Skype for iPhone hits 3.0, adds video calling over Wi-Fi and 3G

It took a while but Skype for iPhone has finally hit version 3.0 and now includes video calling, not only over Wi-Fi like Apple's FaceTime but over 3G as well! Here's the complete update list:

  • Make Skype to Skype video calls on WiFi and 3G (Additional Data charges may apply)
  • Call Skype desktop users (Mac OS X or Windows) and other iPhone users.
  • Two-way video calls supported on iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 4th gen.
  • Receive only video supported on iPad and iPod touch 3rd gen, with no camera.
  • Make video calls in portrait and landscape.
  • Skype video calling requires iOS 4.0 or above.

We're testing it out now and will update asap with results. How's it working for you?

UPDATE: First impressions after the break!

[Free - iTunes link, thanks @laniceto for the head's up!]

Skype for iPhone hits 3.0, adds video calling

Skype for iPhone 3.0 with video calling it works well. Over Wi-Fi it doesn't look as good as Apple's FaceTime but it looks good enough and the ability to connect to Skype users (whose numbers eclipse FaceTime users) makes it killer. Over 3G is looks about the same as Wi-Fi, which is great because FaceTime forced onto 3G via Jailbreak hacks like My3G doesn't look as good.

I tested it out with Brian Tufo and it was solid on both ends, Wi-Fi and 3G. When in Wi-Fi I could still hit the Home Button and put the call into background mode but the video froze on the other end. My iPhone was pretty slow and by the time I made it to Settings and flipped Wi-Fi off, then went back to Skype we'd lost the call but Brian was able to call me back over 3G easily enough.

UPDATE 2: For those asking, Skype over 3G used an average of 2.1MB of data up and 1.3

Overall Skype for iPhone 3.0 with video calling is solid.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 50 comments. Add yours.

Brookstaylorh says:

there is a typo:
it says:
not only over Wi-Fi like Apple’s FaceTime but over Wi-Fi as well!
it should say
not only over Wi-Fi like Apple’s FaceTime but over 3G as well!

iVenom says:

cool lets see how it works

(Copy of) Dev says:

One other feature to note: you can swap between front and back cameras, similar to how FaceTime works.

Brian Tufo says:

This is the most exciting update for me in a while I think!

BobbyMcWho says:

I just downloaded it and it says it is only compatible with "unmodified" 3.0.x software...

dloveprod says:

It works, not as clear as face time but it has potential.

MikeCTZA says:

Am I correct in saying that you aren't able to do video calls from a PC/Mac to an iPhone? Haven't had chanced to test yet.

Brian Tufo says:

Video calls work from PC/Mac to iPhone. And I'm on 4.2.1 JB and it works fine.

ren says:

Works from iPhone 4 to iPad great you only see iPhone video on both though. But no camera on iPad yet :)

Rene Ritchie says:

The "only works with unmodified..." is their old warning for people who used 3G enables via Jailbreak before official 3G support. I don't know why they've left that in, much less left it at iOS 3.x. I used to get that running the 4.0 betas as well. Sigh.
It works fine on iOS 4, and on Jailbroken iOS 4, so it's not a problem, just annoying.

Brian Tufo says:

Bobby and James don't worry I got the same message and it works fine.

FLskydiver says:

Awesome! Just in time Christmas! ;-)

Ilovegeorgia says:

yah now you can invite on ipad live this weekend haha

JustinHorn says:

I'm pretty sure anyone would lose a connection if they are connected via WIFI and then switch to 3G. Don't think that is a smooth hand-off for any app.

Michael says:

Works like a charm between two IP4's around a campfire at 2:00AM EST. Both just downloaded it and gave it a try.

Chris says:

Big deal, Tango works and has worked for some time now an I can talk to my iphone and android friends.

melb_guy says:

Anyone know roughly how much data it would use say per minute? A necessity to know with only 100mb of 3G per month.

fayek says:

there's never been a better moment for me to switch from blackberry to iPhone!

Brian Tufo says:

@Chris Skype has a MUCH larger user base than Tango ever will I'd bet.

Darkstar says:

I think Yahoo Messenger's video calling looks and performs better than Skype's. I'll have to do some more testing though, but that's definitely my first impression.

Luke Roberts says:

NICE, but still no bluetooth headset support?

robotphood says:

Just installed Skype and whenever I open it, it closes after a few seconds on the splash screen. OS 4.2.1 w/ JB. Advice?

Brian Tufo says:

@Rand0m I'm also jailbroken on iOS 4.2.1 and it worked for me. Did you try force closing it in the switcher and then reopen it?
@Darkstar I found the Yahoo! video app to be unusable. Skype seems loads better for me at least.

Chris says:

I was laying in bed getting sleepy, skimming over my nightly sites I check before bed and came across this. I was so excited I woke my wife up...she was not nearly as excited. Haha. This is great though!

