MobileInfocenter

New Skype Solution for Palm OS Treos

iSkoot, a mobile Internet communications company, has announced a new version of its mobile phone application which extends support to Palm OS powered Treo smartphones. iSkootMobile is a free, software application that connects mobile phones to PC-to-PC networks. iSkoot now allows Treo users to place and receive Internet calls through the Skype service from their mobile handsets, without the need for PCs, special hardware, or Wi-Fi hot spots.

With the free iSkoot download, in addition to all the other advanced features of the Treo smartphones, including email, phone, web browsing, and organizer applications, users can enjoy the benefits of Internet telephony directly from their handset.

The iSkootMobile phone application for Skype Software is now available for the Treo 650 and 700p smartphones for free. Users can simply download the small iSkootMobile phone application to their handsets, log onto their Skype accounts, and start calling and receiving calls from their online buddies on their mobile phones.

Roy Erez, Vice President of Business Development, iSkoot, said, "iSkoot is dedicated to helping people get more from their mobile phones. With iSkoot, users can better manage the way they call, they can reach people when they become available on their PC, make cost effective international long distance calls and manage their availability."

"The Treo communities are on-the-go road-warriors who benefit greatly from the ability to use PC functionality when away from their PCs. These are cutting-edge users who seek out the most advanced technological capabilities to enhance their daily communications. Packing a powerful value in a small package, smartphones have become required tools for today's professional on the go. With iSkoot, members of workgroups can better communicate; they know when their co-workers are available to be called and don't waste time leaving and listening to voice mails. In addition, through availability management, customers and partners find it easier to stay in touch from around the world. To top it off you can also reach people anywhere in the world without paying interconnect fees by calling them on their PC."

iskoot Palm Treo Skype

Support for additional Smart phones such as the RIM Blackberry as well as other IM services such as GoogleTalk will be available before the end of 2006.

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Website down

serpico @ 9/20/2006 4:34:15 PM # Q
Just checked, and their website is down. Perhaps this story was digged, and now their site is down. LOL

Interesting idea, but I still don't understand how this works? Does it use your cell service to connect? But then what is the point of Skype without wifi?

RE: Website down
neilski @ 9/20/2006 5:15:45 PM # Q
Hi,
My understanding is that one would connect via their mobile internet browser, in my case Blazer on my Treo 650. I have an unlimited data plan as part of my cell contract and therefore, would be able to make long distance calls through Skype, rather than through the phone. For daytime long distance calls, it would be a dramatic savings as oppossed to regular air time costs plus long distance charges.
Cheers

RE: Website down
hkklife @ 9/20/2006 5:33:33 PM # Q
Any idea if this would work on something like a TX with a modded microphone & a wi-fi connection or an older Tungsten/Zire model with an internal mic and a BT DUN or wi-fi connection?


Linksys/Cisco: Please buy Palm and crush the cell phone telco's stranglehold on the wireless market by offering hybrid wi-fi/cellular VOIP Treos. Please!

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Website down
serpico @ 9/20/2006 5:50:17 PM # Q
Would be nice to use a TX or other wifi device that has a mic. Does the TX allow bluetooth headsets to work with it as a solution?

RE: Website down
steve-hydro @ 9/21/2006 8:27:20 AM # Q
Their patented technology is to take your username, password and dial using a hardphone to skype and mapp your call to it.

Man, wtf do they do with our skype account details - check here what I really found with their approach http://www.palminfocenter.com/comments/8973/#125423

RE: Website down
mobilemoma @ 10/14/2006 7:24:55 PM # Q
no luck here - i've been trying for days. sticking with my globe dialer application until i hear otherwise...

Reply to this comment

Tin Can Voice Quality?

Gekko @ 9/20/2006 5:36:33 PM # Q

Tin Can Voice Quality? And is it really practical to jump from WIFI spot to WIFI spot just to make a friggin phonecall especially since wireless minutes or so damn cheap now anyway? And what about in the car driving? And multiple phone numbers? And ubiquitous Free WIFI here yet? It makes no sense to me.

RE: Tin Can Voice Quality?
serpico @ 9/20/2006 5:47:47 PM # Q
Perhaps you're right. For regular calls it seems like a headache, but for long distance it might be good. But you're still using up your data costs to make a phone call. Isn't a calling card easier to use and cheaper than data plan costs?

I think this would be a better idea for wifi devices. And then, if you are only sitting in one hotspot.

