Fri, Dec 31, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Skype releases new version of its free iPhone app

AP, SAN FRANCISCO

A new version of the free iPhone app for Skype will let users make and receive video calls.

Users of the Internet calling and messaging service will be able to use both Wi-Fi and AT&T Inc’s 3G cellular network. FaceTime software, which comes with iPhones, works only with Wi-Fi.

The app, which was released yesterday through Apple Inc’s iTunes Store, will let iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users make free video calls to other Skype users who are using the app or have access to the feature using Skype on their computer or another video phone.

Those with the latest iPod Touch will be able to make video calls over Wi-Fi. The app allows the iPad and previous-generation iPod Touch to receive video calls too, Skype said.

In the first half of this year, video calls made up 40 percent of all minutes spent using Skype’s free calling services, the company said.

Skype is not the first third-party app for the iPhone to allow free video calling over AT&T’s cellular network. Apps such as Fring and Tango offer the capability as well, though neither has as many users as Skype.

The updated app comes about a week after Skype suffered a major service outage that lasted 24 hours and cut off the service for millions of users. On average, 124 million people use Skype each month, though the total number of registered users is more than four times that.

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