Thursday, December 22, 2005

Skype, DualPhone on the Mac and Yahoo

I recently bought the Olympia DualPhone and I am constantly amazed by it. It acts as both a regular Telkom phone as well as a Skype phone, neatly packaged in the form of a cordless phone. The Telkom calls are of normal quality, but it comes into it's own when you use SkypeOut (Or regular Skype for that matter). The quality is mindblowing. It is easily better than normal international quality, at rates that are even lower than a local call.

It does however suffer from a serious drawback : Windows Only

That being said, I have managed to get some fuctionality out of it on my Mac. The Mac picks it up as a cordless USB Phone, which you select in the Skype preferences. You then put the handset into PC mode by pressing # and the PC Dial key. You can then start or recieve a call from Skype on your Mac. You obviously loose some great features such as dialing from the handset and the ringer, but all is not lost. Hopefully Olympia will listen to their customers and make their software available on Mac so that we can enjoy all the benefits.

On the topic of Skype and VoIP, Yahoo! have released a beta version of their Messenger application that now sports features such as Yahoo Out and Yahoo In. The interesting thing is that their Yahoo Out rates to SA are much cheaper than SkypeOut. At $0.059 (Aprox R0.38) per minute, they are even cheaper than Telkom.

As I am already quite happy with Skype, and am unwilling to purchase another Handset (The DualPhone is quite pricy at R1000) I wont be moving to Yahoo!, but I do hope that Skype responds by lowering their rates. And offering SkypeIN for SA of course.


Anonymous Will Brocklebank said...

Hi Joel - I just found your blog and was intrigued by this comment on getting the DualPhone to work with Mac - could you spare a moment to go through in a little more detail how you made Skype calls from the DualPhone handset? Would really appreciate it - many thanks, Will

12:17 PM  
Blogger Joel Basson (JStrike) said...

Hi Will,

Not a problem. Basically you plug the dualphone's USB cable into your Mac. Then open Skype and open the Audio Preferences in Skype. You will then be able to choose the input/mic and output/speakers. Here us where you choose Cordless USB Phone (or similar) for both. Then to make a call, you press # and then the Green Phone with the letters PC on it. This will put the phone into PC mode. You then proceed to dial the number using Skype (On your computer). You will be able to hear the call through the phone and speak as well.

Obviosly not as elegant a solution as when using it on windows, but at least it works

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Radim said...

Joel, thank you for your instructions how to get DualPhone working under Mac OS X. It's not the most comfortable option, but at least I don't have to invest into new one right now.



2:21 AM  

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