing extra minutes or when placing international calls.
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