Expat Tech: Skype Now Supports Multi-Tasking

We previously reported at the end of May on Skype adding support for 3G calling to their iPhone app and are now happy to report that as of yesterday, Skype now also supports multi-tasking on Apple’s new iOS 4 for the iPhone 4 and 3GS.

What this means is that you can now run Skype in the background on your iPhone, and receive calls as well as place them.  Before iOS 4, the only way to receive calls would have been to have the Skype application running in the foreground which was not very practical.  Now, just run Skype in the background and people in the States can ring your Argentine cell phone just by placing a local call. And all you need is a cheap 3G connection (Movistar charges $9 pesos for 2GB to use over 2 days).

You’ll still need to pay for a SkypeIn number if you want people on non-Skype phone lines to reach you, but luckily this service is only $18 for three months or $60 for a year. Plus, they have local numbers available in 25 different countries.

In other good news, Skype also dropped plans to charge extra for 3G calling.  Both Wifi and 3G calls are free to Skype numbers, though you’ll need Skype credit to make outbound calls to non-Skype numbers, but that is relatively inexpensive as well.

Now all we need is the jailbreak for iOS 4 on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, which is supposed to be coming in the next few days! (I installed iOS 4.0 on my iPhone 3G and it slowed to a crawl.  I had to downgrade to 3.1.3 to make my phone usable again, so I’d advise against doing that.)

So, with a jailbroken and unlocked iPhone 3GS, iOS 4.0.1, Movistar 3G service and Skype, I should have a cheap calling solution anywhere in Buenos Aires.