Skype Readies Video Calling For iPhone 4 And iPad


Skype is reportedly gearing up to allow mobile users the ability to make video calls on their handset

Skype is reportedly preparing to allow its mobile clients the ability to make video calls.

Engadget is reporting that early on 24 December, there was a help document on the Skype site detailing how to place video calls using Skype for iPhone.

“You’ll just have to trust us, it was there! We swear!,” wrote the tech site in an update, noting that the document had since been removed.

Facetime Competition

TiPb also got a look at the document, which reportedly said that video calls, via Wi-Fi or a 3G connection, will be possible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third and fourth generation iPod touch and the iPad. However, these iPad devices have to run iOS 4.0 or above and users need Skype for iPhone 3.0 or above, the document stated, according to the blog.

Was iPhone support the only document that was removed? “We don’t know whether there’s a corresponding document out there for Android, Symbian, or other operating systems, but we’re certainly hoping so,” wrote Engadget, “because if these guys come to the table at once with versions for all the major phone platforms, we’ve got a feeling they’ll be dominating the mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-PC video calling market in no time.”

Furthering the likelihood that Skype is about to offer the capability is the company’s slated participation in a panel at Januarys Consumer Electronics Show (CES) titled Video Calling Gets Ready for Primetime.

According to an October report from the Pew Research Centers Internet & American Project, mobile video calling is poised to take off in 2012.

Video Calling

“Video calling has become increasingly available as camcorders have spread through the online environment, cameras have been built into smartphones, and as video-chat services like Skype, Google Talk and Apple iChat have become a feature of the online and smartphone environment,” Pew stated, adding that teleconferencing is also becoming a staple in businesses.

In July, Skype released an updated VoIP (voice over IP) application for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS handsets running iOS 4, enabling the phones to exchange calls and instant messages with other Skype users. It additionally offered the ability to place covers over AT&Ts 3G network, in addition to Wi-Fi.

Skype competitor Fring also offered a new app in July, though this one allowed iPhone 4 owners to place two-way video calls over Wi-Fi or 3G, and even to friends with phones running the Android or Symbian operating systems. Skype responded by threatening Fring with legal action.

“Skype’s anti-competitive ambush comes in the wake of Fring’s mobile video calling on iPhone 4 launch,” Fring said in a 12 July statement, making the dispute public. Fring CEO Avi Shechter said in a statement he was “disappointed” that Skype, which once “championed the cause of openness, is now attempting to muzzle the competition.”

Gauging by those missing documents, Apple may preparing to finally also join the competition.

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