Skype To Unveil iPhone Video Chat At CES - InformationWeek

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12/27/2010
12:13 PM
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Skype To Unveil iPhone Video Chat At CES

A Verizon iPhone may have been accidentally confirmed in a FAQ about a FaceTime competitor posted on -- and quickly removed from -- the VoIP provider's site Friday.




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Skype reportedly will unveil a competitor to Apple's FaceTime video-chatting service for the iPhone at January's Consumer Electronics Show according to documents posted on-- and quickly removed from -- the Internet phone service provider's website FAQ section on Friday.

Unlike FaceTime, which uses only Wi-Fi, Skype's service would tap both 3G and Wi-Fi, the FAQ said. The service would require Skype for Windows version 4.2 and higher; Skype for Mac OS X version 2.8 and higher; and Skype for iPhone 3.0 and higher, according to the FAQ, which was posted at RedmondPie.com.

A different support document said Skype will release a version of its mobile client created specifically for the iPad.

"Even though the iPhone application is fully compatible with the iPad, we're still always striving to bring the best to our Skype users, which is why we're developing a Skype application designed specifically for the iPad," the document said. "Watch the website for further updates. The Skype application will work fine with your iPad's in-built speakers and mic, but we still recommend plugging in some headphones for best sound quality."

When it comes to the video-chatting services, users of dual-camera iPhones or iPod Touch devices can switch between the cameras during a Skype video call, although people with an iPhone 3GS must always use the rear camera, the document said. When the unit is turned to landscape mode, the camera picture automatically rotates too, it said.

"In both portrait and landscape mode, double tapping anywhere on your screen will zoom the picture to take up the full extent of the screen. Double tapping again will take the picture back to its normal size," the FAQ said. "While on a Skype video call the sound will always be played through the loudspeaker, unless a headset is plugged into the device."

Users display camera and microphone controls by tapping the screen during calls. They can put a call on hold by tapping and depressing the microphone button, and resume the conversation by tapping the hold symbol that appears on screen, according to Skype. During a call, video is turned off by tapping the camera and selecting the no-camera option, the FAQ said. It can be reactivated by tapping the camera button again and, if more than one camera is available, selecting the preferred device.

In addition, users can get screen-shares from people using Skype for Windows or Mac OSX, according to Skype. However, users cannot share what appears on their iPhone screens with others, nor can they receive a screen-share from another iPhone user, the company cautioned.

In its documentation -- which may or may not be finalized, approved, or complete -- Skype cautions users that their iPhones may become warm to the touch if callers are processing or streaming a lot of video, either via video calling or video-intensive applications such as YouTube or Netflix. And people are unable to switch to audio only since Skype for iPhone does not support group video calling, the company said.

The iPhone video-chatting document featured Verizon's logo, according to 9 to 5 Mac. This could mean a CES Verizon iPhone announcement, the publication predicted.

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