RE: Tin Can Voice Quality?
cervezas @ 9/20/2006 6:29:21 PM # Q
There's no Wi-Fi here. This uses the carrier network. The only advantage I can see is that you can see presence information about the people on your Skype contacts list to know whether they are available to take your call or not. That and you could presumably save on international calling.

If it *did* work over Wi-Fi it would be a lot more useful. I read somewhere that 70% of mobile calls are placed or answered from the home or office. For those who have free Wi-Fi and do a lot of calling this would be a big cost saver: the difference between a 2400 min call plan and a 600 min plan, for example.

Skype call quality is vastly superior to circuit switched, by the way, so the subject line of this post is misguided. Of course this solution will be limited by the fact that the connection to iSkoot is still through the lower quality cellular mobile network. Basically, it's a pretty useless service unless you need to do a lot of international calling while you're away from your PC.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Tin Can Voice Quality?
Gekko @ 9/20/2006 7:14:43 PM # Q

kludge.

Reply to this comment

Missing an Opportunity

Kesh @ 9/20/2006 7:06:31 PM # Q
I really do think Palm is missing an opportunity to hit a market right now.

Take a Treo. Rip out the cell phone circuitry and antenna. Replace it entirely with WiFI hardware. Then, partner with Skype to develop true Skype calling support.

Instant Skype phone, while other companies are still struggling to release Skype-enabled wifi phones. Plus, this would offer all the advantages of a PalmOS or WinMob PDA, without being tied to a cellular contract service.

It may not be a huge market, compared to corporate types who need true cell phones, but they could beat the other players in the wifi phone market into the ground.

RE: Missing an Opportunity
Gekko @ 9/20/2006 7:10:45 PM # Q

silly. everyone already has a real cell phone. why would they want to buy this silly gadget? cell minutes are so cheap and long distance is free. OHHHHHHH you want to call international?? How many people actually do that enough to make it worth buying another smartphone? and international calls are cheap. tiny tiny market if any market at all. now stop being silly.

RE: Missing an Opportunity
SeldomVisitor @ 9/20/2006 7:13:37 PM # Q
Maybe they are doing that - Hawkins' Next Great Thing, eh?

Then again, Microsoft already beat them to it, right?

Don't forget those "We're gonna do Wifi with everything" and "Yes, a Zune phone is coming"!

RE: Missing an Opportunity
serpico @ 9/20/2006 7:15:39 PM # Q
Sony is releasing such a device. Hard to see it catch on, as stated, many individuals have cell phones already. For us, it's just another device to carry, but the younger generation might love this device. I agree, Palm should open up to other markets and try this running PalmOS. Should be easy to do. Just bring back the Tungsten C!

RE: Missing an Opportunity
Gekko @ 9/20/2006 10:10:50 PM # Q

i don't know about you hillbillies, but i see spoiled 8 year olds carrying around cell phones in my neck of the woods.



RE: Missing an Opportunity
Kesh @ 9/21/2006 8:23:38 PM # Q
now stop being silly.

You first.

Reply to this comment

This again makes us rely on them

steve-hydro @ 9/20/2006 11:33:51 PM # Q
They donot connect us directly to Skype instead connect to their Telephone network (making a call from our phone) this make iSkoot more like mobivoip which went absconding very recently. I would rather buy a service which allows me to directly connect to skype or any voip provider for that instance.

RE: This again makes us rely on them
steve-hydro @ 9/20/2006 11:59:21 PM # Q
This is still serious - they store all our username and password for Skype details - they have not quoted this in their Privacy details or Terms of Use.

First when you launch and configure your account details (user name and password) they do this:
http://dev7.iskoot.com/script/get_reg_key.pl?name=;pass=;version=Treo%20v.0.2.62%20BETA;act=0;fwdnbr=

The server returns with a registration key of type 837521182

The also return a number to dial In my case: +16178616038

and they get the contacts list in plain text. by hitting this script page /script/buddy_txt_list.pl?reg=

Would you really want to rest your skype details with a third party server that does not have any privacy policy and Terms of use.

Better solution in my suggestion is to use a service that connects you directly to Skype instead of such middle men. Who can always go absconding with all your data or put your details at ultimate risk.

- Steve.

RE: This again makes us rely on them
joad @ 9/22/2006 2:27:21 PM # Q
It seems most of the phone companies are just as friendly with the government and other corporations as IBM and others were during the NAZI heydays - I see little difference between this company's "privacy" pontifications and those of the carriers that we already are stuck dealing with...

Reply to this comment

Just resets here...

jonecool @ 9/21/2006 2:30:20 AM # Q
I tried connecting to my own account via my Cingular-powered Treo 650 and the unit resets consistently. Any idears what I need to do to fix it?



