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Skype For iPhone Now Makes Video Calls 102

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-special dept.
tekgoblin writes "Today Skype has released an update that allows iPhone users to make video calls from their device. There had been rumors that this update was in the works and now they have been made fact. So, was the Skype outage the other day part of this internal update? Possibly. But Skype has proven to be one of the most important communication tools in the world and now has gotten even better."
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Skype For iPhone Now Makes Video Calls

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  • Oh dear editors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by philj (13777) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:17PM (#34712220)
    > So, was the Skype outage the other day part of this internal update? If you read the story that's two below this one, you'll have realised that this wasn't the case. Shame the editors of Slashdot can't be bothered to read their own site these days - whilst the video calling is news, the submission could have been edited. ---P
  • what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:19PM (#34712242) Homepage Journal

    " But Skype has proven to be one of the most important communication tools in the world"

    seriously? one of the most important? no, it's not.

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Seriously it is.

      Lots of people use it. So ..

      But what I wonder is:
      WHERE THE FUCK IS VIDEO OVER JABBER?!

      And implemented everywhere.

      And/or together with SIP.

      End eventually with similar functionality as Skypes when it comes to passing firewalls or what not + encryption (I know there exist encryption for it, and yeah, "somewhat" video to. But it doesn't help if it doesn't work =P)

      Oh, and voice over jabber to of course, unless there are SIP as well. I don't care _what_ is used as long as it work and the standard

      • Hell, they can't do audio over bluetooth yet on the iPhone. So when I'm listening to music wirelessly, Skype will ring in my headset, then I have to dig the phone out of my pocket and talk directly into the phone.

        And, bizarrely, when initiating a video call, you have the option to turn off 'speakerphone' mode, so you can show the person a closeup of your head while you talk to them. Alternately, you can show them what your ear is looking at.

    • Actually it is (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149)

      Go talk to normal people.

      You'll find that many of them use Skype now. Certainly any friend I have (that's every single one) who has family or friends overseas uses Skype.

      You don't think reducing the cost of international communication to zero is important? I would say that mainstreaming VOIP is very important indeed.

      • by johnhp (1807490)
        Yeah, anecdotal evidence, but literally the only two applications my GRANDMOTHER uses are FireFox and Skype.

        I can only guess how many grandmother's have been setup with Skype by family members so they can keep in touch. I bet it's huge.
  • Does this mean that there will be an Android version supporting video soon? While I would rather have an open system than Skype, at least having something cross-platform will be nice.

    • by nullifi (1085947)
      While that would awesome, I doubt my HTC Droid Eris could handle it. I already play Angry Birds at .5 frames per second. But its fun, regardless. July, 2011 can't get here sooner.
  • by Bicx (1042846) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:26PM (#34712316)
    ...to see live pixelated video of my friends' nostrils courtesy of AT&T.
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:27PM (#34712328) Homepage Journal
    In the Nokia N900 you had skype (and googletalk) video calling since 6 months ago,but the front camera wasnt very good. How good is iphone one?
    • The poor quality of the N900's front camera was partly a software problem, it's been improved somewhat in PR1.3.

      Oddly enough though it seems that the change was only made to the phone's default communications apps, other applications that use the camera still get a noisy image.

      • It sounds more like it's a sensor/noise problem that can (as always) be somewhat improved in software by (time or space) averaging to get rid of the noise.

        i.e. while there's a software fix, it wasn't a software problem.

        Maybe the folks who wrote the communications app didn't want to wait for a fix (workaround) to be made in the driver, so just put it in the app themselves.

    • by wolssiloa (721045)
      More than 6 months ago, N900 had skype video support since a year ago, November 2009 when the mobile device became widely available. Also front cam quality is much improved if you have proper lighting. For instance, in the sun! or at least a bright room.
  • Just me? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mark72005 (1233572) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:28PM (#34712338)
    Is it just me, or does anyone else have zero interest in video chatting by holding a phone out two feet in front of my face?
    • Is it just me, or does anyone else have zero interest in video chatting by holding a phone out two feet in front of my face?

      Well it's not just you. there's lots of people whose faces we wouldn't want to see on a video chat.

