Skype for iPad Review

Written by | Apps and OS, Review, Tech

Skype finally release their native app for ipad 2, which was we all know leaked because of an untimely upgrade of the video. Anyway, I’ve been waiting for this app to be released since the ipad 2 that I got is a Middle East edition which means the Facetime feature have been disabled. So now Skype for iPad 2 is available is it worth the more than 1 month of wait for iPad 2 owners who do not have Facetime. Here’s my take on the Skype for iPad 2 App.

Note: As per my friend request, I blurred out his name and took a screen shot when he’s not on the screen.


The App
The Skype App is more than 16 MB slightly smaller than the Skype for iPhone which is 16.9 MB, it’ a light weigh app and it took me less than 1 minute to download and install the app. The Skype for iPad supports 16 languages and compatible with both the original iPad and iPad 2, on the original iPad, you can just do a voice chat with a one-way video, assuming the person on the other side is using ipad 2. You must be running iOS 4.0 or above in order to download and install the app.

 


User Interface
The UI of the app is straight forward, once you logged in, you’ll two pane; on the left side you’ll have the Contacts, Recent Activity and History. All your Contacts is displayed when you first sign on to the app. There’s also a Tags area where all your contacts are group into 5; All Contacts, iPad Contacts, Online Contacts, Saved Phone Numbers and Skype Contacts. You can also a section to Search Skype Directory and Saved a Phone number. If the number that you are calling, you can also open the number pad by tapping on the phone icon at the upper right corner of the screen. Then on the opposite side you’ll see your name and tapping on it will give you access to your Profile and Account Information. The Skype app utilize the gyroscope and it adjusts the UI whenever you change orientation be it portrait or landscape.

 


Chatting and Voice call
The chat feature of the app is intuitive and easy to use even if it will be your first time using the or Skype for that matter. Though I don’t think anyone will use the Skype for Ipad just to chat. Like the desktop version of skype, making call is easy as 1,2, 3…, when I made a call using the app, the sound was clear but not that crisp, since the speaker of the tablet is located at the lower-right corner of the tablet but when I used a headphone, the conversation became more intimate and engaging. The mic was able to pick-up my voice even if I have the device a few feet away from the face, the person that I’m talking can even hear the noise on the background, so I need to move to a quieter place.

 


Video call
If you’ve used the Skype for iPad app, you’ll know that the app was specifically designed to take advantage of the tablet’s mobility and it’s two camera. During my video call, the audio and video are both clear and crisp but like the voice call it tend to pick up noise background. So’ll need to go to a more quiter place. The video quality of the person that you’ll be talking will still depend on the type of camera that he is using, when I switched to full screen the video appeared to be pixelized, since he was only using a web camera with 640 x 480 effective pixels. My ipad is a wifi-only model, so I’m really cannot say how’s the quality if you’ll be using the app connected via 3G. But if you’re using an iPad 2 3G, your input are most welcome.

 

Verdict
Since my iPad 2 does not have the facetime, so a native ipad 2 app of skype is a welcoming news. When I was using the skype iphone app, there’s a lot of screen real-estate that is being wasted and the app solve all that by using every pixel available on the tablet’s screen (when on full screen mode). The Skype App of iPad 2 is a good or probably the best alternative for iPad 2 owners that do not have Facetime. The Skype for iPad 2 app does have it’s Pros and Cons.
PROS

  • Clear video and audio
  • Took advantage of the tablet’s mobility
  • Intuitive UI; utilize the gyroscope of the tablet to seamlessly switch from portrait to landscape mode.
  • You can communicate to anyone that has a skype account even if they are using Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPod and Linux(?)
  • The best or only alternative to facetime

Overall the skype for ipad is a solid app for video and voice call, but I cannot see anyone using the app just to chat. It was a little difficult for me to just chat knowing that you can just call the person on the other side. The speaker works great but when outdoors, I would probably suggest that you use a headphones if you’re going to do a video or voice call out in the open or public.

CONS
The only downside of the app or probably the hardware is at fault here is that the mic will pickup background noise, so you may want to go to a quite place. Plus the left side tend to disappear if you switched to full screen when you’re on a video call and the only to enable it back is when you are on a call. Unless of course someone knows another way to get it back. If you have not installed the skype app for ipad 2, you can get it here.

Comments are always welcome.

Last modified: August 7, 2011

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Skype for iPad Review

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