Reply to this comment

OT: Smartphones: Not ready for prime time - yet

Gekko @ 9/21/2006 8:27:39 AM # Q

Smartphones: Not ready for prime time - yet
Consumers may be a difficult market for smartphone makers to crack, analysts say.
By Grace Wong, CNNMoney.com staff writer
September 20 2006: 11:00 AM EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Smartphone makers are aiming to extend their reach beyond corporate walls, but consumers may not heed the call.

Phones that support email and other applications have been booming. Some 123 million units are forecast to be shipped worldwide this year, giving smartphones almost a 15 percent share of the mobile phone market, according to tech research firm ABI Research.

Smartphones offer it all - users can access e-mail, open attachments, work on spreadsheets and organize their calendars with a single device. It's no wonder then they've won popularity among business professionals, but now handset manufacturers have consumers on their mind, who may be more difficult to win over, analysts said.

"We're absolutely seeing more fairly sophisticated devices that were once only tools for executives going mainstream with consumer features as well as consumer marketing," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research.

Many of the latest smartphones to be launched emphasize features important to consumers, such as camera phones, MP3 players and instant messaging, he said.

Part of the reason consumers may be hesitant to pick up multimedia devices: cost. Most people aren't ready to fork over the usual $300 to $500 for a smartphone, plus take on the additional cost of a monthly plan, said Neil Strother, research director for mobile devices at market research firm NPD Group.

More lower-cost alternatives are hitting the market - Nokia (Charts) said its recently unveiled E62, which will be available from Cingular next week, will sell for as low as $150.

The Motorola (Charts) Q and Research in Motion's (Charts) recently launched BlackBerry Pearl also offer models in the $200 range.

But the productivity applications on these devices are primarily a business benefit, Bill Hughes, a principal analyst with research firm In-Stat, said. "Targeting consumer applications for a business device is a mistake," he said.

The devices also have a tough image to overcome. Smartphones have been aimed at corporate users and they've been marketed as a way to get more organized and improve productivity. "That just might not be as fun and sexy as watching videos or listening to music," NPD's Strother said.

But handset makers are making an effort to make their devices more consumer-friendly. The BlackBerry Pearl, which debuted earlier this month, comes with a digital camera, MP3 player and compact design.

As more functionality is packed into these phones, more individuals will buy them, Gartenberg said. "Look for prices to drop, features to increase and more sleek forms to emerge," he added.

And while there are people who want to play on their phone and those who want to work on their phone, eventually there's going to be a blending of the two, said Kathleen Maher, senior analyst at market research firm Jon Peddie Research.

It's too early to tell whether smartphone manufacturers are gaining any traction among consumers, but the upcoming holiday season could help turn the tide.

"There hasn't been a huge uptake so far, but the Christmas season could change that. We'll have to wait and see," Strother said.

http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/19/technology/smartphones_consumers/index.htm?postversion=2006092011

RE: OT: Smartphones: Not ready for prime time - yet
serpico @ 9/21/2006 1:15:14 PM # Q
Interesting article, Gekko. I agree price is what many individuals tell me is their concern. When my family, friends and clients see my Treo, they think I'm too ahead of the game for them. They mostly carry regular cell phones such as RAZR's but another client of mine carries a Blackberry. He thinks he is a basic user still compared to me. I put us in the same category, but maybe there is another sub category within the smartphone group?

There is an image concern and perhaps the Pearl might break it. But what about those HipTop/Sidekick users? They are pretty close to a smartphone category than say the regular cell phone users who text all day. Maybe they are caught in the middle and perhaps future smartphone users? I think the Nokia E61 and E62 are ok, but still no camera. Symbian OS isn't as popular here in North America as it is in Europe. I have tried some of the new Nokia's and I can say the user experience is better than the Motorola's old style of navigating on their phones.

Reply to this comment

iSkoot has some other big news

Scott_B @ 9/21/2006 2:32:08 PM # Q
I am not sure where some of you are getting your information from but I wanted to show this Press Release that came out last month that deals with a Co-Marketing agreement between iSkoot and Skype.

Skype and iSkoot Sign Co-Marketing Agreement for the iSkoot Mobile Solution

iSkoot’s mobile solution to benefit handset manufacturers, carriers and Skype ends users

CAMBRIDGE, MA – August 8, 2006 – iSkoot, the service provider for mobile Internet communications solutions , today announced the signing of a Co-Marketing Agreement with Skype, the global Internet communications company, for iSkoot’s solution for mobile-PC calling. The iSkoot solution will allow mass market Java-phones as well as high-end Smartphones to place and receive Internet calls through Skype™ software from their handsets, without the need for PCs, special hardware, or WiFi hot spots.

