Skype announced Tuesday that it would release its online calling software officially as an iPad app to the iOS App Store, bringing the live video service to both 3G and Wi-Fi data connections.
"Skype for iPad" has been reported to expand on all the features similar to the iPhone applications due to the iPad’s larger screen, which includes all of the features: video chat, instant messaging, phone calls and quick access to your contacts. The app also allows instant messaging during video calls, as well as voice calls, SMS messaging and other features familiar to Skype users.
Unlike the iPhone app, instant messaging can be used during video calls free-of-charge, and users can also switch from the front camera to the rear to show their chat partner and their surroundings.
"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," Rick Osterloh, Skype's head of consumer product management, said in a blog post Tuesday.
In May, Microsoft announced that it had bought the Luxembourg-based service in a deal reportedly worth $8.5 billion, and on July 6, Facebook announced a partnership with Skype to bring video chat to the social-networking giant's nearly 750 million users.
The Skype app works with both the iPad 1 and the iPad 2, although the iPad 1 only can receive video, and can call anybody using Skype, whether it’s on the desktop or an iOS 4.0 device or above.
CNN reports, the new app allows audio calls on the original iPad and video calls on the iPad 2, which has two cameras. iPad 2 users can conduct two-way video calls with other iPads and users of the iPhone app, phones with Skype for Android or Skype for Windows, and other devices with front-facing cameras.
"To ensure your best Skype experience, we've temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today," the company said in a post on its Twitter feed Monday night. "We know you've been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad and apologize for the inconvenience."