Skype 2.5 (Beta)

I found out (via that a beta of Skype 2.5 is available, so downloaded it.  I use Skype quite a lot for text messaging (because MSN is so unreliable), as well as some SkypeOut calls (if the lag was a bit less, I would happily switch to it for all my outgoing calls, since Telecom has put me in Helenville, which is nowhere near me and so I make no local calls) and the odd Skype call (I have one in-law, my parents, my sister, and one friend that I can call – not a large selection!).

2.5 adds some nice little features.  Making SkypeOut calls is much simpler, since I can dial ’09 414 0800′ rather than ‘+64 9 414 0800’, and it will add the New Zealand bit for me.  If I have to call another country, it’ll sort out the country code for me.

Much more handy is the ability to SMS ("txt") through Skype.  I would much rather txt via a computer (when at home) than via my phone.  For a long time I used the fantastic smspop service (great interface, great price), but it sadly died a while back.  I looked around for a while, and the best I could find to replace it was, which is ok, but not great (price-wise, or interface-wise).  Using Skype seems to be pretty convenient.

However, it is pretty pricy – €0.13 per txt, which comes out to about NZ$0.27, which is about 150% of what it costs to send via my cellphone.  So I’m not really sure the convenience is worth it.  But if the price drops (or the cost of txt’ing via prepay phone in NZ increases) then I’m sure I’ll use it a lot.

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