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Skype for iPad: Is it Better Than FaceTime?

It’s the Facebook of video conferencing. Skype has more than 25 million concurrent users and has been dominating PC platforms. It’s now set to dominate tablets (more specifically, the iPad), since a camera is required for Skype’s video chat.


Like desktop versions of Skype, Skype for iPad lets you make video calls to other Skype users (on other platforms) anywhere in the world. With FaceTime, you can only call Apple devices.

How does Skype stack up against FaceTime? Let’s take a look:

Video Quality & Settings
Skype’s video window is similar to FaceTime. However, you can’t move your own picture window around the screen; with Skype it’s locked in the corner. To switch the camera to front-facing, you have to take an extra step to call up the option, whereas FaceTime has the icon on the main screen. Video and audio quality are basically the same, although the video seemed smoother and less stuttery at times with FaceTime. (This was the case for both Wi-Fi and 3G.)
Advantage:  FaceTime

Skype Anyone on Any Device
Apple’s FaceTime is limited only to Apple devices with cameras (such as iPad’s, MacBooks, etc.). In other words, if you’re a Mac, while your friend is a PC, you can’t use FaceTime to talk to them. FaceTime also only works over Wi-Fi. Skype, on the other hand, works over multiple computer platforms and can be used with Wi-Fi and 3G.
Advantage:  Skype

Connecting with your Contacts!
If you’ve already used Skype for a while, you’ve most likely got a hefty contact list. Those contacts are instantly imported when you log onto your account using a tablet. You can also simultaneously instant message the person with whom you’re talking.
Advantage:  Skype

Free Calling & For Cents a Minute
Skype-to-Skype calls are free. So are FaceTime-to-FaceTime calls. However, like we mentioned, you can call Skype users on a PC or other platform. FaceTime, meanwhile, is limited to Apple devices. Skype also lets you call land lines or mobile phones for a few cents a minute. Plus, you can turn the iPad into a mobile phone by paying for an incoming number (which comes with voicemail and call forwarding).
Advantage:  Skype

The Winner
Skype, hands down. Overall it is a better free-video communication tool. Skype offers more options – even though some basic features like the camera swap button are buried a bit – and better functionality. This is a well-made app, and the developers really put to use the skills they acquired learning app development. Take a look for yourself by downloading the Skype app for iPad now.

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog,Web Development and have No Comments