Today Skype decided to scrap all Windows Mobile versions of its popular application. I can’t say I’m surprised, given that the performance of the app on WM device wasn’t nearly as good as it is on other platforms. This doesn’t mean that VoIP on the Pocket PC or Windows Phone is dead, though. Far from it, in fact, because there are plenty of clients who are really ramping up their offerings to provide seamless voice and instant message chat over Skype.
Nimbuzz is an app that brings your Skype contacts to your phone, allowing you to chat over IM or call them via Skype or SkypeOut. The application also supports other messaging services such as Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger and Facebook. All of your online contacts are displayed in one menu, and you simply tap on their name to start chatting.
fring is a very similar kind of application to Nimbuzz, only with a slightly clunkier user interface (imho), and a variable call quality. One advantage fring could have going forward is video. Skype video calling is already available in the Symbian version of fring, and the developer has promised that it’s working on video chat for its other platforms too, which is sure to include Windows Mobile.
An alternative choice is iSkoot, a program which delivers very good call quality thanks to the way it’s been programmed. Skype calls made in iSkoot are routed over the voice channel to ensure that it sounds as good as any other call you make on your mobile. The only problem with this method is that it means you may get hit with long distance call charges, since you don’t know what the number will be until the iSkoot server makes the call.
Incidentally, at the time of writing, the download link for Skype for Windows is still available and you can still install the program for as long as you like.