Last week Skype released their latest iPhone app that supports video calling. Â Color me impressed. Â I tested it out on my iPhone 3GS (I had to give up my iPhone 4 when I left AOL). Â 2011 is definitely shaping up to be the year that the battle over video goes to another level. Â If Apple and Google both plan on opening up their own technologies for 3rd parties as well as innovate on their own products, the battle between Skype, Apple and Google should be a great one to watch.
In my experience with Skype’s latest release, video calling from the iPhone to another iPhone over 3G is really pixelated and choppy, but still usable at least in suburban Washington DC. Â When I tried Skype over WiFi from my iPhone to a computer at home it was terrific. Â The image below shows the quality from my iMac and my iPhone. Â The Butterfinger package is not pixelated and it looks as clear as the stream from my desktop.
One thing Skype took great care in handling is keeping the call connected even when using other apps on the phone. Â The advantage Skype has over Facetime is that it is a full fledge communication application. Â If I want to send an IM to my contact, or search for someone I can do that easily. Â It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to Skype’s release.