One of the most prominent features in the Apple iPhone 4 is the ability to make handset-to-handset video calls between other iPhone 4 users through a built-in application dubbed as “FaceTime”. While this is a great feature – especially seeing as how the device has both a front and rear-facing camera – many people have been quick to point out one major flaw in the concept; FaceTime only works over WiFi. This means users that are not in range of a wireless access point cannot take advantage of FaceTime via their 3G data service. While some people have learned to live with this limitations, others have circumvented the issue altogether by using jailbroken iPhone firmware. However, amidst their recent meltdown, Skype has managed to revamp their mobile application for the iOS platform, which now allows users to conduct video calls between other Skype users – over WiFi or 3G.
While the Skype application is not as “native” as FaceTime in the sense that it’s developed by Apple, the fact of the matter is both Apple and Skype have the potential to benefit from this sofware update. You see, this introduction will likely add new users to Skype’s user-base (or refresh current users), meaning Skype will be seen as a larger and more “standard” network to conduct business on. From there, I’m sure Skype will see an influx of users on the PC and Macintosh platforms in a snowball-type effect.