Landing a day earlier than predicted, Skype's official iPhone client will show its green 'n' white face in the App Store tomorrow. The other conspicuously neglected market, BlackBerry owners, can expect a client by May.
The iPhone client feature set is more or less what we've come to expect from Skype mobile apps: free Skype-to-Skype calls, SkypeOut support, pretty interface integration (they went with the iPhone aesthetic over the Skype desktop aesthetic, thankfully) and instant messaging to other users. You can even snap a profile picture from within the app. The app will also support 2G iPod Touches with external mics.
But! For those of you who held onto the vain hope that an official client might be able to somehow skirt the universal App Store ban on voice over IP over 3G (VoIPo3G?), forget it—you won't be able to Skype unless you're connected to a wireless network, and text messaging has been entirely excluded. You can't even top up your SkypeOut account or purchase other services like voicemail, which, by the way, can't be accessed from the app.
Not to poop on Skype's party, but this announcement leaves me with questions—specifically, why should I download this? Third party apps like Fring picked up Skype's slack a long time ago, and lump in multiprotocol IMing, something which gives them a distinct advantage over this official client on the one-app-at-a-time-plea! se iPhon e. Skype told CNET that their app will have better voice quality (and probably lower latency), but aside from that was unable to offer many significant advantages over other apps. [CNET and NYT —Images from CNET]