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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Skype for iPad now available (no really, they mean it this time)

2

August

Late yesterday everyone was excited by the news that Skype was finally available for the iPad. I immediately went to download it and found it had already been yanked. On the Skype Twitter account there was a tweet explaining the release of the app had been premature and that it was coming soon. Soon came this morning and the Skype app for iPad is now available for download again.

The app is fully optimized for the iPad and can be used in either landscape or portrait view. Unlike Apple's FaceTime which only can be used over a WiFi connection, Skype for iPad can be used over 3G so you can pretty much use it anywhere. This also means that cross-platform video calls are now possible using Skype for Mac, Android, Windows and on Skype HDTVs. Additional new features include (from the Skype Blog):

  • Instant messaging. You can even instant message during a video call on your iPad, with emoticons to personalize your message.
  • Simple to view contacts. Contacts are now displayed in a grid on Skype for iPad, showing large avatar photos - making it easy to find your contacts and conversations.
  • Easy navigation. Find your recent Skype conversations and history at the touch of a button making searching simple.
  • Simple SMS texting. An SMS text message can be sent by simply opening a contact and selecting SEND SMS or by opening the dial pad, typing in the number you wish to SMS and then typing your message.

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The app works on the original iPad (receiving video calls and messaging) and on the iPad 2 it utilizes both cameras, allowing users to talk face-to-face with the iPad's front camera or switch to the rear camera to show what they can see.

We gave our son an iPad 2 for graduation and had planned to use FaceTime to have family video chats. Having Skype will give us a lot more flexibilty so we don't always have to be near a WiFi connection. Also, I plan to connect the iPad to our 42-inch TV using an HDMI cable to see how well it works for our chat sessions, so I'll report back once I've tried it.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:57am]

    

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