Skype 3 Brings 3G Video Chat to iPhone

| Product News

Skype announced the immediate availability of Skype 3.0 for the iPhone on Thursday. The updated version of the text and audio chat app added support for video chats over Wi-Fi and 3G wireless data networks.

iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and fourth generation iPod touch owners can conduct two-way video chats, while iPad and iPod touch owners can receive video calls even though they can only participate via audio. The app also supports mobile to computer video calls with Skype 2.8 and higher on Mac OS X, or Skype 4.2 and higher on Windows.

Video chat support over 3G gives Skype a leg up over Apple’s own FaceTime in iOS 4.2 since the feature is currently limited to Wi-Fi networks.

Skype 3 for the iPhone is free, and is available at Apple’s iTunes-based App Store.


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FaceTime runs on iOS and OS-X
Skype runs on those plus Android, Windows, Symbien, Linux and others
Facetime works over wired and WiFi connections
Skype runs over those plus 3G

I would really like to see FaceTime grab a big portion of the market, but I just don’t see it catching up. As long as most people I know use Skype I have to use Skype as well. When my corporate clients (mostly Win) want to do a video call they use Skype. As long as Skype and FaceTime are incompatible even those with access to a FaceTime client will use Skype.

I just don’t see anything out there to challenge Skype’s hold on the market.


“I just don?t see anything out there to challenge Skype?s hold on the market.”

Your reasoning is irrefutable.  R.I.P. FaceTime :(


Introduction of Skype will not take users away from FaceTime. While these two may be seemingly overlapping in functionality, there is significant difference between them.

In order to make a Skype call, you first have to make a phone call and tell the other party to log into Skype. Five years ago, everyone I knew on Skype was always logged on. Today, with 100s of contacts in Skype “buddy” list, nobody I know leaves Skype on anymore (way too many frivolous incoming calls).

FaceTime is seamlessly integrated with, and embedded into, iOS. FaceTime calls work just like ordinary phone calls: you pick up the phone, dial the number (from the “speed-dial” or “contact list”), the other person’s phone rings, they pick it up and answer. No other solution is anywhere nearly as intuitive and easy. For that reason alone, people will continue using FaceTime whenever it is available, and fall back on Skype ONLY when FaceTime cannot be used. And as soon as Apple makes FaceTime work on the carrier network, there will be very few situations when FaceTime couldn’t be used.

I’m still rather curious, what is the reason behind Apple’s restriction to WiFi. After all, they’ve been approving other apps that do it over 3G for some time. Are they so afraid of getting flack for poor performance (due to slow 3G network)?


Comparing tech stats is one thing, to actually use these two apps in the real world is quite another.  Skype 3 is a pain to use, nearly impossible to get a group of people on the same call, and you’ve got to jump through several hoops to do most things.  FaceTime is so easy to use I can make a call before my morning cup of coffee.


I agree with every point. I even tried the Beta version of Skype5 for Mac to see if they fixed anything. Amazingly enough I found it far worse than the 2.8 I’m using.

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