Skype introduces a few new features with its most recent iPad app update; one of which will be especially useful for those who use the video calling function.
An Updated App … for Some
Over the past 10 years Skype has become a preferred instant messaging service and voice or video calling platform, but it’s not perfect. Many common problems include screen lag in video chats and sound quality in both video and voice calls. Although with each update Microsoft, Skype’s parent company, aims to improve this experience with both major and minor updates -- including today’s release of Skype 4.10 for the iPad
The most notable change in this update is that the iPad has been added to the list of devices that support high definition voice calling, a feature that had previously only been available on select platforms, such as the desktop. Users should note that this feature will only be available on the iPad 4.
The Skype or Microsoft team haven’t stated why HD video calling is only being applied to the iPad 4, but Killian Bell points out that it should be added to other versions of the iPad and the iPhone that are compatible with the service.
HD video calling is a pretty demanding feature, which is why you need a device with fairly decent specifications to use it. But we’d imagine the fourth-generation iPad isn’t the only iOS device capable of supporting it,” he said. Hopefully others like the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3 will also get support in future updates.”
Two other minor updates are improved call quality and stability and a redesigned country code selector on the dial pad.
Worth a Download?
As was mentioned, the HD calling feature is only available to iPad 4 users. Those who use earlier versions of the iPad may feel left out of this update and that it's not worth downloading until Microsoft introduces more significant and inclusive features.
It remains to be seen how many downloads the update gets.
Brad Sams also makes the point that Skype has yet to address one of the most common inconveniences when moving between a desktop and mobile device.
If you have ever used Skype on a mobile device, then logged into your desktop client, you will experience the annoyance of all of your recent chats being synced with new notifications,” he wrote. “We would love to see that process moved to the background and have it be less obtrusive as we move from platform to platform.”
Skype in the News
Skype for the iPad version 4.10 isn’t the only recent release from Skype. Just last month, its video messaging service became generally available, while Microsoft has also added integrations with Lync and Outlook.com.