Only days after we heard reports that Skype video calling was coming to iOS, the new 3.0 release of their app has made it’s way to the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Here is the laundry list of what it can do:
- Make Skype to Skype video calls on WiFi and 3G*
- Call Skype desktop users (Mac OS X or Windows) and other iPhone users.
- Two-way video calls supported on iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 4th gen.
- Receive only video supported on iPad and iPod touch 3rd gen, with no camera.
- Make video calls in portrait and landscape.
- Skype video calling requires iOS 4.0 or above.
So, you can actually participate in video calling if you own an iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS or a 4th-generation iPod touch. If you own a 3rd-generation iPod touch or an iPad you can receive the other person’s video, but only transmit your voice. You can get the download for free on the App Store.
At first I was puzzled why this existed. After all, FaceTime works between iPhone 4s, new iPod touches, and Macs, so why would this bee needed? Then it dawned on me. There are a lot of Windows users that I’m sure would love to video call someone with an iOS device. Duh. Oh, and their video calling works over Wi-Fi and 3G, whereas FaceTime only works over Wi-Fi. Very cool.
Now, the reason Apple allowed Skype video calling on iOS is simple- if it helps Apple sell devices they’re glad to have it on the App Store. Apple is not making any money directly from FaceTime, so these two apps are not in direct competition. FaceTime is just a feature intended to sell more iOS devices. If Skype video calling helps them sell more devices, well, that’s fine by them too.