Microsoft-owned Skype has some nice mobile clients on the iPhone and iPad (unlike its fugly Mac app). Though it’s a tad heavy on CPU and battery, Skype on iOS offers excellent voice quality and image clarity in video chats. At least that’s what my experience’s been, your mileage may vary. Today, a new iPad build has surfaced on the App Store with some new nice capabilities worth a mention.
If you use Skype credits to text people and make inexpensive calls, no longer do you need to buy these on the Skype web site as the iPad build now supports adding money in-app, but only if you live in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Sweden or Estonia (more countries to follow soon).
Experiencing poor reception (it’s Skype’s way of letting us know we should buy some credits)? No problem, the new version now automatically reconnects a dropped call. More tidbits right after the break…
Another nice-to-have which reduces the number of taps: swipe from the left to open your recent chats in a new sidebar.
Skype for iPad, version 4.5 changelog
• Skype automatically reconnects a dropped call when your wifi or mobile network reception is poor
• add money to your Skype account directly from the app to send SMS or call mobiles and landlines worldwide
• a simple swipe from the left of the screen opens your recent conversations in a new sidebar
• general fixes: one-to-one chats now appear in the correct order
Strangely enough, the iPhone build remains stuck at version 4.2.2 as it was last refreshed back in December 2012.
Note to Microsoft: consolidate the separate iPad and iPhone builds into a single universal binary to target all form factor iOS devices.
You’ll make both your and our lives a lot simpler.
My love for Skype will probably end on the day Facebook gets its act together by deploying a unified messaging solution that I’m hoping will bind together text-based chats, audio snippets, VoIP calling and video chatting into one seamless experience.
All my friends are on Facebook anyway and I like to keep things simple.
Are you still using Skype?
This article is brought to you by Duet Display, an awesome app that turns your iPhone or iPad into an extra display for your Mac or PC. Get it now in the App Store.