Skype for iPad App Finally Available
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. In May, Microsoft announced that it had bought the Luxembourg-based service in a deal reportedly worth $8.5 billion. Skype

"Finally, Skype for iPad is now available," tweeted Skype Tuesday morning, after the company's mysterious conduct of releasing and quickly pulling its "Skype for iPad" app on Monday.

Now Skype for iPad has been re-added to the App Store, and hopefully will stay there permanently this time.

"Skype for iPad" app rolled out to the iOS App Store early Tuesday, starting from New Zealand, the app's debut swept across worldwide storefronts. But soon after, the app disappeared, leaving users and media wondering why, until the app reappeared the next morning.

Around midnight Wednesday, the company explained on its Twitter feed,

"To ensure your best Skype experience, we've temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today."

"We know you've been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad and apologize for the inconvenience," added Skype.

It is still unclear why the app was pulled temporarily.

"Skype for iPad" was released as a free app, that allows users to make video calls over 3G and Wi-Fi mobile networks. With some fee, phone calls to landlines or mobiles as well as an Online Number from Skype are available.

The new app makes the most use of the big screen of iPad.

Apple earlier noted that Skype's iPad app would enjoy "similar success" as the iPhone version, providing the same functionality.

The iPhone version of Skype either offered a small interface in the middle of the screen or the full screen view with a low quality image.

The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and PC users, but video calling requires iOS 4.0 or above. Two-way video calling is enabled for 2nd-generation iPad users as well as iPhone 4 and 4th-generation iPod touch users, while first-generation iPad and 3rd-generation iPod touch users can only receive video as expected.

According to the lucky ones who downloaded the new - and at the moment inevitably exclusive - app, their experience with Skype on the iPad has been great. Whether Skype will visibly improve some features or not, the app's disappearance has drawn users' higher attention for its reappearance.

According to the company's blog, a number of additional iPad-optimized features found in this new app, includes:

- Two-way video calling.* With Skype video calling available on iPhones, as well as in Skype for Android, Skype for Mac, Skype for Windows, Skype on HDTVs and more - you can connect to over 170 million Skype connected users worldwide**.

- Instant messaging. You can even instant message during a video call on your iPad, with emoticons to personalize your message.

- Simple to view contacts. Contacts are now displayed in a grid on Skype for iPad, showing large avatar photos - making it easy to find your contacts and conversations.

- Easy navigation. Find your recent Skype conversations and history at the touch of a button making searching simple.

- Simple SMS texting. An SMS text message can be sent by simply opening a contact and selecting SEND SMS or by opening the dial pad, typing in the number you wish to SMS and then typing your message.

"The new Skype for iPad app also takes full advantage of the iPad 2's dual cameras, allowing users to talk face-to-face with the iPad's front camera or switch to the rear camera to show what they can see. Skype for iPad also allows users to call landlines and mobiles using Skype's great low rates - all a user needs is a little Skype Credit. Skype for iPad works across both 3G*** and Wi-Fi networks and also allows users to make voice and video calls across platforms from their iPad to other Skype users on iPhones, Mac, Windows, HDTVs and more," reads the Skype blog.