As part of the agreement, Skype will certify iSkoot’s mobile solution for making and receiving Skype calls on mobile phones. Once certified the product will be available for download from the iSkoot web site.

“We are looking forward to working closely with Skype to deliver true mobility, free of PCs, special hardware, or WiFi hot spots. We are extremely pleased to be Skype’s partner for delivering a solution that will allow people to use Skype anywhere,” said Jacob Guedalia, Chief Executive Officer, iSkoot. “This agreement benefits everyone, from handset manufacturers and carriers to the tens of millions of Skype users worldwide. By connecting cell and smart phones to Skype, iSkoot software allows handset vendors and mobile operators to gain new PC calling minutes and increase ARPU. Meanwhile, Skype users will enjoy the benefits of Skype on their cell phone. In addition to text messaging, they will be able to place and receive Skype calls from their mobile phones to and from their online contacts.”

iSkoot will help free Skype users from their PCs and allow them to connect with online contacts from anywhere, from supported mobile phones, at any time. In addition, iSkoot will enable Skype users to use SkypeOut™ for inexpensive calls to any phone from their mobile handset. With the iSkoot software, users will be able to take Skype with them wherever they go.

About iSkoot
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., iSkoot is a leader in enabling mobile Internet communications. iSkoot extends the reach of Internet communications by allowing users to make and receive PC calls using their mobile phones. With iSkoot, Voice over Internet users are no longer bound to their PCs to make and receive PC calls. iSkoot enables users to take advantage of Internet communications services and buddy systems to make unlimited, superior quality voice calls via next-generation peer-to-peer software from their cell phone. iSkoot uses proprietary technology and has eight patents pending for its unique client server protocol and interfaces, Mobile-to-Skype gateway and integrated presence system. For more information, visit www.iskoot.com.
# # #
iSkoot is a trademark of iSkoot Inc. All other trademarks, service marks and company names are the property of their respective owners.

RE: iSkoot has bupkis right now. BUPKIS.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 9/22/2006 1:24:11 AM # Q
From thee iSkoot website we see:

For Information Contact:
Web: www.iskoot.com
For Media Contact:
Scott Baldwin
5W Public Relations
212.999.5585
sbaldwin@5wpr.com


Are you merely the PR rep, Scott_B, or do you have any technical familiarity with this application? When I tried your service my Treo dials out to Massachusetts (617) 861-6038 and then gives a recording that the call cannot be completed as dialed + exits back to the application. How lame.

Those of us with unlimited EVDO on our Treo 700p would like to take advantage of the free SkypeOut being offered in USA + Canada. Has anyone yet had a successful connection with iSkoot? If it's Not Yet Ready For Prime Time, why even bother posting a non-functional beta?


TVoR

RE: iSkoot has some other big news
pascanu @ 9/22/2006 3:06:19 AM # Q
VoIP = Voice over IP. It is supposed to work over a DATA connection, not VOICE (telephony).

This has nothing to do with VoIP, IMHO. That makes it useless, at least for me.

Handspring Visor -> m505 -> Zire71 -> Zire72 -> Treo650

RE: iSkoot has some other big news
Scott_B @ 9/22/2006 9:43:06 AM # Q
Hi Voice of Reason, to answer your question; Yes and Yes. Yes I do represent iSkoot and yes, i do ACTUALLY know the application (go figure). I currently run it on a Verizon 650 and it works fine. What network are you working with? If you are having problems, then I am sure iSkoot would like to know about them and help fix.

RE: iSkoot has some other big news
joad @ 9/22/2006 2:26:14 PM # Q
TVOR pwn3d by a Baldwin?!!?

Ryan can you delete Scott B's contact info from my post?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 9/22/2006 9:07:36 PM # Q
Thanks.

And sorry, Scott - I forgot to edit it out.

RE: iSkoot finally worked for me (after 2 days + 10 calls)
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 9/22/2006 9:08:55 PM # Q
Hi Voice of Reason, to answer your question; Yes and Yes. Yes I do represent iSkoot and yes, i do ACTUALLY know the application (go figure).

Thanks for stating this publicly. It's usually preferrable to be upfront with your position if you're going to make posts online.

I currently run it on a Verizon 650 and it works fine. What network are you working with? If you are having problems, then I am sure iSkoot would like to know about them and help fix.

