iPad App Video Review: Skype for iPad

by Andrew Koziara

After a rather long wait, Skype users finally get the Skype for iPad app. Unfortunately, it's a rather basic app that is lacking several features any hardcore Skype user would want. It has a lot of the main features you would need, but it's lacking in several extra and even a few vital features. I'm not a very big Skyper myself, having only used it to conference call on school projects a dozen times or as a basic instant messenger, but I consulted with a big Skyper for this review.

As soon as you start the app up, you'll be looking at your contact list. Here is the first complaint of many. Your contacts are shown as great big icons with small text, and there is no way to switch to a list view. I can see how that would be annoying if you had dozens of contacts. You tap on a contact and bring up your options. You can video chat, phone them, instant message them, or text them. If you don't have an iPad 2, the video chatting is very one sided, of course. The quality remained constant throughout the call I made. Everything was functional enough. Instant messaging with the app was nice, due to the large keyboard. There was a lack of emoticon options though. You actually have to type them in yourself, and can't select them from a list as you can in the normal computer app.

This app is still missing a lot of polish. Your groups are called "tabs" in this app, and there is no real way to edit them. There are no real options for editing your contacts at all. The app is a real battery drainer too, and that's with no other apps running in the background. People are also experiencing many bugs. Some are simple, like clearing your history only to have it reappear over and over, while some are game breaking, like the sidebar disappearing, forcing people to shut the app down the hard way. This app seems like it's only good for nice, full screen video chatting. Everything else, from the user interface to the features, is lacking. Despite the fact that this app took over a year to come out, it feels very rushed. Still, all your basic functionality is there, and it's a totally free app, so go ahead and Skype away.

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