Andrew says:

wow..this is a good news for iPhone user like me. Gotta try this later..thanks for the info man

tanweiyap says:

this will be a good reason to upgrade my ipad to ipad2 if it has a front facing camera.

kingweb says:

RIP face time. I'm surprised that the Jobs dictatorship allowed this app at all. Its almost like letting people put whatever toppings they want on their pizzas.

Nikhil Joshi says:

the quality is not so good on wifi also. forget facetime its bit worse than tango also. i am disappointed with the skype video features . i hope they improve the quality of the video to facetime standards if not better

DP says:

Just tried this on WiFi and 3G, iPhone 4 to PC and it's excellent! can't believe it took so long to produce!

Nikhil Joshi says:

the only people who will find skype video calling excellent is who has never tried facetime.

DP says:

@Nikhil Joshi firstly please take the time to review your posts before submitting them so we don't have to decrypt what you actually intended to say.
FaceTime is better quality yes, nobody will deny this BUT, Skype has a larger user base and enables 3G calling which a non-jailbroken iPhone 4 cannot do via FaceTime.
FaceTime is pretty pointless as it doesn't state whether the other party is connected via WiFi. The benefit of Skype is that if the user is online and they have an iPhone or PC then you're going to be able to connect with them. Again I'd like to highlight the point of knowing the other party is ONLINE!

A.J says:

Can you do this over 3g?

J says:

@A.J, watch the video.. YESH, but yes it can do this on 3G

raids says:

let me add, in facetime you can call someone even if the app is not open, in skype both party should be online or the app open. So, when 3G call will be a go for facetime, it will be the best!

Fonzman1984 says:

I think apple allowed this because FaceTime will be 3G compatible soon also! Probably January. But skype still has the wider user appeal because you can Connect to pc users also!

Pinny says:

Haha Chris - I did the same thing. My wife was equally unexcited.
Iphone to PC works great, seriously awesome.

Bob Marley14 says:

Having an issue here.
Just downloaded app on two IP4''s and not getting video option once call is connected. Then set both phones on 3G. Nada.
Am I doing something wrong?

(Copy of) Dev says:

Our extended family is spread out among many time zones, so we have used Skype instead of regular phones for quite some time. On my iPhone, Skype worked flawlessly under Wifi -- my father indicated the only thing that was strange was that my picture did not take up the whole window when I was holding the phone in portrait view, which actually makes sense.
Over 3G, the video and audio sometimes were out of sync, but AT&T coverage is very spotty where my house is, so I'm not entirely surprised there.
Overall, a very nice update.

Johnny9Toes says:

All is well with the world now.

Alli says:

Downloaded right away. Tried with a friend who is at home on WiFi with an Ipod Touch 4 while I'm on 3G with my iPhone 4. Worked amazingly well - very clear video, no skips or bumps. I was able to switch back and forth from the front to back cameras to show off my surroundings, and it worked very smoothly.
I'll probably never use FaceTime. Already highly invested in the Skype ecosystem, with hundreds of contacts, most of whom don't have iPhone 4's.

Manuel says:

I think the quality of the video is horrible. I also hope they will fix it (its so bad that i said FIX instead of improve ;D)

Ghop says:

You can call from an iPhone 4 to a pc or Mac as well as long as they have the FaceTime beta.
Also I believe Apple will be letting any company use the FaceTime program once it comes out of beta. So theoretically companies can begin to deploy the FaceTime logic on android blackberry and any other device.

DRHughes says:

Downloaded and tried it immediately; I have to say it worked very well. I believe now that Skype has this, who will use the facetime app? All I can say is that it's just a start, but it works well. I can't wait to add people on my Skype contact list!

Marksy says:

FaceTime is by far the best and easiest videocalling application.

(Copy of) Dev says:

The thing is, other companies will not implement FaceTime while it is 100% under the sole control of Apple. (Apple publishes drafts, but they do not let anybody else see the roadmap, much less contribute.) Granted, neither does Skype, so if Apple does release control to an international standings body, FaceTime would have a real shot.

Jason says:

@ DR Hughes:
Facetime is not an "app" so much as it is a integrated part of the iOS ecosystem. This difference IS important to note.

Debc says:

@Chris and @Pinney. Last nt tried to wake my husband too and he was not amused!
Just tried iphone 3GS to Itouch 4 on home wifi. Worked great Used a mirror to compensate for missing front camera on 3GS. Hokey but fun!

Mark says:

Can more people discuss here how the skype video calling quality compare with the facetime

Hmmmm says:

Guarantee this will suck on Verizon. Not only is there much less bandwidth with EVDO, but every time a text message comes in, the data session will be interrupted briefly and the video connection will suffer. Just sayin