I was up fairly late last night watching an old episode of Law and Order SVU when one of those Apple spoof commercials from T-Mobile came on. In it, the too-cool-for-himself guy with the excessively yellow-orange hair, the Apple guy, was talking to his family via Facetime when he walked out of his Wi-Fi bubble. As you'd expect, he garbles and gadooks into what is assumed is a "lost connection" image while the half pretty, half odd looking Anne Hathaway knockoff explains that the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G can do video chats from anywhere with its mythical 4G network speed.
Skype then (covertly) launched their 3.0 update which allows for video chats over 3G. I was saying "a-ha!" when Mariska Hargitay was busting some young punk for kidnapping a girl after a party. I'm pretty sure she died, Ice T will sort out the mess I'm sure.
So yes, the iPhone now has the almighty capability of making video chats over its regular network, but the feature sucks up a whopping 3.4 MB/sec. It allows you to talk to your other Skype wielding buddies on any sort of device, and even works in portrait and landscape. Best of all, it runs fairly smooth even if both users are stuck on a 3G network, although nothing, not even Santa Clause, can make 3G work smoothly in certain areas.
With a feature as amazing as this, it comes as a shock that Skype didn't publicize the launch more. The 3.0 launch could've been a big deal, like Super Bowl ad big, had they put some thought into marketing the update. Instead, the update released in the middle of the night, to no fanfare, while I was sitting up in bed watching Law and Order. Silly Skype. Maybe they were too upset about China's ruling to make the service illegal in their closed off country to remember about this massive update.
Happy video chatting! Be sure to watch that data usage though, the gigabytes will fly by if you don't watch out.
Note: The youtube video below is about as strange as it gets. Something tells me that Skype wants their service to be the next Chatroulette... if you get my drift.
[Data usage source: 9to5 Mac]