Skype Mobile for Blackberry Is Here! | Paperless Cockpit

Skype Mobile for Blackberry Is Here!

Can you tell that I'm excited?

In a previous post, I mentioned that Skype would be releasing a version for Verizon Blackberry devices in late March. Late March is here, and so is Skype for my Blackberry!

Skype Mobile download quickly from Skype's website onto my Storm (I'm eligible for a Storm 2 upgrade next month), and everything seemed to install without a hitch. But when I looked in my Applications folder, there was no Skype!

After a bit of hunting, I found the Skype icon in the Downloads folder on the Storm. I'm willing to admit I was a bit hasty in my excitement to get it running, and I didn't pay much attention to where the installer was actually installing Skype.

So, I clicked on the Skype icon, was presented with a Username and Password screen, and then there was Skype! The interface is a great fusion between the

latest Blackberry application interface and the familiar Skype desktop interface. My Skype contacts popped right up, so I decided to give it a Whirl.

My sister Mandy leaves Skype logged in on their family room desktop PC, and I since it was early evening, just after dinner, I thought it a safe bet that she would be able to answer. I clicked on her contact listing, and the Blackberry dialer application popped up, just as if I were placing a regular phone call on Verizon.

On the second ring, she answered: "Hey! ... Wait, I don't see you!" While this is our usual greeting when I call on my laptop when I forget to plug in the webcam. I didn't her video either, which appears to be a limitation of the Skype/Verison Blackberry solution. Of course, sending video of yourself using the Blackberry camera would be problematic, so overall I'm not too disappointed that this feature isn't there (unless it's hidden somewhere I haven't found, which I've already proven is a likely scenario).

The sound quality was excellent, with only a little more delay and static compared to talking over Verizon's voice network. In fact, I would say the sound quality was comparable to using Skype on my laptop. The only problem I found is that Skype Mobile didn't seem to have a lot of the fancy anti-feedback features of the desktop application, so I would say something, then I would here myself say it back, and then my sister would speak. A lot of this has to do with her desktop speaker and microphone setup. Isuspect that a Blackberry to Blackberry call would sound great.

I'm hoping to test it this weekend with some international crew members I know who are willing to be my lab rats, er, Field Testers. I'll make sure I post their observations here.


  • Last night I had a forty-five minute Skype to Skype conversation with a crewmember on a trip to Taiwan. I was on my Verizon Blackberry Storm, and he was using his personal AT&T iPhone. The call quality was excellent!

  • I just got an email from one of our Flight Attendants on a trip to St. Thomas. She is getting the following message on her Blackberry when she tries to use Skype:

    “Skype mobile can only be used on Verizon Wireless in the US. To learn about using Skype mobile to make free or low-cost calls from the US, visit

    Everything I’ve read says that Skype is supposed to work internationally! Just to make sure, I followed the link above, and was presented with Verizon’s Skype mobile site. When I clicked on “International” under the “Skype mobile – Features”
    , I got the following:

    “Skype mobile isn’t just about calling, it’s about staying connected and saving money too. With Skype mobile, you can IM anyone else on Skype, wherever they are in the world. And, even international Skype-to-Skype calls are unlimited! Plus, when you buy Skype Credit to use Skype mobile, you can enjoy Skype’s low rates for calls to international mobile or landline numbers which means you can really stay connected to the people who matter most.”

    Is this fale advertising by Verizon, operator error, or a nefarious plot by AT&T to get me to switch my international users back over to them?

    I’m off to call my Verizon corporate representative, otherwise I’m going to have a $3,000 phone bill for two pilots and a flight attendant. Maybe I should tell them just to turn off their phones and enjoy the beach…

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