Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Skype is ready for normal people

News flash: It’s become slightly easier to make phone calls with Skype and an iMac than it was for E.T. to beam a Speak ’n’ Spell message to outer space. This is a good thing, since I moved my cellphone to prepay and we don’t have a landline. (Come on Verizon, $35 a month minimum for a dumb phone line? $50 install? Who are you kidding?)

I’ve been trying to use Skype on the Mac for a year now and I remember the thankless reception early versions had for not making use of OS X’s built-in Bluetooth. (Or so we thought... turns plenty of bugs were built in to OS X Bluetooth as well.) At some point bt support was added to Skype, but it didn’t work consistently. After a few more months of updates to both Skype and OS X, thinks work pretty smoothly.

Mrlittlepants has a Motorola Bluetooth headset that he uses with his V600. Some time ago we paired it with the iMac and told Skype to use it, back in the day when nothing worked. But now, when we want to make a call, we disable the V600’s Bluetooth, make sure the headset is on, and dial. It works every time. 2 cents a minute! Pretty damn cool, if you ask me. Call quality is better than a cell phone but with a worse delay; all in all, it’s good enough.

Funny that now that the Skype and Bluetoooth hype has died down, the technologies are actually useful.