It seems there’s nothing the Apple iPhone can’t do. Skype (News - Alert) has just released its application for the latest version of the smartphone device, allowing millions of mobile users around the world to make and receive Skype video calls to anyone, anywhere for the first time ever.
Available today at the Apple App Store, the application is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, as long as the devices are on a WiFi connection or AT&T’s (News - Alert) 3G mobile network.
The Internet calling and video conferencing company boasts a whopping 25 million people currently using its services to connect with business partners, friends and loved ones all over the globe. “By bringing video to mainstream users at their home or work via their desktops, on the go with their mobiles, or into their living room via their TV, Skype has made it possible for millions of people to share video moments wherever they are,” said Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype’s consumer business.
Therefore, the introduction of the Skype application on the iPhone was deemed the next logical step for the company.
"With video calling representing approximately 40 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes for the first six months of 2010, our users have been eager to get Skype video calling on their mobile phones," said Stevens.
TMC’s CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) was quick (and quite excited) to try out the iPhone application, boldly calling it a “killer app” for the New Year. Shortly after today’s announcement, Tehrani did a quick test with TMC (News - Alert) CTO and executive technology editor for TMC Labs, Tom Keating, who sat only a few offices down the hall. Tryouts on the iPhone and iPad, using both WiFi (News - Alert) and AT&T, were mostly successful, with only a few minor hiccups.
“It was pretty amazing to do video calling from an iPhone,” said Keating in today’s blog. “This could really cause the mobile video market to explode!”
However, with China’s recent crackdown on VoIP applications, including Skype, this capability may not be available to all users. According to Keating, China is carrying out a campaign to shut down illegal VoIP phone services, therefore, potentially crippling China’s access to Skype video calling on a smartphone device.
"It's ridiculous," said Kan Kaili, a professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. "VoIP is a popular technology worldwide."
For everyone else, the new Skype iPhone applications is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch fourth-generation with i0S 4.0 or above. Video receiving capabilities are accessible on the iPod Touch third-generation and iPad. Calls can be made between devices using the new Skype for iPhone application and desktops including Skype for Windows 4.2 and above, Skype for Mac 2.8 and above, Skype for Linux and ASUS Videophone.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper's website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf