Skype has released an app for its popular VoiP service for iPad, available as a free download from Apple’s iTunes App Store from yesterday.
The optimised app offers a number of features designed specifically for the iPad. Full advantage of a large screen is taken as users can view their conversations on a VGA quality screen (640×480) at 15 frames per second.
The contacts view has been updated and is displayed in a grid format with contacts appearing as large avatars. Similarly, the history window has been altered to allow users to quickly find and pick-up previous conversations.
“We’ve heard the demand for Skype video calling on more devices and we are delighted to deliver on this with our new Skype for iPad app,” said Neil Stevens, Skype’s vice president and general manager for product and marketing.
“Skype for iPad gives Skype users the best of both worlds for video calling: the large screen and display of a personal computer, but the portability of a mobile phone. We’ve taken advantage of the iPad’s large screen and optimized the user experience along with making it easier than ever to navigate through the new intuitive interface.”
Skype for iPad boasts all the usual features you would expect, such as placing free Skype-to-Skype calls, alongside instant messaging and SMS services. Calls can also be made to landlines and mobiles at low rates.
Two way video calling is only available on the iPad 2, of course, the one with the front-facing camera, and users should be running the most recent version of the iOS firmware. This can be updating via iTunes when connected to a PC.
Original iPad owners will only be able to make voice calls, though they can still receive video calls.
The app can be used over a both a wi-fi or 3G connection.