Skype App for iPad Puts Video Calls on Speed Dial

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Skype’s new iPad app is now available from Apple’s App Store and iTunes, allowing users to videoconference free on-demand over the Internet.

Supporting portrait or landscape views, and optimized for the tablet PC’s 9.7-inch display, iPad 2 users can engage in two-way video calls with other iPad owners and iPhone, Mac, Android, and Windows device users. In order to enjoy this form of Skype video chat though, devices employed must have a front-facing camera. Original iPads are confined to audio calls only, with all models capable of making voice calls to landlines and mobile phones via 3G or WiFi network connections.

Callers can also swap between the iPad 2’s dual cameras on-command, switching to the rear camera view to show conversation partners anything they’re looking at, or instant message in the middle of video chats. Additional features include SMS text messaging and the ability to easily browse and search contacts as well as quickly retrieve records of past conversations or call histories.

“Skype for iPad… offers the best of both worlds for users who want a larger Skype experience, on-the-go,” said Rick Osterloh, head of product management for Skype, in a post on the company’s official blog. “The large iPad screen is perfect for bringing Skype video calls to life, in either landscape or portrait view, and because it is on the iPad, Skype video calls can be made at the beach, in a car or even lying on a couch.”