Video calling via Skype has now come to Apple products with the release today of Skype's updated app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners.
The app has already been one of the top five free apps this year, and with this new option it looks set to become even more popular. The app will likely eat into the use of FaceTime, Apple's own video calling feature.
"With video calling representing approximately 40 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes for the first six months of 2010, our users have been eager to get Skype video calling on their mobile phones," said Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype’s consumer business, in a statement.
"By bringing video to mainstream users at their home or work via their desktops, on the go with their mobiles, or into their living room via their TV, Skype has made it possible for millions of people to share video moments wherever they are," Stevens added.
Users of the Skype app can make and receive free Skype-to-Skype calls (although data charges may apply), as well as call mobile phones and landlines around the world, often at comparatively low rates. At peak times, about 25 million people are logged on to Skype.
A 3G data connection or Wi-Fi is required for video conferencing; Skype recommends a strong Wi-Fi connection for best results.
The new Skype for iPhone app is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch fourth generation with i0S 4.0 or above. Video receiving capabilities are available on the iPod touch third generation and iPad. Calls can be made between devices using the new Skype for iPhone app and desktops including Skype for Windows 4.2 and above, Skype for Mac 2.8 and above, Skype for Linux and ASUS Videophone.
More announcements from Skype are expected heading into the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early next year, including a possible extension of video calling to Android phones and other smartphone platforms.