Skype, while not the first voice over IP client, is one of the most widely used. We use it here at Android Authority on a daily basis and we're consistently impressed with the kind of sound quality it delivers. The company thinks it can do better though, so they're introducing a new codec called “Opus“. Their old codec, known as “SILK”, came out in early 2009. Since then Skype's engineers have been hard at work making a new codec that they say will deliver CD quality sound while also being more efficient in terms of bandwidth. Translation: If you have a poor connection then you'll experience less choppiness. If you're on a fast connection, the person on the other end of the call will sound like they're in the same room with you.
When will we be able to use “Opus”? Hopefully at some point in the next few months. When will this codec come to Skype's mobile client? That we really don't know. Is “Opus” proprietary and available only to Skype clients? Absolutely not! It's completely free and Skype encourages other companies to start using it. One of the hottest VoIP clients right now is Viber, which is kind of like Skype, except that it doesn't require a username and a password. Instead it works by making you an account using your phone number. If you and your friends have Viber installed then you can text each other and call each other for free. We're big fans of the service and hope that the company will integrate “Opus” as soon as possible.
If you're interested in more technical details, then we encourage you to watch this 45 minute video below. It features Jean-Marc Valin, Senior Platform Developer at Mozilla, breaking down what “Opus” is, where it currently is in terms of being becoming a standard at the IETF, and other things that will probably go over most people's heads. Don't say we didn't warn you!