    • It's just you. The Knocking app on our phones has brought loads and loads of joy to my parents, as they're able to watch their 11 month old granddaughter play with her Christmas presents from 1500 miles away... Having the option for two-way communication with it would only be better.

      • by outlander (140799)

        Another one who actually uses it. My parents, who are old and infirm, live far away, and I have had to travel quite a bit, making communications difficult....with this, we can communicate far more often and with far more gestures than previously available. Ekiga is nice but they're not technical, and they don't have iPhone 4 devices with which to use FaceTime.

        It's a start. Eventually, open standards, better tech, etc, will come - but the perfect is the enemy of the good enough, and for now this is good e

    • by garcia (6573)

      I downloaded it and began using it this morning. While I don't have to hold the phone an uncomfortable distance from my face in order to use the video chat feature, all I get is a talking head at the normal arm length. However, because previously we only had one computer with a video camera to do video chat and it was stationary and only available at home it was a bit of a pain in the ass to do BabyGrandparent chats due to scheduling conflicts. Thankfully now those scheduling conflicts are reduced and Grand

    • Re:Just me? (Score:5, Funny)

      by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:39PM (#34712452)
      Yeah, I'd probably be more inclined to hold a phone two feet in front of my own face. No offense.
    • by MalachiK (1944624)
      No, it's not just you. I don't know anyone who has ever made a video call from a mobile phone. It's impractical and a load of hassle. If you want a video link, sit down in front of a web cam or something. Holding a mobile device up in front of you for the duration of the conversation is just lame.
      • Yes, 11 month olds are so good at doing that "sit down in front of a web cam or something" thing you are talking about...

        • by MalachiK (1944624)
          Then why not get a video camera to record the precious memories and then e-mail the files to whoever? Better quality footage and easier to use.
          • by drcheap (1897540)

            B...b..b..but that's not in real-time!

            I totally agree, cell phone video calling is way overrated. My previous phone (which I acquired in mid 2007) supported video calls, but the carrier network didn't allow it to work. I only wanted to use it just for the novelty factor, and didn't "wish it worked" any other time in the following year and a half I used that phone.

            I barely even record videos with my phone, and when I do it is even less often that they get sent to someone right away via MMS (much less havin

          • Don't move the goal posts. We're talking about video chatting, not recording video. If I wanted to record video, obviously I would use a video camera. (Except my phone's quality isn't much worse, and posts to Youtube significantly more easily...)

          • by BobMcD (601576)

            Then why not get a video camera to record the precious memories and then e-mail the files to whoever? Better quality footage and easier to use.

            Easier to use?? You don't have my video camera. Unless the people on the other end want multi-gig files in a proprietary format, the phone-to-phone solution would be VASTLY easier.

          • by iluvcapra (782887)
            "Why don't you just buy a faster horse?" the carriagemaker asked Mr. Daimler.
          • You know, I just remembered an even better example. My Grandfather was in a hospital about three hours away from his home recovering from a brain injury a few months ago. My parents were there visiting him, and were telling him that his great-granddaughter had started walking. He became sad that he had missed such a milestone, being 1500 miles away and in a coma at the time. My Mom just pulled out her iPhone, called me up, and within minutes he was able to watch her walking and talk to her in real-time. You

      • by Desler (1608317)

        Because clearly if you don't know anyone who has ever done it clearly means that no one else in the world would want to do it.

    • by RandyOo (61821)

      You have to admit that the capability is still impressive.

      Consider: something that just a few short years ago was only possible with a news van and a satellite dish is now in the hands of millions. (okay, maybe Skype installations on iPhones is 2,000,000, but it's gotta be pretty close, right?)

    • by Zackbass (457384)

      You've never wished you could have someone you're helping just show you their computer screen instead of trying to incorrectly describe it (or god forbid trying to walk them through setting up a remote connection)? A shot of the broken faucet they're bothering you about? It would cut a large part of the guesswork out of my random tech calls. Anyone who's a go-to technical person should see the value in the video chat cell phone form factor. Picture text messages work too, but the interactive nature of video

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Me... However, I have vast interest in video chatting by putting an iPad on my knees, and lying back into a sofa. Roll on iPads with front facing cameras!

