After 6 months of not-quite-official availability for those of us with jailbroken iPhones, Fring, a free mobile Voice-over-IP service (VoIP), has made its way to the App Store. With that, a day that some said would never come has arrived: Skype calls can now be made on the iPhone, no hacks required.
Beyond the Skype functionality (which I imagine would be its most popular use), Fring also lets you chat (and call, where appropriate) friends over MSN, GoogleTalk, AIM, Yahoo, Twitter, ICQ, and of course, Fring’s own service.
Back at the iPhone SDK event March, Steve Jobs stated that there would be no blockade on VoIP applications be it that calls could only be made over WiFi. Other VoIP applications, such as Truphone, made their way out within a few weeks of the SDK’s availability – unfortunately, they only offered support for their own services. With a huge chunk of VoIP users (and, in turn, the other VoIP users they’d be calling) already dedicated to one of the popular PC based services, this wasn’t an optimal solution.
Even with these other VoIP applications available, naysayers feared Skype would never be allowed. If Apple didn’t have some reason block it, AT&T would — or so groupthink might have lead us to believe. With this release, the debate is over – so go grab Fring from the App Store.