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Thread: iPod touch + Skype + Mifi walk-thru

  1. #1
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Default iPod touch + Skype + Mifi walk-thru
    UPDATE 7/12: Still no iOS 4 update from Skype. I personally recommend using different VoIP providers. I started a thread on using Google Voice + Gizmo5 for free VoIP at the following link (same method works for iPod touch):

    UPDATE 6/14: iOS 4 has persistent wifi (stays connected in sleep mode) and any VOIP apps that are updated for iOS 4 will have native backgrounding, so the following only applies to those using firmware 3.1.3 or earlier.


    When turning my iTouch into a phone, I ran into some problems that there was surprisingly little info about online . . . So, as I've finally gotten mine to a really solid state, here's a quick guide with fixes for these issues:


    1. Make sure you have an iPod touch with headphones that have a built-in microphone (Apple ones work great for me)

    2. Download Skype (it's free) from AppStore. If you want to call non-Skype numbers and have your own number, you'll want to pay a few bucks by signing up for that (easy, via the app or the website)

    3. Jailbreak your iPod touch (Spirit for 3.1.3)

    4. Have access to Wifi. If you want your iPod touch to act as a phone on the go, I highly recommend the Verizon Mifi ($60/mo. for 5GB of data anywhere you get Verizon signal). It could be cheaper and it could have a higher limit, but I personally prefer that over AT&T.

    5. Download Backgrounder and (optional) an app-switching interface (Circuitous, Pro-switcher, multiflow) from Cydia. Get to know how to use this for multi-tasking (easy).


    - most guides to doing this recommend downloading either Insomnia or KeepAwake from Cydia. They prevent your Wifi connection from disconnecting when the iPod touch goes to sleep (so you'll get calls). BUT . . .

    . . . These two otherwise great apps share one extremely debilitating bug: they make your iPod Touch not recognize your microphone once they do their thing. Only a long wait or a reboot fixes it. That obviously isn't going to work when you're needing that mic to receive Skype calls at a moment's notice.


    6. DON'T download Insomnia or KeepAwake

    7. On your iTouch, go to 'Settings'>'General,' and set Auto-lock to 'Never'.

    8. Get ScreenDimmer from Cydia (.99). Find it under your Settings menu, and set both 'Enabled' and 'Turn Off Backlight' to 'On'. Set the times to whatever you prefer.

    (This will cause your iPod touch's screen to dim and then turn off AS IF it were locking/sleeping, but it won't actually lock. So your Wifi and Skype will keep kicking while you aren't using it. Don't keep too many other apps open, and it will be a minimal drain on your battery.)


    9. Use SSH or iFile to browse your touch's file system, and go to var/Preferences/SystemConfiguration and edit the file. Find the part that reads:


    . . . And change that 1800 to something much higher. The number is how many seconds it will stay connected to wifi without being active (1800 is 30 minutes). I switched mine to 604800 - one week.


    10. Back under ScreenDimmer's settings (in touch's Settings menu) scroll down to 'Dim apps with disabled IdleTimer' and set Skype to 'On'. After using Skype, it overrides ScreenDimmer and keeps the screen lit from that point on. Changing this setting fixes that.


    - So now whenever you want your iPod touch to be available as a phone, connect to wifi, start the Skype app, background it, and as long as you've done everything above, you'll always be available for incoming calls. If you use Mifi, this can be used as your primary cell phone.


    * don't lock the iPod touch manually (by pressing the sleep button), or your wifi will soon disconnect. Just let the screen go off on its own.

    * when you're charging, the wifi will stay connected no matter what, so you're safe to press the lock button then.

    * if you don't mind leaving your headphones plugged in all the time, the Insomnia or KeepAwake approach will work, but I had no interest in doing that (and I suspect I'm not alone in this).
    Last edited by wvcachi; 2010-07-13 at 05:17 AM.

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