  • Dear CmdrTaco, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stregano (1285764) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:31PM (#34712360)
    Please read what you are posting up. You posted up something that explains the Skype outage, and then posted up something else asking if this caused the Skype outage.
  • I tried it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:32PM (#34712372)

    I downloaded it this morning on my iPhone 4. Although it works, I am experiencing that sound and video are out of sync, low framerates, and pixelated video. Lousy job Skype. I tried it on both wifi and 3g connections with the other party being on a desktop connected via a broadband land line. I would have rather waited another 2 weeks for a more polished version that would be of the same quality as desktop-to-desktop video Skype.

    • by topic7 (1968054)
      getting the same issues here.
    • I live in Australia, and I did a 3G connection to my father in Vietnam who was using wifi.

      It worked flawlessly.

      Maybe it has to do more with the speed, latency and signal strength than their sloppy programming.

    • by Orestesx (629343)
      2 weeks? What exactly do you think happens in 2 weeks of software development? Or are you just throwing out a number that is the limit of your attention span and fits with your feeling of entitlement to instant gratification from a free application?
  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @01:32PM (#34712376) Journal

    [rant] Rumour has it that Skype might also get their fingers out their backside and make a more up to date version of Skype for Linux, one that is at least nicer looking with KDE4 for example, or one that actually obeys PulseAudio, one that does video calls properly with up to date video for Linux system, or one that stops deleting old conversations even though you've told it not to. But maybe we'll have to wait another two years for such an "update", while everyone else in the known universe gets their stuff constantly updated.

    Skype for Linux sucks!

    • Have you seen the newer Windows Skype clients? It's an awful piece of nagware now.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      [tongue firmly in cheek]

      It's Linux and all open source right, just write your own....

      Being the red headed step child of cross platform Windows software as an OS X user, I can only imagine how bad it is on Linux in these situations. Some of the ports to OS X have been laughably shocking (Flash, EvE Online, the first official MSN Messenger client, early Ventrillo releases).

      Surprisingly, the OS X Skype client is ok (as is the Silverlight player - who'd have thought it?!).

      • I'll give you 8/10 on the Silverlight player. It used to work pretty well, but ever since the latest update, it's all Crashy Crasherson. The only thing I ever use it for is Hulu, and if Hulu ever comes to AppleTV, I will once again live and work in a Microsoft-free ecosystem.

    • You can run the Windows version of Skype 3.5 in Wine, though I'm not sure if you'd actually want to.

  • by TyFoN (12980)

    Can it do VOIP calls for free now like the android version?

  • If I put Skype on my iPhone, what guarantee do I have that my phone won't get supernoded and superpwnded?

  • Several people already posted hypothesizing that Apple would pull the App, but I don't think that is even in the realm of possibility. Rather, this may prompt Apple to get off their butts and release the FaceTime specs as an open standard as they previously promised. Hopefully they'll roll out some improvements first, like default encryption on all channels, but it sure would be nice to have an open competitor to Skype that can interact with iPhones.

  • The only issue I have with it is that the front facing camera displays the image digitally zoomed or closer than how your face appears using either FaceTime or the built in camera application or a number of apps that call to the camera. I'm guessing Skype built their own way of A/V and couldn't rely on Apple's implementation within their own app.

    This is what FaceTime should have been and it one ups Yahoo Messengers half assed implementation because it works between with Windows, Mac, and other iOS client
  • I tried a video call to a skype client on Ubuntu, but the iOS skype app was displaying cropped video. Has anyone else tried connecting to a linux skype client with the new app?

  • Fring [fring.com] has had video calling support for Symbian/Android for over a year now.

  • So, was this item "product placement" (ie, sponsored by Apple?)

    Nokia n800 (or similar had Skype with video, per Skype.com)

    I'm suprised that some post-3000 series Sony PSP didn't do it.

    Any netbook will do it, too.. and for much less $$$ to Apple... :-)

    PS Aussie SkypePhones (v. 1) could only do voice + messaging.
                Anybody know about Sweden's?

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