Taking on FaceTime and iMessage with video-calling, instant messaging and tablet-friendly interface.
Voice-over-IP service Skype has finally launched its iPad app, after a couple of false starts when the app went live on Apple's App Store before it was supposed to.
The official launch came yesterday afternoon for the free app, which has been redesigned for the larger iPad screen. Many users had installed the iPhone version on their iPads, such was their desire to use the service on a tablet.
Features include two-way video calling to Skype users on other devices, including the iPad but also desktops and laptops, HDTVs and other mobile platforms.
The app also includes instant messaging, a contacts grid and text messaging. The app also allows voice calls to be made to landlines and mobiles, although users have to pay for this using Skype Credit. It works across 3G and Wi-Fi.
Skype's main competitor on iPad is Apple itself, which already has a FaceTime video calling app, and will soon launch a separate messaging client called iMessage. Both will only be available on iOS though - CEO Steve Jobs said at the launch of FaceTime that it would be opened up to other companies via standards bodies, but this hasn't happened yet.
Skype's advantage may thus be its ability to work across a range of devices, capitalising on its install base of 170 million monthly active users.