The concept of video calling – as we used to know it back in ‘the day’ – was around for a very long time before it became not just practical, but also pleasurable to use. From primarily being the stuff of boardroom videoconferencing boredom, webcams made the practice of muttering at someone’s mug a more private affair, and cameras in mobile phones upped the eyeballing ante right to the point someone rebranded it ‘FaceTime’ as though they’d invented the idea and the video call became commonplace.
However, regardless of fruity re-terming tomfoolery, when it comes to claiming the video call crown there is only one true contender, something reinforced by the recent record of eclipsing over 100 million downloads from Google Play: Skype. And now there’s even more to connect with.
Updated yesterday, Skype 3.0 offers all the features of before but now focuses hard on Android tablets, offering a larger-display centric design, enhanced audio via the inclusion of its formerly PC-only SILK audio codec, and the ability to sign in with a Microsoft account and chat with Messenger contacts, even after the Messenger IM service is retired at the start of next year.
Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls are, of course, still free over 3G or Wi-Fi, but now with audio quality “designed to capture the richness of human speech” the experience is better than ever and finally thankfully free from the Dalek-like conversational disintegration often encountered with the older incarnation.
Obviously 100 million can’t be wrong anyway, so whilst the Skype update simply serves to make the best even better, you can call camera chat anything you like but the clearest, most convenient way to make that call is with Skype 3.0 for Android.