Fring vs. iSkoot
If you are a smartphone user and want to be able to use Skype on your mobile phone… you really only have two options:
BUT…. they both have their drawbacks..
First lets focus on iSkoot.
iSkoot downloads and installs relatively smoothly, but that’s really where the joy ends. It is excruciatingly slow in signing in to Skype, and the once it is loaded, it still takes a while for the real state of people on the service to show up (show people that are online vs. offline). Once you’re logged on, you have a screen that shows everyone on your Skype list, but you can’t chat with them, you can only call them. Bummer. You can’t SMS them either. Double bummer. Once you do call, things are seamless, and the voice quality is decent. However, if you don’t have unlimited data on your phone plan, be careful because the application needs to use your data connection even if it uses the regular GSM phone line to call.
Moving onto Fring. The install is by SMS, so be prepared to download something over the air. Then, the installation isn’t bad, but the startup process is a bit slow. Once open, though, you start seeing the massive potential of this application. You can message and chat within several providers (MSN, Google, Skype, Fring). You can call via GSM, Skypeout, etc. You can use your 3G connection or your Wifi connection if you phone has it. It is really a swiss army knife.. but then the record made the scratching noise.
I went into setting and selected read from my address book. I thought it would only pop up a wizard that queried my phone’s address book, but instead, it started transferring my phone book (all 700+) and I think, tried to import them into the application. I force quit the application. It brought down the entire OS of the phone. Restarted. Then, Fring would not start again. Totally fried, and would cause the phone to reboot. So I had to uninstall. Bummer.
So, in conclusion, Fring is the only one that truly offers Skype-like calling from your mobile, in my opinion, but is somewhat crash prone, and can be slow. iSkoot only saves you money in that the outgoing call is cheaper, but it is slow to load, slow to sign in, slow to show the actual status of people online, burns your local airtime minutes, and is not able to chat (at least for the E61), however.. it is stable enough to use, albeit slowly.
Both of these have great potential. I can’t wait to see what become of them in their later generations.
All tests were done on a Nokia E61.