Following in the footsteps of an Android app in June, Skype has finally released its iPad app. That means more than 25 million iPad users can start launching Skype video calls optimized for the market-leading tablet.
With the Skype for iPad app, users can make and receive free Skype-to-Skype video calls from an iPad to a wide variety of Internet-connected devices using Wi-Fi or 3G connections. Although Skype has been available on the iPhone for some time, the new app is Skype's first optimized effort for the iPad.
"Skype for iPad gives Skype users the best of both worlds for video calling: The large screen and display of a personal computer, but the portability of a mobile phone," said Neil Stevens, Skype's vice president and general manager for product and marketing. "We've taken advantage of the iPad's large screen and optimized the user experience along with making it easier than ever to navigate through the new intuitive interface."
iOS vs Android
As Stevens noted, Skype's optimization means features specifically designed for the iPad. With Skype for iPad, users can make video calls with up to VGA video quality at 15 frames per second. That's not quite motion-picture quality, but it's attractive for a tablet. The larger screen also paved the way for an updated Contacts view, which displays Skype contacts as large avatars in the grid layout.
Speaking of contacts, Skype for iPad broadens a user's contact list because it's compatible with other Skype applications, including Skype for iPhone, Skype for Mac, Skype for Windows PC, Skype for Android, and Skype on HDTVs. Skype also worked to make it easier to find recent conversations with an updated history window.
Of course, Skype isn't all about video calling. Skype for iPad also lets users make and receive Skype-to-Skype voice calls, as well as send instant messages and SMS text messages, and make calls to landlines and mobile phones.
Skype introduced an updated version of its Android app in June with many of the same features. One feature listed under the Skype for Android specs that wasn't included in the Skype for iPad feature list is a mood message box at the top of the Skype app menu that lets users share how they are feeling, what they've seen, or what they are up to.
Stable Video Chat
Michael Disabato, managing vice president of network and telecom at Gartner, is pleased to see Skype for iPad make its way to Apple's App Store. That's because he and millions of other Skype users can now do video chat on the iPad with its larger screen. He expects the Apple community to welcome the app.
"There are more devices and cases out there that will stabilize an iPad than an iPhone. So now you have a stable video platform as opposed to full jerk motion handheld," Disabato said. "Handheld cameras are pretty cool, but it's not what you want when you are having a face-to-face talk with someone, unless you enjoy watching them bounce up and down in their chair. FaceTime is good, but it's not for everybody, and what other video apps are there that do full-screen chatting on the iPad?"
Posted: 2011-08-02 @ 7:19pm PT
Skype & Ipad, this is great collaboration ....