Skype has updated its iPhone and iPad apps as of Tuesday, introducing some new features. Bluetooth headsets are now supported on select devices, and video has been improved with image stabilization, but these enhancements will cost you: the apps now display ads for non-paying users.
Ads were also introduced by Skype in its most recent beta version of the Skype for Mac client. The ads in all cases are only seen by users who don’t have a Skype account with active Skype Credit, subscription calling or a Premium plan. Skype is clearly looking to monetize the activity of users from whom it isn’t directly collecting any revenue, and at least it isn’t introducing ads without adding any useful features that appeal to end users.
Skype for iPhone gains Bluetooth headset support for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4G, and Skype for iPad will now support Bluetooth headsets on the iPad 2. Skype for iPhone users will also finally be able to view incoming emoticons and send outgoing emoticons, as well. On the iPhone, video call quality will be improved via image stabilization, and there’s also a brand new interface that improves a bit over the original. That should help ease any nausea you may be experiencing from walk-and-talk video calls. There are also bug fixes in both versions, like one that probably plugs the recently discovered hole that allowed access to your Address Book contacts for potential theft.
So Skype is offering a spoonful of sugar to help the advertising medicine go down, but are users interested in this prescription? Let us know if you think the improvements make the ads worth stomaching, or if you’ll be sticking with an older version on your device.