Where is the iPhone version of Skype in Canada?

Just wanted to share a question I asked to Skype support:

I was really excited with the announcement of the iPhone version for Skype earlier this week. But when I tried to get it from the Canadian iTunes Store, it was nowhere to be found! Doing some search over the Internet, it appears Canada is the only country where the iPhone version of Skype is not available.

This is very surprising and I would like to get a better explanation as it is possible to download the Windows Mobile version from your site when in Canada, it is possible to purchase Skype WiFi phones in Canada and Skype works fine on notebooks / netbooks in Canada.

I can only suppose that there is a small delay for this and that Skype will be available shortly to people in Canada. Can you please let me know the reason why it is not yet available as well as when you expect Skype for iPhone to be available to Canadians?

Thank you for your quick answer.

And here is the answer I got back:

Thank you for contacting Skype Support.

We apologize for the inconvenience you’ve experienced while trying to download Skype for iPhone. Unfortunately, the Skype for iPhone application is not available for use in Canada at this time. There is an ambiguous restriction in one of the standards-based technology licenses, and we are looking into it. The issue is not related to Apple, nor is it specific to Skype.

Once again, we apologize for this inconvenience and would like to assure you that we are working on resolving this issue as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and we hope you enjoy using Skype on your iPhone in the nearest future.

OK, there is hope, but let’s not be in a hurry.

Update (September 9, 2009): Skype for iPhone is now available in Canada! Next step, being able to do calls over 3G 😉

iPhone in Canada: The numbers take 2

As a follow-up to my previous post where I looked at the costing for data plans on Rogers in Canada for iPhone users, I needed to update the information based on the latest changes and limited time offers. For those who follow me on Twitter already know, I got myself the iPhone last Friday (that was fun). Just before the launch, Rogers announced a special time limited data plan at CA$ 30 for 6Gb of data per month, that could be added to any voice plan you wanted.

Continue reading iPhone in Canada: The numbers take 2

Unfounded rumor: iPhone 2 will be unlocked

OK, we are about 3 weeks (my guesstimate) of knowing what will really happen with the iPhone 2, which is widely expected to be announced at the WWDC conference. Over the last few weeks, more and more mobile operators around the world have announced the upcoming availability of the cell phone from Apple on their network in many different countries (the iPhone blog has a good summary post). Looking as this list getting longer and longer almost every day, this can only mean one thing in my mind: the iPhone 2.0 will be unlocked.

Update (June 10, 2008): OK, my unfounded rumor was completely wrong… that must be why it was unfounded 😉

Continue reading Unfounded rumor: iPhone 2 will be unlocked

Swiss Francs are not accepted as a currency at my Canadian Bank!

I had some Swiss Francs that I wanted to get exchanged and put on my Canadian bank account today. So I happily go to my branch here in Ottawa with my foreign money, wait kindly in line and when comes my turn, ask if they could put this on my bank account, expecting to get charged a ridiculous amount for transaction fees, and potentially even requiring them to send it to a central place to process the currency exchange. Well, it’s even more fun than that: They simply won’t take it!

It really sounded like the currency from Switzerland was the equal of the one from a third-world country where the exchange rate changes by the minute due to civil war… so when I asked what currencies are actually accepted by my bank, the answer was simply US Dollars and British Pounds (at least one European currency, thanks to the Queen). Yes, you’ve read correctly, my bank in Canada isn’t even willing to exchange Euros.

And for those who ask, I am banking with one of the biggest ones in Canada who charge a fortune for a normal account per month, not a small unknown internet bank. I was already convinced that the banking system in this country is completely outdated, but this was just the little extra that confirmed everything. The only solution for me is to go to a currency exchange place downtown (yes, where the tourists go) and then take the Canadian Dollars to bring them to my branch! Not impressed…

Thoughts from an unhacked iPhone user in Canada

Apple iPhoneFor someone who had a whole theory about why he wouldn’t buy one, I am very surprised how long I lasted before getting my iPhone. Yes, I finally have one and it is, all in all, and amazing combination of technology and user experience design.

Living about one hour north of the US border, I drove down to a small town in upstate New York last weekend to get my iPhone and activated it as a pay-as-you-go cell phone from a Starbucks (you know, the other Apple partner when it comes to this device) and updated it to the 1.1.1 firmware. As soon as I crossed the border back, I took the SIM card out so that the battery would not drain to quickly, especially as AT&T dosen’t offer international roaming on their GoPhone plans. Oh yes, Apple, I know I removed the SIM card… no need to remind me about that on a regular basis with a modal dialog box.

Continue reading Thoughts from an unhacked iPhone user in Canada

OK, I want an iPhone

Yes, I know. A few weeks back, I came up with a theory about why I didn’t want to have an iPhone… Well here I am playing with a collegue’s one and I now have to rationalize the purchase decision as I so want one. It takes a while to get used to the keyboard (it sure isn’t a Blackberry) but I start to get the neck of it and the predictive detection works quite well.

The web browser experience is really great (blogging from the iPhone right now) and Google Maps is fun to use. YouTube will be fun, but this small device won’t replace the AppleTV. I haven’t tried the mail client (it is not my phone) and the phone doesn’t work as this is a locked US iPhone with an AT&T pay as you go SIM.

Rogers, can you please speed-up the introduction of the iPhone in Canada? I would rather not want to buy it in the States and have to hack it. Well, let’s see how long I can wait 😉

Update (Sept 18, 2008): the big question is much more iPhone 8Gb or iPod touch 16Gb… is a de-featured device with more space better? After trying out the email client with my IMAP server I’ve got the answer: iPhone, even one where the phone part doesn’t work 😀

Living in Ontario, Canada – Part 1

Or should I be more specific… living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Part 1. I’ve crossed the Atlantic in November of 2006, just in time for winter, which I survived, and am now enjoying my first Canadian summer. To summarize this blog post, I really like living in the capital of this huge country. People are really nice, and many of them speak a language that reminds me of French, hidden behind an accent and some strange ways of saying things, that is for someone who grew-up on the other side of the Atlantic. As for when living in the UK before coming to this side of the world, there are things that come as a surprise to me, some constructive comments and other random thoughts not really worth mentioning. In no particular order, I’ll be covering the milk distribution, the temperature during winter, batteries recycling, the Canadian-French language, buying geek toys, hockey and weather news on USA channels.


Continue reading Living in Ontario, Canada – Part 1

Ontario vs. UK: Which is which…

Yesterday, I went to an Ontario Park called “Murphys Point”, about 150km South-West of Ottawa. Beautiful place. Having visited the UK last year, I was surprised by the similarity of the landscape in Ontario, Canada and some regions of the UK such as the Lake District or Southern Scotland. A hint, one has more hills and mountains than the other… I’ll let you be the judge :)

Is this in Ontario, Canada
Is this in Ontario, Canada?

Or is it this one?
Or is it this one?

Getting ready for the move to Canada

With the move to Canada, I will need to also move my web and mail server. While I will make sure that my email server stays available all the time, I am expecting my web site, including this blog, to disconnect for a few weeks. I’ll make all I can to have it back online as quickly as possible.

If you have a hard time contacting me, try my Yahoo email address: gerard.metrailler[at]yahoo.com