Today, Skype has joined Apple’s FaceTime and Tango at making video mobile on the iPhone and other iOS 4 device from Apple. After a week or more of rumors, Skype has set the stage for a different announcement at CES next week by making their news today in Engadget and elsewhere.
With the availability of Skype 3.0 for iOS4 users can place Skype video calls with their iPhone over both a 3G data connection or WiFi. The new Skype for iPhone app is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4th generation with i0S 4.0 or above. Video receiving capabilities are available on the iPod touch 3rd generation and iPad. Calls can be made between devices using the new Skype for iPhone app and desktops including Skype for Windows 4.2 and above, Skype for Mac 2.8 and above, Skype for Linux and ASUS Videophone.
A couple of key facts not in the announcement but important to Skype users. Due to codec issues, Skype mobile users can't have video calls with users of Skype on TV monitors where Skype is built in. This includes the LG, Samsung and Panasonic units announced at CES in 2010 or shortly thereafter but Skype iOS mobile app users can participate in video conference calls, but as audio only. Another nice twist is the abiility to have the video call in either portrait or landscape mode, taking advantage of the iOS positioning sensor technology. Maybe most importantly though, is the key addition of screensharing reception to the iOS devices, where you can receive screen shares from Skype for Windows/Mac users.
This is a welcome feature as someone who is making extensive use of Skype on the go, being able to see someone's screen while talking with them on an iPad makes for an even more engaging conversation. Often I'll collaborate with a team member and suggest changes to designs or layouts of a PowerPoint deck using my Mac Book Air while talking to them over Skype. With this feature added to iOS 4 devices, I can now do that on iPhones, the iPod touch and the iPad.
You can find the app easily by starting at the Skype web site,