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updated 8/21/2012 6:21:18 PM ET 2012-08-21T22:21:18

Skype today (Aug. 21) released an update to its apps for iPad and iPhone that let people send photos in addition to calling and instant messaging.

The new Photo Share feature lets you send photos you've shot on your iPad or iPhone through the camera roll. There's no limit on the size of the file you can send, but you can't send a photo while talking or chatting.

The new feature is only accessible outside of calls. When you open the Skype app and select a contact to call, you'll see a More button in addition to Video Call, Voice Call and IM buttons. Send Photo is listed under "More." You can then choose to take a new  photo , which gets sent to your camera roll or pick an existing photo  from the roll. Your camera roll appears in a pop-up screen, so you can choose your photo from within the Skype app. Tap one and Skype will automatically begin transferring the image to your contact. The recipient will receive an alert.

While it's nice to be able to send a photo, we'd like to see the feature available during a conversation. The way it stands — alone — makes it redundant with any service such as Instagram, Pinterest and  Facebook Camera   and your iPad or iPhone where you can already email photos to friends.

Skype points out that there are no limits to file size, which makes its photo-sharing service better than size-limited email, but we have yet to encounter any such problems. If you're a frequent Skype user, the new feature could be handy, but it would be a lot better for all  Skype  users if it could be used during a conversation. 

Aside from the photo feature, Skype also said it has improved the app's efficiency, so it will consume less of your battery charge when it runs in the background. And, now you have one more reason to keep Skype open — "your friend sent a photo."

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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