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

After months in the waiting, the Skype for the iPad app is now available, and many customers are rejoicing in the product's release with strong reviews.

Almost immediately at launch Tuesday, Skpe for the iPad became one of the Top Free Apps in Apple's App Store, and customer reviews began pouring in -- decidedly on the positive side.

"Skype is beautifully designed and optimized for the iPad. It offers the best of both worlds for users who want a larger Skype experience, on-the-go," Skype said in a blog post. "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 var or even lying on a couch.

"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 said.

The iPad app also allows calls to landlines and mobile phones to hose with Skype Credit. It works on 3G and Wi-Fi.

On Monday Skype's new app appeared briefly in Apple's App Store but it was pulled down. The company said it was launched parematurely, disappointing those eagerly awaiting the app when it was removed from the store.

"To ensure your best Skype experience, we've temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today," Skype Tweeted. "We know you've been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad and apologize for the inconvenience."

The program is free for users, including dial-up, video and audio as long as they aren't conducting conference calls - just like Skype's PC and Mac version. Users simply have to pay data usage fees for connection to their 3G service unless wifi is available. Skype's iPad app will be able to call Android smartphones and other operating systems compatible with Skype.

"Finally!" wrote one user in a review at Apple's App Store. "It works great and integrates easily to use."

The Skype iPad app had 224 ratings not long after its release, and most were very positive about the new app. Among the reviews, 161 users gave the Skype app a top five star rating, while only 12 gave it the lowest one star rating.

Other reviews from Skype iPad app users included:

"I've been waiting some time for this. Skype for iOS is good, but was not optimized for the iPad. Now it is, and it's great to use without a computer! Great job!"

"Works pretty good. Finally Skype optimized for iPad :)"

"Great in the time I have used it but wish it had the ability to scan contacts for other Skype users."

"I don't have the words to describe..."