OK, so Microsoft hasn’t actually completed its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype yet, but the long-awaited release of a native Skype app for the iPad today is destined to become the latest in a growing library of iOS apps from the Redmond company, assuming the purchase goes through.
Users of the Skype app will be able to make video calls over WiFi or 3G, using the front-facing camera in standard video-conferencing mode, or switching to the rear-facing camera to show what the user is seeing.
Apart from 3G data charges, the app and the Skype service are free for calls to other Skype users on computers and mobile devices, including Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac. For an extra charge, the iPad app can be used to make calls to landlines or mobile phones.
The app requires iOS version 4.0. The full functionality requires the iPad 2 because of its cameras, although the company says the first-generation iPad can receive video calls.
Love this comment among the initial reviews in the Apple App Store: “Funny how it took a microsoft buyout for the Skype app to finally come to iPad.”