Shape Services has quietly released a new version 2.5 of their IM+ for Skype Software which offers several new features of which one stands out for facilitating Skype connectivity to your “calling phone number” of choice. Simply called Location in their dialogue, it allows you to identify the “calling” number to which you want to have a call to a Skype, SkypeOut or Blackberry contact connected.
I have set up three “Locations”: (i) my mobile phone number, (ii) my PSTN office number and (iii) my SkypeIn number. I designate (activate) one of these Locations as my “calling” number and make a (Skype or SkypeOut) call via IM+. Whereas with previous versions the call would always come back to my mobile phone hosting the IM+ application,. with the IM+ 2.5 service I can activate “Denali Office”, for instance, request that the call to a Skype contact be directed back to my office PSTN phone as my end of the call.
So where is the larger benefit? When I leave Canada, I normally pay Rogers C$0.95 per minute to make a call from anywhere in the U.S. and C$2.00 per minute for calls from Europe to North America (Canada/US). With IM+ I can purchase a prepaid SIM for, say, Cingular (woops, AT&T) or my visited European country, replace my Rogers SIM chip, create a new IM+ location associated with the SIM’s “local” number and make calls based on SkypeOut rates plus “local” prepaid mobile rates. As for receiving calls I can call forward my mobile number to my SkypeIn number as IM+ 2.5 will now accept calls to my SkypeIn number(s).
As an added benefit, IM+ 2.5 will not only make calls to those in my Skype Contacts but also my Blackberry address book. In summary IM+ provides a very versatile way of combining access to both Skype and Blackberry resources..And the voice quality on all my calls to date has been excellent.
And it provides today a viable alternative to Aswath’s quandry re Jajah:
Consider a new kind of [mobile] phone that is not only connected to the PSTN but also to the Internet, via home [Skype and mobile] networking. Thus when the user selects a name from the embedded [Blackberry] address book [or Skype Contact list], the phone will send its [a designated “calling”] phone number and the called person’s phone number to Jajah [the IM+ server and Skype] via the data network connection. This means that the user experience will be same as in similar to the case of PSTN [mobile calling]. Jajah can license this to the phone vendors. After all Skype’s revenue from franchise [SkypeOut termination] sales is a significant portion of their total revenue. [Strikeouts and square brackets are my edits.]
I’ll be writing about the other IM+ for Skype Software 2.5 new features once I have had more experience with them. In addition I have communicated with all these “Skype via Blackberry” services about security issues; that will generate another post. [Hint: your Skype login data is only stored on your own Blackberry.]
Tags: Blackberry, IM+ for Skype Software, Skype Mobile