Skype for iPad Launched

Earlier this morning Skype launched a native app for the iPad. Unfortunately it was pulled out of the app store moments later and then followed by a tweet saying:

To ensure your best Skype experience, we’ve temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today.

Good new though as a quick check of the app store shows that it is available again (at least here in the UK where I am testing it now).

The new version is of course optimised for the larger iPad display. Until today, to get Skype running on the iPad required you to use the iPhone version and simply enlarge it.

When loading up the app, you get the sign in screen and when details are entered, your contacts are populated along with profile images downloaded for those users that have them. The Skype iPad version lets you tap a Tags button on the top left of the right hand pane and jump back to a list of “iPad Contacts, Online Contacts, All Contacts, Saved Phone Numbers and Skype Contacts”. Clicking on the “Online Contacts” option only lists those who are online (obviously).

On the left pane you have history and contacts listed which basically lets you switch between the two on the right hand pane. At the top is a small Skype icon and when tapping on it, it loads up your account details such as how much credit you have remaining and also gives you the option to go to invisible/offline mode etc… Also in the left pane is the call/chat history so when loading the app up, you can easily talk to those you communicate the most with.

To make a call, you can either tap on a contact on the right pane where you are presented with the options to call, video or chat with the user. Alternatively, you can tap the phone logo on the top right of the screen to tap in a number to dial (requires SkypeOut).

Whilst in a call, you have the option of activating the front or rear camera. Tapping a button on the bottom right of the screen slides out the left pane so you can jump between active contacts.

Some of the features taken from the press release:

Simple to use:
• Join Skype on your iPad in a few moments or just sign straight in to your account.
• If you already have a Skype account, your Skype contacts will automatically be there on your iPad.
• We’ve made adding new Skype contacts really easy.
• Once they’re in your Contact list, call, video or instant message them in one touch.
• Flick through recent calls and instant messages in your Skype for iPad history.
• Skype for iPad works over Wi-Fi or 3G (operator data charges may apply). Call Skype contacts on their iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, PC, Mac and even Skype enabled TVs.

Access free Skype features:
• Talk face-to-face or show what you’re seeing with front and back-facing cameras.
• Use Skype for iPad to call anyone else on Skype – and enjoy near CD quality (SILK) sound.
• Instant message and add emoticons to personalize your messages.

Then unlock even more features when you pay a little:
• Make cheap calls to landlines or mobiles from your iPad.
• Get an Online Number from Skype so people can call you on your iPad.

If you want to unlock these extra features, you can pay in a way that suits you.
• Pay As You Go with Skype Credit – great for when you’re using Skype every now and again.
• Pay monthly with a subscription – best if you use Skype a lot.

System requirements:
• Skype video calling requires iOS 4.0 or above.
• Send and receive video using front or back camera on iPhone 4, iPad 2nd Generation, and iPod touch 4th Generation.
• Send and receive video using rear camera on iPhone 3GS.
• Receive video only on iPad 1st Generation and iPod touch 3rd Generation.
• Works with any H264 compatible devices, including TVs.

Overall, a well needed addition for the iPad as the iPhone version was plain and not designed for the iPad.

Download it now in the App Store.

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