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August 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Skype WiFi hotspot app launches on iOS

Skype announced on its official blog today that it’s launched an iOS WiFi app allowing folks to use Skype Credits to buy per-minute WiFi access.

The iOS app is free to download from Apple’s App store.

skype-logo-placeholder.png

As Skype’s blog notes:

“With the new Skype WiFi app, you can go online on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (running iOS 4.1 or above with multitasking) at over 1 million WiFi hotspots around the world, including hotels, airports, train stations, convention centres, bars and restaurants. And with Skype Credit you only pay for the minutes you use. So, there’s no need to buy an hour or day WiFi voucher if you’re only looking to check your email or make a quick Skype call.”

The cost starts at 6 cents a minute.

To give people a chance to try the new app, Skype WiFi will be free, for a maximum of 60 minutes, starting midnight Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday British Summer Time. (The UK is eight hours ahead of Seattle.)

Thenextweb notes that “since you’re still using a near-public network, Skype WiFi isn’t as safe as you’d be using something like a portable hotspot, but it’s probably more convenient in many cases.”

In recent months Skype has announced or launched a flurry of products and partnerships, creating an app optimized for iPad, rolling out video support for additional Android devices for Skype for Android, and a partnership with Facebook enabling video chat within Facebook.

It will be interesting to see if Skype continues to launch services at that level for Apple and Android if and/or when the deal with Microsoft is finalized. Microsoft announced its purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion in May. The deal was cleared by the U.S. Justice Department in June, and is now awaiting approval from the European Union before it is finalized.

Skype VP Neil Stevens outlined some of the company’s thinking about Skype’s future plans with Microsoft earlier this month.

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