Sprint + Treo 700p. The problem is the error message referenced above. I tried it again earlier today and it didn't even try dialling your (617) 861-6038 - it just said the call cannot be completed as dialled. I then tried again today and it worked. Can you outline precisely HOW your system is connecting calls via Skype? Also how long will the beta be going on for? Will you be charging for the application later on?

TVOR pwn3d by a Baldwin?!!?

W T F are you talking about?

TVoR

Has ANYONE been able to get iSkoot to work consistently?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 9/25/2006 4:17:48 PM # Q
On the 2 calls (of around 30 made!) that iSkoot connected the calls, voice quality was quite acceptable.

It appears that this application calls into a phone server in Massachusetts and transmits your Skype user name + password. The call is then completed as a VoIP call using iSkoot's own server as the host computer. Slick concept, but obviously open for abuse. Also, I assume the service has gone down repeatedly because iSkoot lacks the server bandwidth to handle many calls at once.

As has been mentioned here, users of this service are having to trust that iSkoot isn't abusing their privacy. Given the setup, iSkoot could easily :

- Use anyone's Skype user name + password to make calls as if they were that individual.
- Listen in on any conversation.
- Record any conversation.

This is downright creepy. I expect we'll never hear anything about these "minor details" from the iSkoot representative... I've deleted iSkoot from my Treo 700p and will wait until a REAL Skype client is released.

TVoR

RE: iSkoot has some other big news
lbdoc @ 10/12/2006 3:03:36 AM # Q
amazing,,i have had exactly the same issues with iScoot. so far all my calls say they cannot be connected . i have never been able to connect to one. when i called Mass. a girl said to email for tech support. that was 3 days ago and yet no answer. if anyone has the answer please let me know. i run a palm 650 with Sprint as my server..thanks..

RE: iSkoot has some other big news
mobilemoma @ 10/14/2006 7:28:00 PM # Q
I've tried and tried - it's enough to make you nuts! For a call back service I recommend JahJa and for a complete mobile solution chek out www.globedialer.com
RE: iSkoot has some other big news
iskoot_tech_support @ 10/17/2006 9:45:27 AM # Q
If you are unable to make a call on your Treo it might be caused due to the fact that you installed the application on your SD card (external memory card) and not the palm device. If this is the case, try removing it from the card and install it on the phone. Taken from iSkoot's "troubleshooting" guide. (http://www.iskoot.com/ts_manual.htm#5).

Also, iskoot works better when caller id is enabled on your Treo.

iSkoot Tech Support

RE: iSkoot has some other big news
lbdoc @ 10/19/2006 11:26:08 PM # Q
I now have my 650 working perfect. The problem with the connection is that i was blocking my outgoing caller id. It just so happens that the server in Mass needs your caller id to come thru. I called Sprint and in a matter of seconds i was unblocked and using this service. It works great!! As a note to iSkoot it would be great if they could add the prefix in their software , i think it is *82 , to make all calls going into there server unblocked thus letting all your other outgoing calls blocked if you wish them to Be.. just a suggestion, but a good one!!!! hahahaha

Reply to this comment

Palm OS Treos Gets Skype

JillCarron @ 9/22/2006 11:13:16 AM # Q
According to iSkoot, mobile phones that have iSkootMobile would not need any kind of computers to run. Also, there would also be no need for other pieces of equipment or hardware to let Skype run. Hotspots or WiFi areas would also not be needed. The iSkootMobile would take care of all of it.

You can read more info about it here:

http://www.cordless-phones.uk.com/news/

http://www.cordless-phones.uk.com/news/">LiGo News - Find reviews, articles and news about http://www.cordless-phones.uk.com/newest-products/">latest phones to hit the market plus news on VoIP and Skype.

Reply to this comment

Skype on treo ?

cjayasuriya @ 1/8/2007 1:20:19 AM # Q
I have a treo 700p and i downloaded iskoot first i had problems signing on to my skype account. But ones i tried creating a new account and resigning in, it worked great! I think the reason was that i had too many contacts on my other skype id. I think this is a great product. They shouldn't charge us unless they have a full upgrade on the interface.
jay jayasuriya, Austin Tx-

I have a treo 700p and i downloaded iskoot first i had problems signing on to my skype account. But ones i tried creating a new account and resigning in, it worked great! I think the reason was that i had too many contacts on my other skype id. I think this is a great product. They shouldn't charge us unless they have a full upgrade on the interface.
jay jayasuriya, Austin Tx-
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