I am an enthusiastic user of Apple’s latest operating system for the iPhone. It has made my barely 1-year-old 3GS feel like a brand new gadget…something that has helped to control my occasionally overwhelming desire to go out and pay cash for an iPhone 4 (current mobile network contract be damned!).
The feature I am most enamored of is its ability to run certain applications in the background, which makes a VOIP app like Skype infinitely more useful. Ever since I upgraded to iOS4, I have taken to having Skype open and running in the background on my iPhone virtually all the time. And it’s been great because prior to this innovation, people could only reach me on Skype when I was sitting in front of my MacBook.
Well, except for when I don’t have Skype open on the MacBook, in which case the calls get forwarded to our land-line. Over the past few months I’d kind of forgotten that my Skype account was configured to do this…mostly because the iPhone is always somewhere nearby.
I should probably mention at this point that my Skype account is a “deluxe model” with all the bells and whistles. In addition to being able to forward calls to my land-line and place calls to any kind of phone in any country, I also have an online number in the US area code where most of my American friends and family members live. This means they can call me for free from their own mobiles and land-lines…so basically, I get Skyped ALOT.
Which in hindsight, makes it kind of amazing that what happened last night hasn’t happened before. The land-line rang at 2:00 a.m., scaring the crap out of me (though Dr. Darling barely noticed it.) It was a friend in the US, who was obviously mortified at the sound of my obviously just-jolted-out-of-a-sound-sleep voice. She apologized, saying she was aware of the time but saw that I was online and decided to dial. And had I actually been suffering from a bout of insomnia, I would have been thrilled to talk with her.
It was only then that I realized (pretty remarkable in my foggy condition) that she thought I was up and online because of the Skype app running in the background on my iPhone, which was sitting on the coffee table in the living room set to silent mode. Since I didn’t pick up the call there, it was forwarded to the land-line, resulting in my having to peel myself off the ceiling of our bedroom. (Because let’s face it, a 2 a.m. phonecall is pretty much NEVER good news.)
It took me the better part of an hour to calm down enough to go back to sleep…and once I did, I had strange dreams. So today I have decided that the benefits of having Skype running on my iPhone are too great to stop doing it, but I’m setting my online status to INVISIBLE.