A demo video for a Skype iPad app was found on the company’s official YouTube channel by the chaps at Razorianfly. The video was quickly removed from the channel, but Skype later confirmed that it was, in fact, legit. The video shows an iPad-optimized version the the iOS Skype client, featuring a familiar Twitter style split pane interface, as well as a full-screen view. The iPad 2′s camera makes it the perfect device for video chatting, and despite that FaceTime is native to iOS, Apple’s homegrown video chatting service hasn’t quite gained mass adoption. Skype is much more widely used, and will be infinitely more useful on the iPad with a dedicated app (especially with multi-platform support).
According to Skype VP of Consumer and Product Design Rick Osterloh, the service is openly welcomed by Apple, so it’s unlikely that the app would be rejected due to “duplicating existing functionality“. The app is expected to be released shortly after an official announcement next week.
I asked Osteroh if Skype had ever butted heads with Apple over duplicating functionality on the iPhone in terms of FaceTime or simple audio calling, and he said no — “they’ve been super supportive,” reminding me that Skype was invited onstage with Apple during the reveal of iOS 4.0. I also asked about a possible Twitter-style deal, where Skype might be included in the OS itself, and Osteroh said there weren’t any plans for that yet, but “in general, we’re always interested in deeper integration.”