Fring Review

Ever since Skype announced they were dropping support for Windows Mobile I’ve been looking for an alternative. I don’t use Skype heavily on the mobile, just occassional use but it bugged me they were dropping it as a paid up user. In fairness the client was a massive install, it used a tonne of resources and didn’t do anything especiallly well. Their press release says:
“Unfortunately, Skype Lite – a version of Skype for your mobile phone – and Skype for Windows phones are no longer available for download from our site. We’ve chosen to withdraw Skype Lite and Skype for Windows phones because we want to offer our new customers an improved mobile experience – much like the version that has proved so popular on the iPhone, and which is now available on Symbian phones. Our focus is on providing a rich user experience that allows you to enjoy free Skype-to-Skype and low cost calls as easily on the move as you do at your desktop. We felt that Skype Lite and Skype for Windows phones were not offering the best possible Skype experience.”
In the past I had tried Fring. At the time that was also pretty useless, locking up most of the phones I’ve had, but I decided to give it another go. The new version had been through a number of versions since I had used it last but I was pleasantly surprised when I found it still retained my username, so no new account setups required.
For those that don’t know about fring its a multi platform (Symbian S60, iPhone/iPod touch, Android, Windows Mobile, J2ME & Linux devices and operates on any available mobile internet connection (3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS, EDGE &WiMax). (Android released just in time for my pre ordered HTC Desire!!)) VOIP client. It currently supports Skype®, Facebook, MSN® Messenger, ICQ®, Google Talk™, Twitter, AIM® & Yahoo!™. It also has a number of add in’s such as LastFM, WeFi SIP, ICQ, etc, that can be activated to get those feeds and contacts imported as well.
Its feature list includes:
  • fring friends list
  • free calls via VOIP
  • fringAdd-on applications
  • live chat instead of SMS
  • SkypeOut or SIP calls
  • friends’ profiles
  • call history
  • invite friends
  • video calls
  • send & receive files
  • WIFI auto-roaming
  • fring tones
and testing these out they all work very well over both 3G and WiFi. Have a go and try the test call out, you’ll be amazed at the quality, and at the worst it can only reduce your mobile bill if you are using Skype out or making VOIP calls to Skype or MSN!

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