Long-awaited iPad-optimized Skype app finally arrives
A Skype app has been available for the iPhone since early 2009, meaning iPad users have been able to use the app in pixel doubling mode since the iPad's release in April, 2010 - albeit without the ability to make video calls since the first iPad lacks a camera. But iPad users have long been calling for a native Skype app for the iPad and things only intensified following the release of the iPad 2 with its front and rear-facing cameras. Now those calls have been answered with the first iPad-optimized Skype app now available as a free download from the iTunes App Store.
The Skype for iPad app takes advantage of the iPad's larger screen with the ability to deliver VGA quality video (640 x 480) at 15 frames per second and an updated Contacts view that displays large avatars in a grid layout. Like the previous Skype iPhone app, users are able to make or receive calls over Wi-Fi and, notably, 3G. This is something Apple's own FaceTime video calling app doesn't yet support, although Apple says 3G support will arrive at some point in the future.
Although iPad 2 users can enjoy two-way video calling, owners of the original iPad will still be able receive video in Skype-to-Skype calls and make Skype voice calls, as well as send IMs and SMS text messages.
Although the Skype for iPad app appeared in the App Store on August 1, Skype quickly pulled it saying in its Twitter feed, "to ensure your best Skype experience, we've temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today." The app reappeared a few hours later and is currently available as a free download.