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Why Skype Sucks

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SKYPE ACQUIRES GROUPME GROUP MESSAGING
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I love technology; I know that girls aren't meant to be geeky and kitted out to the eyeballs in gadgets and gizmos, but I can proudly proclaim I have more than my fair share. iPhone 4, check. MacBookPro, check.. iPad2, check. iTV, check. Add in my iPod, various bits of older stuff like the quaint iSight and iMac and you will notice one crucial bit of information here. All of my gear is the product of Steve Jobs and his Apple cohorts. This is because they look good, they are easy to use and crucially, they work.

There is nothing worse than having a buff bit of kit go kaput, and when you can't call Ghostbusters, a trip to your local Apple Store's Genius Bar is the closest you're gonna get to Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray sorting out your troubles.

Some may say I've been brainwashed. The college I attended in America was an Apple "seed" school; whether the pun was intended has never been established. Apple, then a relatively fledgling company and desperate to kick against the Microsoft pricks, decided to make its products super-cheap to cash strapped college students at small, liberal arts institutions. Unfortunately I was too strapped so never bought into the discounted deal, but used the bay of Apple II's in the computer lab instead. I would stare in wonder at the mesmerising green screen, writing my French essays and dreaming of the day I could afford such a piece of cutting edge technology myself. My first experience of computing was Apple; I loved it and I was hooked for life.

Lots has changed since then. I would never have dreamed back in the early 1990's that I would be able to speak to- and see- friends and relatives across the globe via my computer. One of my most memorable moments last year was Skyping with my 92 year old grandmother a few weeks before she died; to her, the concept of instant imaging coupled with audio communication was sheer magic. I had learned to take it in my stride.

I really want to like Skype. So why don't I? Basically, for all the inverse reasons I love my i-gear. It doesn't look good, it isn't easy to use, and it never works. OK, not never, but it tends to work best when you're just a few hundred metres away from the person you want to communicate with. I could just as easily use smoke signals or tin cans and a bit of string. Or my personal favourite, flashing a torch on and off when you've been sent to bed early and your parents are downstairs watching TV.

Now that Skype is owned by Microsoft, it needs a serious overhaul. The website looks like it's for one of those foreign language discount calling cards they sell down the newsagents. The video imaging is pixellated beyond recognition- on Skype, youthful and living members of my family could be mistaken for my dead grandmother. And the connection craps out more often than a Cuban Cadillac. Don't try telling me it's my broadband; I'm tetrabyted up to my tits. Skype needs do de-naff itself and actually figure out how to work. Or even better, let Apple snap up Skype. Only then will I be happy.