Skype for iPad

Skype for iPad

It’s finally here. The video chat leader arrives on iPad

Combinations like Skype and iOS are what we all mused about when the iPad first appeared. It may not have been forthcoming, but the wait is over for video chat lovers, and it delivers where it counts. Firstly, it looks good, keeping all the nice features of the PC version of the software, like big profile pictures of your contacts and easy navigation when it comes to selecting how you want to interact with them.

Of course, the sparkle here comes in two ways. Firstly, you’re mobile and video calling for free, and secondly, you can do it full screen on the iPad, making use of every pixel. The key point to remember is that this version doesn’t claim to be better than other Skype software, so don’t be disappointed when your calls don’t take place in full HD. The advantage here is the mobility and the ease with which you can communicate. Two touches of a friend’s profile, and you’ll be instant messaging with them, which in itself is a joy because of the iPad’s large keyboard.

The history sidebar allows you to keep track of everyone you’ve spoken to recently, and return to chats quickly so you can pick up where you left off. Skype also syncs with your iPad contacts so you have everyone right in front of you, and you can call or message them with one touch.

Adjusting in-call settings is simple, as you can switch between the front and rear cameras with one touch. As far as video quality goes, it varies from device to device. Video calls between two iPads are smooth and clear; however, when we spoke to someone overseas, the quality dropped. The usual sound lag did appear to be shorter than normal.

Skype for iPad, then, is a success. However, it is maybe a little surprising that some major new features weren’t rolled out with this release. The ability to video call in full screen and take full advantage of both the iPad 2’s cameras is still a huge bonus, and hopefully is only the beginning of the evolution of a cornerstone iPad app.

Rated 4 out of 5

Works well enough, but you can’t help but feel that it’s not the show-stopper it could have been.