A Bit of History on Skype's Video Chat for iPhone
Over the weekend we caught wind of a little mistake made somewhere within Skype offices. Instructions had been posted for accessing video chat over Skype on an iPhone. CES, which happens in early January, seemed like the best bet for any kind of official announcement, but it seems that the folks behind Skype had other plans.
Hitting Sooner Than We'd Expected
Today, they've rolled out the latest update to their popular iPhone App, and it adds the much-wanted video calling. Not long after the accidental reveal on the website, we started seeing teaser videos pop up. Each with video taken at a location where it was made obvious that the person on the call was using some sort of handheld mobile device.
It's Time for FaceTime to Step it Up
Once again, Skype isn't held back by the limitations enforced on FaceTime (that T-Mobile commercial poking fun at AT&T comes to mind) and can make calls over 3G as well as wifi. The App also allows for video calls on the iPhone 3GS, which is also something you can't get with FaceTime.
No FaceTime over 3G is definitely some kind of an agreement that Apple has with AT&T, because we already know it's possible. Perhaps it has something to do with the sudden surge in data usage that would come with making video conferencing available for everybody. While right now it's limited to those users who are savvy enough to download an App and set it up (which really isn't that hard when you think about it, but there are also people who still don't know what Facebook is, either).
The iPhone on Lockdown, Ending With the iPhone 5?
As many know, the iPhone is only officially available through AT&T. Users on other carriers are awaiting a time when the iPhone becomes available across other networks. We are sure Apple is eagerly awaiting that day too. It may happen with the iPhone 5. As it is, we are even hearing news of the iPad 2 being built to work with other networks. No doubt the next-gen iPad will also come equipped with a camera to support video conferencing.
Apple knows that this will help them gain the ground they've been losing to more widely available platforms, like Android.
You can download the new Skype App here.