Skype for iPhone 1.2 Released: Adds Call Forwarding and Improves Call Quality

Skype released a new version of their iPhone app earlier in the week with number of improvements (it’s one of my favorite iPhone apps).

Skype for iPhone v1.2 includes performance and audio quality improvements on Skype-to-Skype calls and also allows users to set up call forwarding from their iPhone.

As you might already know, Skype for iPhone brings cost-effective calling and messaging to phones abroad from your iPhone. It also allows you to make free Skype-to-Skype calls.

The new version of Skype for iPhone includes number of improvements:

  • Set up call forwarding from your iPhone – forward Skype calls to a phone number when you're not signed in.
  • Improved performance and better audio quality on Skype-to-Skype calls.
  • Even easier to send text messages (SMS) Send SMS from the Call tab.
  • Calls are connected much faster.
  • Status of your contacts is updated more often.
  • You can now decide whether you want to stay online/offline when the iPhone is  locked. We've added this into settings.
  • Contact groups are now supported, making it easier to see who is online and separate your saved phone numbers.
  • You can now edit the name of your saved phone numbers.
  • Added support for skype: URL schemes in Safari.
  • When creating a new account the country in your Skype profile is taken from the language used on your iPhone.
  • Group chat profile pictures are now shown.
  • You can now remove your profile picture.
  • Added a 'Help' link to 'Forgot your password'.
  • Improved support for proxy configurations.

I think the call forwarding feature is quite a neat workaround to receive calls from your Skype contacts while the iPhone app is not running (even though you need Skype credit or subscription for it to work). I'm not sure if Push Notifications would have been better in this case. But they should have at least added Push Notification for the instant messaging feature.

The new version of the iPhone app still works only over Wi-Fi and cannot be used over iPhone’s data connection (due to limitations imposed by AT&T on VoIP iPhone apps).

Skype had published a blog post to say that we might be one step closer to Skype calls over 3G based on AT&T’s comment to FCC regarding the fiasco over Apple’s rejection of Google Voice related iPhone apps:

“In a filing today responding to the FCC's inquiry into its role in the approval of apps made available through Apple's App Store, AT&T said that it plans "to take a fresh look at possibly authorizing VoIP capabilities on the iPhone for use on AT&T's 3G network."

If this policy is changed, you may be able to make calls to other Skype users, landlines and mobiles over 3G from your iPhone.

We welcome AT&T's willingness to take a fresh look at this issue and hope this is a step forward in enabling consumers to use Skype together with their iPhones and 3G connection. We look forward to hearing more about any potential change to AT&T's policy, in connection with the pending FCC proceeding related to the Skype petition (RM-11361).

All of us at Skype want to encourage other wireless carriers around the world whose policies block or discourage Skype use to re-evalute their policies and to make it easy for their users to take Skype conversations with them when they're on the go.”

Until then, you will need a jailbroken iPhone to use Skype over iPhone’s data connection.

You can download the new version of Skype for iPhone using this iTunes link.

Let me know your thoughts on the latest version in the comments section below.

[via Skype’s blog]