Skype Releases iPhone & iPad 3G Version

VoIP Giant Skype has quietly rolled out a new version, v2.0, of its client for the iPhone OS platform (that's iPhone and iPad) which brings calls over 3G networks to the popular OS.

This means that you will be able to make calls by using your 3G connection rather than Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G will become paid for from early September.

For the first time ever, Skype will be charging a small monthly fee for the client, something that could prompt other VoIP companies to do the same. Interested customers may also need to check out with their mobile phone operators to see whether they will not breach T&Cs.

The new Skype v2.0 - which is already available for download on the App store - brings near CD quality audio on Skype-to-Skype calls. It uses the new wideband audio (SILK codec) found on the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch.

Users will also benefit from the enhanced call quality indicator, improved start-up time and faster access to the dialpad from the iPhone/iPad home screen. Although the new version has yet to support the iPad fully, you will be able to make calls via 3G on the iPad, possibly using its bluetooth functionality.

3 UK is currently the only network in the UK that allows Skype on their phone and its competitors have not announced anything yet. That said, O2's Jajah is currently being trialled via the newly introduced International Friends and Families bolt-on.

ITProPortal has also launched a contest inviting prospective and current iPad owners to get up to £500 worth of iPad accessories (including iPad Apps and Apple iTunes Credit) simply by submitting the list of accessories they'd like to have. Simples!!