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Well, that was fast! On Monday night, Skype finally released their long-awaited native iPad app, only to “temporarily” remove it from the App Store almost as quickly as it appeared, “to ensure your best Skype experience.” Were you one of the lucky ones to grab it?
Skype Software released the native Skype for iPad late Monday night, but within a couple hours of appearing on the U.S. App Store, it was gone again. According to the company’s official Twitter feed, the app “went live prematurely,” so they pulled it. However, we were able to grab the app before it vanished and ironically, it works quite well, so it’s a bit of a mystery as to why the company had it yanked.
“To ensure your best Skype experience, we've temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today,” the late night tweet from Skype’s official account reads.
There’s no indication of when the iPad app might return, although the App Store link remains active and the app still appears in the iTunes Store for us (presumably because we’ve already downloaded it). So what exactly is everyone who didn’t grab it missing out on?
Skype for iPad is pretty much a big screen version of the existing iPhone/iPod touch app (which is still available -- Skype for iPad is a separate native app). The 16.3MB download works with any iPad running iOS 4.0 or later, allowing full-screen video chat over both 3G and Wi-Fi (take that, FaceTime!) with a slick text chat pop-up which doesn’t interfere with a video chat in progress. Users can video chat with other iPad users (an iPad 2 is obviously required for video chat in that case), iPhone/iPod touch users and even Mac or PC users.
Here’s hoping Skype will return the iPad app to the App Store sooner than later; stay tuned to this App Store link if you want to grab it when it reappears.
Update: And just like that, Skype for iPad is back in the App Store, carrying the same version number 1.0.273 we installed on Monday night. Seems like the company just wanted it to actually hit on August 2 -- in any event, hit the link above to grab your copy now!
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter