Skype’s iPad app ‘coming soon’

A dedicated Skype app for Apple’s iPad is on its way, bringing along with it the company’s popular voice over Internet phone service and video chatting.

According to a story from TUAW, Skype’s app is expected to be approved basically any time. The company already has a popular iPhone app that allows for video chatting using the iPhone 4’s forward-facing camera over both Wi-Fi and 3G Internet connections. Calls can be made to computers as well as other smartphones.

Now, Skype has finally developed an app specifically for the iPad and has been testing it extensively for the last few months, although it hasn’t got an official release date yet. TUAW’s interview with Skype reveals that the iPhone app had some serious success when it was first released, doubling its user base in just a month, and the company expects the iPad app to have similar success.

Unlike Skype’s PC and Mac versions, there are a few features that aren’t available in the iPhone app and similarly won’t make it to the iPad. Chief among them, probably, is the ability to share files over the service. However, like the iPhone version, iPad owners who use Skype will enjoy the ability to make calls to other Skype users, including video, for free. All they have to pay are the data usage fees for a 3G connection, should they use one. That includes the ability to call Android smartphones and other compatible devices as well.

Apple’s newer iOS devices, the iPad, iPad 2 and iPhone 4, already include a video chat feature called FaceTime, but FaceTime is limited to iOS users who also have compatible devices. Apple recently added the service for Mac computers, but that still leaves out all the PC owners out there, plus Android too.

TUAW’s interview said that despite duplicating FaceTime’s functionality in some ways, Skype has found Apple to be pretty helpful and supportive in the company’s development of its iOS apps. TUAW asked if Skype might find its way to deeper iOS integration like Twitter has in iOS 5, but the company said there aren’t any plans that way, even though Skype would be open to the proposition.

As for the iPad app, expect it reasonably quickly and about as strong as its iPhone counterpart, which is to say, pretty darn useful.

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