Update: Following the news that Skype for iPad had appeared then disappeared from the iTunes Store, it has finally been released.
All the usual Skype features are there, so you can make a receive video calls over 3G and WiFI to other Skype contacts and of course send instant messages.
The main feature of the update is the redesigned interface, so instead looking very pixelated, it appears far sharper.
Previously menu options were along the bottom, now all options are on a pane along the right, with an option for Contacts and a list of recent conversations underneath. It works best in landscape mode; in portrait mode, it’s really difficult to see the names of contacts.
Contacts are displayed as thumbnails you click and they spin around to open, there you can choose the usual Video, Chat, Call and SMS options. When typing a message the keyboard bounces up neatly to fit the space and you’ve now got the option to send a message via text – for 37p.
On the iPhone app you can choose to view contacts by group. Now contacts are automatically split into ‘tags’ called: All, iPad, Online, Saved Phone Numbers and Skype Contacts, tap each one again to see contacts as thumbnails. As well as being a useful way of seeing who is online, the new design means you can fit more contacts into the screen real estate.
We only had an iPad one, so weren’t able to make any video calls, although instant messages seem to go through very quickly. First impressions of the app are impressive, although the iPhone app was functional, Skype for iPad is far quicker to use and more intuitive.