Skype_LogoShocking news hit some time ago when Skype announced their Discontinuation of Skype for Windows Mobile. There are two elements to this in my opinion, one being that it was partly expected given their useless device integration (no internal speaker compatibility without a workaround) which caused a lot of frustration throughout the Windows Mobile community. The other element is that rather than discontinuing the app, I expected them to improve it! I mean, it can’t be that hard to provide one single update that routes sound to the earpiece instead of the loud speaker can it? Given the amount of apps around the net that do it for them it was fairly rude of Skype not to incorporate it in my opinion. Instead choosing to remove it completely. Whether this is also to do with the upcoming controversial Windows Mobile 7 or not (the reason for Fennec’s discontinuation) I have no idea, but wouldn’t be surprised.

However, all is not lost Windows Mobile lovers!

There are some alternatives to Skype’s poor excuse for an application which do work flawlessly and integrate perfectly with Windows Mobile. Two I will mention today are iSkoot and Fring.

iSkoot_logoI’ve mentioned iSkoot in the past, basically due to it being fully hackable to work with the 3 network, but did you know without the hack it’s just your basic Skype-compatible voip application? It offers calls through the normal speaker, chat and contact management, basically everything Skype will do except for sending SMSoIP (Sms messages through Skype). I’ve tried looking, but am yet to find an app that would do that as a replacement for skype. There was something promising over on SMSoIP.be however they appeared to vanish which is disappointing. Head over to iSkoot’s hompage to download today.

Fring_LogoAlternatively, if you are an avid mobile messenger then you may already use Fring, but for new users Fring offers not only integration with Skype, but also AIM, WLM, GTalk and a few other services, it allows integration of all your contacts in one large messenger list. Unfortunately, I did not see any difference between contacts of each service – they all have the same fring icon to say they’re online, so you’ll have to know who you’re talking with and with what service. As with iSkoot, Fring will do everything Skype will do (yes, also Skype-Out) except SMSoIP, add then the abilities to send files and talk with contacts on multiple services and you have a complete communications package! Head over to Fring’s homepage to download.

I have both of these programs running on my TyTN II, iSkoot for 3 and Fring as my Skype replacement when I’m roaming or using another simcard. However as I do enjoy sending the odd SMS I still have an old version of Skype installed, though which is used extremely infrequently.

If you’re not happy with either of these alternatives, you can download an old version (which will continue to work, though I imagine is no longer supported by Skype) from here (it’s a cab!)

I hope that helps, if anyone has any better alternatives, please suggest them in the open comments below!

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