Skype for iPad is Still “Rare”
Like many of us who use and love Skype, I’ve been eagerly anticipating its release for the iPad, in the same way I look forward to a “medium well” juicy steak now and then. Unfortunately, like in a bad restaurant, I metaphorically bit in to the new iPad Skype app this afternoon and it turned out the damn thing is rare!
Once I installed the app and launched it, I logged in and called one of my Skype accounts. The microphone and speaker didn’t function. Then I completely quit the app and I could still hear audio clicking coming out of the speaker. Hmmm….not good.
Then I completely quit all iPad apps and rebooted the device and relaunched Skype. It tried to connect and then, inexplicably, Skype killed my Wifi connection and I couldn’t re-enable it. Hmmm….not good.
Did the same complete-quick and reboot and relaunch of Skype. NOW the Wifi stayed on and the microphone and speakers functioned perfectly. So did my headset/microphone combination. NOTE: If you install Skype for iPad on your device, make certain you completely quit all apps and then reboot.
After proceeding to test it thoroughly several times, I was satisfied it worked. But searching for contacts? Yikes…there isn’t a search function. So if you have A LOT of Skype contacts like I do, be forewarned you’ll be flipping and flipping and flipping your various contact screens to find the person you’d like to call. This is a bizarre oversight in my opinion.
The interesting part of this not-quite-fully-cooked iPad app is that the iPhone app functions pretty well (and also if it that app is used on the iPad), even though I frequently get “low connection” errors when using Skype with iPhone on my home Wifi which is “N” and really fast. In fact, the iPhone app worked better on the iPad than the new iPad app does. If it wasn’t for video on the new iPad app, there’s little reason to use it over the existing iPhone app.
In many ways I continue to be stunned by what a mess Skype apps are regardless of platform. The Windows app is dramatically different (and better) than the Mac app (the latter which is a joke for user interface design and everyone hates it); the iPhone/Android apps are a bit closer in functionality but different enough to be material. The iPad app being so minimal, and with not very robust capabilities, is most bothersome. Hope Skype/Microsoft gets this right since I’ve been paying for the service for several years now and use Skype all day, every day and really want this iPad app to be awesome.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.