Skype Gets Back In The Game

On December 30, 2010

SkypeSkype has just issued an app update which allows for video chatting from the iPhone to the PC and/or Mac or between iPhones/iPod touches. Come the next generation of iPad, it’ll probably work on that too. The video chatting can be done on both WiFi and 3G (as opposed to FaceTime, which is WiFi only). This update is a game changer in terms of video chatting.

Not only is Skype now more capable than FaceTime in terms of video chatting, it is also OS neutral. I wouldn’t be surprised if Skype issued a similar update to its Android version in the near future. FaceTime only works on the Mac and is still in beta. Yahoo video has had this capability for a little while, but Skype is more ubiquitous globally.

Of course, if you’re using AT&T in the United States, 3G video calls could eat up your 2 Gigabyte data limit in about a 20 minute call. It’s best to stick with WiFi or the traditional voice call in that case. Perhaps upon a Verizon iPhone release, AT&T will allow for video calls over their cellular network or at least cut the data cap. I can dream, can’t I?

It took six months for this obvious update to be issued. I wondered way-back-when as to why Skype didn’t have this particular update out of the gate once the iPhone 4 was released. At this stage, I can only conclude that they weren’t ready for it at the time. Better late than never.