Recap: I am trying to do almost all my work with my phone and I am slowly getting there. This series of articles (this is the fourth part) is intended to document my findings and opinions about the process.
Here is where I am with my little project.
VOIP / International Long Distance
I live in Palm Beach, FL with my wife and son… but the rest of my family is in abroad, 6000 miles away. Long distance is expensive if you go with the regular phone company long distance services. I could go with a long distance card for more affordable international long distance rate, but the killer application for my particular situation is Skype (click [here]). My calling rates are less than $0.02 per minute… yes, there are other VOIP services… but Skype is the all- in-one solution for my particular situation. I use Skype on the PC while I am working, I use Skype over the air when I am with my phone. Additionally, I can chat with my contacts, or if I cannot find them online, I can call their phone numbers from right where I am. I like the ability to also be able to have absolutely free conversations from Skype to Skype when they are on their computer and I am either on the phone or my computer. There are lots of services that allow some variation of this type of VOIP service, but call quality has never been an issue for me so I am happy to keep the service. You can get a phone number and use Skype as your always with you phone number or simply a Skype account and use it to call out… heck, you could even use it for calling Skype to Skype only if you wanted… but I think that the feature rich environment that Skype has to offer is exactly what I need for my VOIP needs… Installing Skype is simple, if you have an account already created it takes a second and the application will remember your credentials, so you don’t need to type in your password every time (although you could if you wanted to sign out every time you exit the application).
Skype is available for Blackberry, Android, iPhone, Symbian, Sony PSP, custom hardware such as the Skype WiFi Phone and some feature cordless phones (get them [here]). Unfortunately, the latest version of Skype for Windows Phone is not available from Skype itself. You can either find a vendor that still has a downloadable copy of Skype Lite or use an existing copy. The service is still available throughout 2010, but Skype Lite will be disconnected at the end of the year… the official explanation is that Skype Lite cannot offer the same experience that the other versions have to offer. A lot has been speculated about why Skype Lite is not being offered and some people assume that the cell carriers preventing the service from working. However, what has not been announced yet is that before the end of the year, we will have a Skype for Windows Phone. This release will come in with the same features offered in the other mobile platforms and will come in right in time for Windows Phones coming to the market at that point.
Now with the help of CEdit and RDP for a remote session to the desktop can allow you to code in mobile mode, send to the desktop, remote to it, compile and release. Even though I still feel this is somewhat closer to cheating when saying that this would be all mobile work; the truth is that you still need to have a desk-bound computer while being mobile. That is not the 100% mobile solution I was shooting for.