This is hardly a surprise release, but it is welcome nonetheless. Skype is almost everyone’s alternative to expensive phone, although it does have some competitors. Regardless, most people don’t say VOIP, they say Skype, much like people say “Kleenex” instead of “tissue.” So it is with a welcoming cheer that the multitudes welcome video calling (other than FaceTime, of course) to the iPhone. The new service will allow iPhone users to make Skype video calls to and from other iPhones, and the millions of Skype Windows, Mac, and Linux clients, according to an Engadget story. Absolutely score one for Skype.
There may be one more client available for video calling via Skype when the iPad, in its second generation iteration, gets one or more cameras, something that is expected to happen at least by April. Best of all (perhaps) is that this service works for free over both WiFi and 3G, which makes one wonder how badly this Skype app will cut into official FaceTime usage. That switchover could be significant, of course, given the savings involved, making one wonder what AT&T thinks of this free Skype service. Certainly, if the service works smoothly, a lot of people will move to it.
There is as yet no Skype video calling app for the Android, which probably has a lot to do with the Wild Wild West proliferation of different Android versions in simultaneous use, since Google has proven to be very bad at version control. Skype will certainly be getting around to apps for all those different Android phones sooner or later, but they are hardly low-hanging fruit at this point, given the 100+ Android phones that exist and the many different versions of the Android OS that the are running on them. Such things have to be a nightmare for developers.