fring is a mobile internet service & community that enables you to access & interact with your social networks on-the-go, make free calls and live chat with all your fring, Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo! and AIM friends.
Fring (sic) today released, to selected Symbian devices, an updated version of their social communication application that enables Skype video calling functionality. This is the first, consumer ready, implementation of Skype video calls on a mobile phone. You can both place and receive Skype video calls from other users (including other fring users). It is an extremely impressive technology implementation and a good example of what is possible with the Symbian platform. Read on for more.
Video-calling has been much hyped over the years, notably during 3G spectrum auctions, but it does retain some practical applications. Skype video calls are popular for their cost (free) and are frequently used by geographically separated families (e.g. on business trips). As such, given their respective popularity, fring’s implementation of Skype video calling on mobile is, at least for some users, arguably more useful than operator/cellular enabled video calling.
As you would expect of a mobile to mobile video call, the video is relatively low quality (similar to that of a cellular/operator based video call for me). A mobile to desktop Skype call gives slightly better video quality, although this may be partly due to the quality of the web camera at the other end of the call (multi-megapixel as opposed to VGA resolution).
Fring already provides a comprehensive set of voice and instant messaging communication options across a range of bearers and services (Skype Google Talk, MSN/Live, ICQ, SIP, Yahoo, AIM, Twitter and Facebook). Skype video calling is treated as an additional communication options, which can be chosen when you select a fring contact to call.
Currently the Skype video calling functionality is available on the Nokia X6, N97 mini, N97, 5800, N95, N95 8G, and N82 devices. Coming soon on other popular platforms so stay tuned!