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Anyone used Skype for iPhone?

Travel Forums Europe Anyone used Skype for iPhone?

1. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 2y

Hi-

I'm researching options for using my iPhone 4S in France and Spain. I want to use the city info apps I have (I think most of them let you not be on data while you use their maps), get occasional email and be able to text and call anyone I meet in the country I'm in so we can meet up later. The basic options are to get a micro Sim when I get there or use Skype for iPhone. All of the hotels/hostels I've booked provide wifi so I should at least be able to Skype there. My iphone is on Sprint so I should be able to unlock it, if it's not already unlocked like the rumors say they are.

Has anyone relied on Skype for iPhone calls in Europe? Do many wifi places block VOIP so you can't use Skype? Are microSims pretty common in France and Spain now?

Thanks for any advice!

2. Posted by morro (Full Member 102 posts) 2y

Everyone uses skype at hostels to call home so that is not an issue.

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5579 posts) 2y

I use skype on my iphone all the time (just today again actually), even though I have it on my laptop too, and it works just fine. With video sometimes the quality can be a little off, but in my experience that's just as likely to be the other person's connection. Like morro mentions, this is common in hostels etc.

4. Posted by happytravel01 (Budding Member 5 posts) 2y

Hi, I have used skype on my Iphone whilst in France and Belgium, so providing that you have the app downloaded you should be fine to use it!

5. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 2y

Thanks for confirming that Skype works great at the hostel/hotel. How about using Skype when you are away from the hostel/hotel? I hear there is wifi everywhere but is it something you can pick up on the street on a whim just to check for texts and update a tour app's map or is it the case where there are specific internet cafes you have to visit? I'm trying to gauge whether Skype is equivalent to having a Spanish sim with a data plan.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Mar-2012, at 12:08 by laurim ]

6. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5579 posts) 2y

It's not equivalent, as obviously with a dataplan you'd be continuously able to connect, and here you are at the whim of wifi networks. More and more coffee shops and cafes have this though, so it's certainly not a huge issue. And of course it beats the price of a sim with a data plan :)

7. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 2y

I'm really trying to avoid the sim route. I had an Italian sim once and all the instructions and messages they sent were in Italian so I had a heck of a time figuring out how to use it and add more minutes. Tried to turn the english on but it started out in Italian and none of the italians I asked for help could follow the directions to get it on english, lol.

I think I'll start with Skype. I can always get a sim later.

So, if I meet someone in Spain and we want to exchange numbers to get in contact to meet up for drinks later, what would be the cheapest way for them to contact me? Email would be free, Facebook message free. Spain doesn't have online Skype numbers so I can't do that. If I send a Skype text message to someone's phone, can they then reply back to my Skype? [ Just found out they can't] I can't seem to find the answer on the Skype website. They talk a lot about me using Skype but not much about how people use Skype to get to me, other than via the online number but they don't offer one for Spain.

I'm less interested in calling home than I am in a hunky Spanish guy easily getting in touch with me for dinner plans I want to know what I tell a person when I want a local to be able to contact me.

Maybe Skype isn't the way to keep in touch with locals since it seems to be a one-way thing. Has anyone used any other methods (websites) to stay in touch with people you meet in the country you're in while you are there?

Thanks for the advice!

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Mar-2012, at 14:05 by laurim ]

8. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5579 posts) 2y

Well, if it's a hunky Spanish guy, he'd have an iPhone, right? :) Which would make texting (in Apple's own Messages program) free as long as you have internet access. Otherwise they could just regularly text you. It would cost a little, but it's doable versus a call for short messages.

9. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 2y

Well, I would hope he would be hip enough to have an iPhone ;)

Interesting what you say about Messages, I assumed that would use my data plan. I'm trying to avoid my Sprint plan since I don't want to turn it on for messaging and accidentally get expensive phone calls and data. Kind of paranoid I'll get home to a big bill because I forgot to turn something off.

Looking at Vodaphone and Orange. I'll probably end up getting one of those sims. As a test, I cut down my Italian TIM card and it worked in my iPhone (carrier changed to TIM) so I think I'm ok just picking up a SIM when I get to Spain. My head is swimming with strategies so I think it's just easier to buy a pay as you go with the amount of talk and data I think I'll probably need. incoming calls are usually free and my average data per month is only 200 mb max. Then I can just give people a Spanish phone number like a normal person and stop worrying about finding a wifi place. Sometimes paying more is worth it.

10. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5579 posts) 2y

Quoting laurim

Interesting what you say about Messages, I assumed that would use my data plan. I'm trying to avoid my Sprint plan since I don't want to turn it on for messaging and accidentally get expensive phone calls and data. Kind of paranoid I'll get home to a big bill because I forgot to turn something off.

I usually have data roaming set to off (who likes those bills?!), so when I'm outside of Norway the Messages app defaults back to using regular text messages in the same way it does if you are sending one to a non iPhone user (one of the 3...). If you happen to have wifi available though, then that takes precedence and you'll send it via the wifi connection (data roaming is still off this entire time).

You can always tell which it's going to use by the color of the send button (green is regular texts/blue is via wifi). It's pretty genius really :)