Skype releases free iPad app
Skype makes its debut on the iPad. So how does it stack up?
On Tuesday, Skype released an iPad-optimized version of its popular Internet-phone and video-chat app, and judging by early consumer reviews on iTunes – there are already hundreds – the app is likely to get a warm reception. Some details: The Skype software is free, and clocks in at about 16 MBs. You can use either a 3G or a Wi-Fi connection to call both landlines and cellphones, or to chat with other iPad and desktop users. Video below.Skip to next paragraph
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So how does the iPad version of Skype stack up? Well, over at Venture Beat, Sean Ludwig takes a spin on the new app, and likes what he sees, mostly. He found that the program occasionally seizes up when a user tries to switch between the contracts list and other options; there was also some lag time on new contact requests. But resolution! Let's talk about that resolution. The video quality is very good, Ludwig writes – even better than FaceTime.
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"In the most important category of video quality, Skype slaughters FaceTime," Ludwig argues. "Skype allows up to 720p (1280×720) resolution at up to 30 FPS across its various platforms. FaceTime for the iPad and iPhone only allows 320×240 resolution at 10 FPS, while FaceTime for the Mac allows 720p. [A colleague] and I briefly tested FaceTime after using Skype for iPad and noticed a dramatic reduction in video quality."
Horizons readers will remember that Skype, which first launched in 2003 – and has slowly been scooping up users ever since – was purchased in May by Microsoft. The sale price? A $8.5 billion. At the time, reps for both companies said Microsoft will get full access to Skype's range of desktop and mobile apps; in exchange, Microsoft will use Skype to help power in-house products such as the Xbox 360 and the fleet of Windows phones.
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