A wish list for the Skypephone

skypephonelogo Some further thoughts on my ongoing Skypephone experience.

As I mentioned before, I love its slimness, it’s light weight, it’s appearance. It sits comfortably in my trouser pocket most of the time. It goes with me wherever I go.

Which is great except that I can hardly use it because 3’s 3G network footprint where I am is, basically, useless.

Unless, that is, I’m almost anywhere other than my home base – but that’s where I’m likely to use the phone most.

So I’ve still not explored the phone’s capabilities in any area other than using it as, well, a Skype phone (it doesn’t need 3G for that, just 3’s 2G which has good coverage where I am).

And it’s unquestionably a great device for Skyping on the go, whether voice or text. All you need is a cellular connection.

It’s not perfect, though.

Here’s my initial list of six seven things including ‘I wish it did this…’ items that I hope will be part of a system upgrade (and there will be one, I have no doubt):

  1. Improved 3G network coverage where I can start the phone with a default 3G working connection so that Skype can log in and synchronize first time. If the phone only finds a 2G connection, Skype can’t connect (it seems that Skype needs 3G to connect and sync but only 2G for calls and text once you’re connected and sync’d).
  2. Let me see my contacts’ profiles. Can’t do that. I find it helpful as some of my contacts have cryptic Skype names and I like to check their profiles just to remind me who they are.
  3. Let me see profiles of people requesting a Skype connection. Can’t do that.
  4. Auto-status indicating. With Skype on the PC, my status automatically changes to ‘Away’ and then ‘Not Available’ if I haven’t used the mouse or keyboard for a while. Useful when you’re actually away from your PC. It doesn’t do that on the Skypephone so anyone looking at your status sees you as constantly available (or constantly away or not available, etc).
  5. I was using the nifty Twitter4Skype hack until a few days ago. This lets you send/receive Twitter messages via Skype and, thus, free, ie, not via SMS so no cost. But whenever a stream of texts came in (more like a torrent, actually), the Skypephone had problems handling the volume flow and so crashed and auto-rebooted. Shut off Twitter4Skype and no more crashes or reboots so clearly there’s a relationship there. Either the hack or the phone software needs fixing.
  6. Notifications of new texts (called ‘chats’) on the Skypephone are a bit hit and miss. If I click the big Skype button, invariably I get a blank screen saying ‘no chats.’ I cancel, then get another notification. This time, I see the chats.
  7. Did I mention improving 3G network coverage?

More to come as I think of them…

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Angie Baxter

    I’ve had the Skypephone for almost two weeks now, and like the feel of it, and its functionality. I’m also using it as my regular mobile, but have found the signal unreliable (even moving around the house) – I live in Kingston. One benefit of 3 for me, though, is that I spend a lot of time in Dublin, and I can use my inclusive minutes there, and not have to pay for incoming calls (assuming I’m on the 3 network). I’ve yet to test this.

    It tells me when a text has been delivered, but I’ll know only if I’m holding it at the time! The delivery message doesn’t come in as a text (as it did on my Orange Nokia and Samsung) but just flashes up ‘Delivered’ for a couple of seconds. And there’s no flag on messages to show whether they’re pending or delivered, as there was on my Motorola. That’s a pain.

    Re point 2: When I connect, it shows those ‘cryptic’ names, but they soon change to their real names (well, most do).

    Re point 4: You can set your status manually (‘Option’ and ‘Change status’). I, too, would like to be able to see Profiles.

    Re point 6: Agreed!

    I’ve set my call key to ‘Starts a chat’ but it refuses to obey, and so I’ve inadvertently started a few Skype calls. Neville, have you had a problem with this?

    I’d also be interested to hear what you think of its battery life. I’ve read several complaints about that, and I’ve been less than impressed.

    Best wishes, Angie.

  2. neville

    Overall, Angie, I think the Skypephone is terrific. My only major issue concerns 3’s 3G network where I am. It’s crap, basically.

    I haven’t changed any settings such as the call key. For me, pressing that to make a call is what I want it to do.

    Re battery life, my experience is that if I use the phone heavily – which for me so far is making and receiving lots of Skype calls and texts – it lasts about a day. That’s more or less in line with my experience with my Nokia N73 on Vodafone.

    So I think battery life is about what you’d expect from most mobile phones.

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