Is the end of live video chat as we know it?? NO. Just kidding, but it looks like Skype was talking a few days back about acquiring the live video streaming service Qik. Now if you don’t know what Qik is, basically it is a streaming video service that runs on multiple platforms (PCs & Cell Phones mainly), and allows for LIVE viewing of the video. It was most recently made known by the HTC EVO on the Sprint network for their live face to face chatting over 4G.
Skype is the video chatting, friend calling, and texting service mainly based online, but can be paid for to be used across landlines as well. Skype-to-Skype calls are free, which I would safely assume that most users go this route, which can include all of the previously stated services. With this new service acquired, I don’t exactly know what the idea is behind it, but we shall see in the future. I can already video phone my other skype friends via the recently updated iPhone app, so I am assuming that this is just adding more users to the base. Who knows, but congrats to the Qik team and all of their employees!
So apparently, this news wasn’t expected by any of the tech blogs, and we are all very surprised by it, but YAY!!!! Skype has announced video calling on the iPhone 4! Which is great, because you can call desktop clients as well, so no longer are you tied down to only iPhone 4 users, but now you can call anyone with a webcam and Skype software! NOT ONLY THAT, but it is as well over 3G!!!! So now you can call someone on Skype while you are out and away from your wifi (network load dependent). I have seen a few demos from different websites, and it is kind of choppy when on 3G, but the video does work! I would use the video calling over 3G as a last chance shot, but if you ever want to try it go ahead! This is definitely the greatest update to the iPhone 4 since Word Lens (live augmented reality word translation), VLC (non iTunes video content player) or even Netflix!! If you have an iPhone 4, go upgrade NOW! This opens up your friends list to more people you can call with your front facing camera!!!!
check out the promo video below:
UPDATE: Sype blog quoted for version availability:
Skype video calling is supported over WiFi and 3G* data connections. You can enjoy video calls with users on all Skype desktop versions and with other Skype for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users.
You can make video calls in both portrait and landscape mode and use both front and back cameras.
Users on iPhone 4, 3GS and iPod Touch (4th Generation) can enjoy full 2-way video calling. Users with iPod Touch (3rd Generation) and iPads can receive video.
Video calling with Skype requires iOS 4.0 or above to be installed on your device. Skype 3.0 for iPhone will also work on iOs 3.x, but without video support.