Skype For iPad – Was It Worth Waiting For?

image104   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?Skype is one of the programs I use most in my life. When I got the iPad I was excited to use it there as well. But then I discovered that there was no Skype for iPad. Disappointed, I downloaded Skype for iPhone and did the best I could with it, but using it was far from exciting.

What was exciting was the day Skype released their official iPad app (and about time it was too). I hurried to download it, curious to see what it was like. If you’re still hesitating, or you’ve just been lazy, here’s a quick tour of the new Skype for iPad.

Getting Started

Tired of this?

2011 08 20 16h27 41   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

If you are, head over to the app store  and download Skype for iPad. The first thing you will want to look at when you launch Skype is your information, of course. Tap the small thumbnail at the top left to access it. Here is where you can choose your status, change your picture, see your Skype balance and so on.

2011 08 20 16h15 29   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

If you want to change your profile picture from here, tap the camera icon on the top left. From here you can delete the existing picture or choose something you have saved on the iPad.

2011 08 20 16h34 36   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

You can also easily add contacts through the iPad app. Tap the plus icon on the top right on the main screen and start searching. Adding people is exactly as it is on the regular Skype, and when I added my second user I got the alert immediately and everything went really smoothly.

2011 08 20 16h35 06   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

The main screen will show you all your contacts, each with its own thumbnail and name. I looked for a way to view them in a list like I’m used to, but this option does not exist as far as I could see. For now I will settle on this view.

2011 08 20 16h21 39   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

Tap the “Tags” button if you want to sort your contacts a little bit. You can view only online contacts, only saved phone numbers, only Skype contacts and so on.

2011 08 20 16h23 44   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

You can also easily search within your contacts. This is useful especially since I was pretty much stuck with the thumbnail view in which finding people is a bit hard. The search is real-time, so just start typing and the matching contacts will show up.

2011 08 20 16h24 15   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

The bar on the left side is the history bar. You will get thumbnails for your recent events, which you can access by tapping the icons. By tapping the clock icon you can view a list of all older history items – the ones that are not recent enough to warrant their own little icon. Note that on landscape view this looks a bit different, and in addition to thumbnails you can see the  names and statuses of the contacts the history belongs to.

2011 08 20 16h23 02   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

Making Calls

But Skype is really about making calls. To make one, choose your contact and access the call screen. From here you can call this contact’s Skype or regular phone, chat with them or send them a text message. You can also see the contact’s information and picture in a bigger format. If you have an iPad 2 (which I don’t), you can also initiate a video call.

2011 08 20 17h09 59   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

They didn’t skimp with this app, and even the screen you get while making the call is pretty nice and resembles the one I’m used to from the regular version. Here you also can see what the history bar looks like when the iPad is held in landscape mode.

image105   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

If the other side answers with video, the conversation automatically goes into full screen and you get a video display. Here’s an example of a conversation I had with one of my cats.

image106   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

If you tap the screen during the call, you’ll get an icon bar at the bottom. Here you can end the call, mute your microphone, chat or exit full screen mode.

Chatting in full screen is nice, but the other option is also convenient. Using this view you can see your contact, but also do other things such as chat, send text messages and generally have fun.

2011 08 20 17h24 58   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

As expected, you can also access the dialing pad to make calls to regular phones. From here you can also send text messages to mobile phones.

2011 08 20 16h50 34   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

If you exit the app in a middle of a call, or even put your iPad to sleep by pressing the power button, the call stays on. This means that you can do whatever you want with your iPad while holding a conversation, and you can also save battery by shutting down the screen, putting it aside and just using audio.

While the call is on, the top bar will turn red and remind you that you’re still in the middle of a call. So next time you hit the home button to exit Skype and forget that this doesn’t hang up, you’ll be reminded not to say anything rude just yet. You’re still on the air!

2011 08 20 16h18 50   Skype For iPad   Was It Worth Waiting For?

Bottom Line

To answer the question I presented in the title – yes, it was worth waiting for. The audio and video quality were good (on the same wi-fi network, anyway) and usability was simple and smooth. I do miss the contact list view, and I’m waiting for them to add a screen sharing option. Now that would be awesome.

What was your experience with Skype for iPad? Any features you miss? Do share in the comments.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

7 Comments -

0 votes

Jeffhstarr

Can you receive calls to an Online Number using iPad app? 

Even though I do have an Online Number, my screen shows that it is Inactive, just as in your second screen shot.  I see no way to make it active. 

0 votes

Qpease

I have to say that I do quite like the app. My question is why did it take so long to get it for the iPad? I am wondering if Apple thought that Facetime could compete. Besides, can you get Facetime for PC or Linux?…DON’T THINK SO. Skype is the winner for me. Now that Microsoft owns Skype it kind of makes you wonder about its future direction.

0 votes

Yaara

I’ve been wondering the same things. It seems that a lot of the big names are not in a hurry to get iPad apps out (Facebook, anyone?).
I love Skype, but I’m not sure the Microsoft acquisition is going to make it better. I guess we’ll just wait and see!

0 votes

Alexkoe

Did not get how to search for contact in available list
They told
Just start typing……
How?
How to see keyboard ?
Ami stupid?

0 votes

Yaara

You’re not stupid, it’s actually easier to miss than you’d expect. I think it’s a UI problem they should consider fixing.

Anyway, when you’re viewing your contact grid, there a thin search bar just on top of that, at the very top of the screen but below the “Skype Contacts” title. If you tap that, a keyboard will pop up and you can search for contacts.

0 votes

Yaara

That’s a good question. I don’t use an online number, so it’s hard for me to try. I really don’t see a straightforward way to do this, and a bit of Googling got me nowhere. 

You can try asking about this in MakeUseOf Answers (http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/), I’m sure someone out there knows if it’s possible or not, and if it is, how to activate it.

Good luck!