Popular VoIP service Skype is now available in the Marketplace and out of its beta phase.
But it is nothing to write home about. Microsoft should have left it in its beta stage as this app is far from complete,
The only notable feature added between the beta version and the newly released version is that you can now search for and add new contacts to your list.
The biggest flaw of this app is that you can only use it in the foreground, Skype app has to be on your screen and running before you can use it to make or receive calls, it does NOT run in the background, which makes the Skype App totally USELESS.
A third party similar VoIP voice/video calling service called "Tango" works in the background, so I am baffled why this isn't so with Skype
It also does not work, if you are connect your WP7 phone to your PC (USB),
Also, incoming calls, alarms or device notifications like "low battery" would end a Skype call. WOW!
Here's the worst part, Skype, a service known for its cheap rates for calls, will not work on low end WP7 (Lumia 610) as it requires 512MB RAM minimum and the 610 has only 256MB, so if you buy the low budget WP7 you will be unable to use this low budget app! Oh the irony!
All in all, after a year since acquiring Skype, Microsoft has failed to give us a worthy Skype app for WP7. It's sad, it truly is.
On a brighter note, Skype Inc. is aware of the various issues (no background running and no support for 256MB RAM WP7 phones), so they put out a statement saying...
“As outlined in our Skype Garage blog, we are aware of various issues on the Skype for Windows Phone app, including minimum memory support requirement. This is our first version of the Skype for Windows Phone app. To ensure our customers have the best Skype experience possible today, the Skype for Windows Phone app currently requires devices with Windows Phone 7.5 and higher 512 MB of memory. We’re invest (sic) in improving the Skype for Windows Phone app to deliver a great experience and plan to resolve issues and build new features on an ongoing basis.”
This is only v1.0 and more updates with better compatibility and new features should make its way to the app in the future. Microsoft and Skype it seems were forced to push out this "medium rare" steak app!
Sources: WPCentral & PCWorld