Skype launches iOS WiFi app with free weekend

Skype has announced a new app which looks to make it easier to get your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch online using Skype WiFi - or, as it was previously known, Skype Access.

Designed to offer a pay-per-minute way of connecting through a variety of partner company's Wi-Fi hotspots, the Skype WiFi app uses your existing Skype credit to pay for your Internet access with no limits on the amount of data you can upload or download.

For travellers, it offers a way to get online without having to share credit card details with a foreign hotspot provider and deal with currency conversion charges, and for everyone else it's a handy tool for checking your email when your 3G signal has let you down.

Users who haven't already got a Skype account will need to visit the company's website to register and to add cash, and after that the app is free to download and log in. Prices start at 4p per minute, but depend on Skype's deal with a particular partner network.

To encourage iOS users to give the app a go, the company has announced that access to Skype WiFi partner hotspots around the world will be completely free of charge between midnight Saturday until the end of Sunday. While you'll still need a Skype account to take advantage of the offer, it's available to any Skype WiFi user - not just those with an iDevice.

Sadly, there is a catch: you'll only get 15 minutes free at a time, and you're limited to four such sessions per Skype ID over the course of the weekend. Still, it's better than nothing.

The Skype WiFi app can be found in Apple's App Store now.