After brief tease, Skype iPad app is official

Posted by Mark Raby

It popped up on the App Store, was quickly taken down, and now it's back up again - Skype for iPad is here.

It was just yesterday that eagle-eyed iPad fans spotted what appeared to be an official Skype app optimized for the big-screen HD tablet. But within hours, Skype pulled the app saying it was pushed out by mistake.

"To ensure your best Skype experience, we've temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today," the voice-over IP company told users in a Twitter message.

The company apologized for the inconvenience, saying, "We know you've been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad." However, it said nothing about when the app was supposed to go live.

Well, it wasn't a long wait, because this morning Skype posted a message on its official blog saying the app was in fact now available.

The new iPad-optimized version of Skype gives users a slew of new features, including two-way video calling, instant messaging during a video call, support for both front-facing and rear-facing cameras for the iPad 2, and seamless text messaging to Skype contacts.

The app interface is also optimized for the larger screen, giving users a grid that gives them instant access to contacts at any time, as well as an easier way to navigate through other content like chat histories.

Skype has been increasing its mobile presence lately, with official apps now available on the iPhone and Android as well.