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Communication is a natural process for humans, and we communicate messages verbally and nonverbally to the outside world on a daily basis. Without communication, our lives would be very different because communication is vital to developing and maintaining everything around us, other than basic biological needs (McNamara, 2010).
The advancement of technology has enormous impact on the world and specifically how humans communicate. Communication technology in particular has drastically changed the way society operates. With new advances in communication being developed constantly, people are becoming more and more reliant on the benefits they provide (" Importance of communication technology", 2012).
One of the vital tools in communication in the world today is through the internet. And according to statistics as of June 2012, almost 2.5 billion people are using the internet either for communication, scholarly or entertainment purposes (Internet World Stat, 2012). Of the 2.5 billion people worldwide who utilize the internet, 405 million of them have Skype accounts which functions primarily for communication. Skype is anÂ IP telephonyÂ service provider that offers free calling between subscribers and low-cost calling to people who don't use the service.
In addition to standard telephone calls, Skype enables file transfers,Â texting, video chat and videoconferencing. The service is available for desktop computers, notebook and tablet computers and other mobile devices, including mobile phones. A number of companies, including Skype, produce dedicated Skype phones. A function called SkypeOut enables calls to regular telephones; these calls are charged to a prepaid account or to a flat-fee annual subscription (Rouse, 2009). And as of August of last year Skype has announced the release of its Skype for iPad app giving users the ability to make and/or receive free Skype-to-Skype video calls from their iPad over WiFi or 3G. Skype's first iPad-optimized application boasts a number of key features designed specifically for the iPad which takes advantage of the device's large screen for video calls that deliver up to VGA quality video. In addition, Skype for iPad allows the users to connect via video call on the iPad with even more Skype contacts, because it offers quick and easy video calls across multiple platforms and devices. Skype for iPad also takes advantage of the iPad's larger screen with an updated Contacts view, which displays Skype contacts as large avatars in a grid layout. Users can also more easily find and resume recent conversations and calls through an updated history window. And the company that developed the application is continuously improving the services offered by Skype. And recently skype has updated a frequently requested feature which enables the user to share a photo. The new Photo Share feature will let the userÂ send photos shot on iPadÂ or iPhone directly to friends or family members via Skype. There's no limit on the size of theÂ file sent, so photos can be sentÂ without reaching email size limits or paying expensive MMS charges. In addition, the company has made some improvements to the performance of the application as it allows the user to keep Skype running on mobile devices at all times ("Skype launches iPad-optimised app", 2011).
Another important feature of Skype app on iPad is that it enables the user to enjoy talking to friends and family without constantly worrying whether the battery will be sufficient enough. This is because iPad was designed to have a battery that lasts for a maximum of 10 hours. Rechargeable lithium-based technology currently provides the best performance for Apple iPad. Lithium-ion polymer batteries have a high power density that gives a long battery life in a light package. The battery can be charged whenever convenient, without requiring a full charge or discharge cycle. And in terms of storage capacity iPad was released with three capacity options for storage: 16, 32, or 64Â GB of internalÂ flash memory. All data is stored on the internal flash memory, with no option to expand storage. And since iPad is equipped with options for choosing storage capacities, installing and using the Skype application will not consume much of its memory. The latest version of skype app has a size of 19.0 MB.
There are a few downside of the Skype application on iPad. The few things worth mentioning was that the sensitivity of the mic on the iPad. As what Grant Hatchimonji, a staff from Tablet Review, has experienced when testing the application on his iPad. He said that mic sensitivity and sound quality with headphones on was so high that he could frequently hear background noises and, while it never really interfered with his calls, he could see it maybe being a more serious issue if either he was trying to make a call from a crowded public place. The audio is also clear over the iPad speakers, though tinny sounding. It's also not especially loud at max volume, which is fine for one-to-one personal calls, but it won't fill a room with clear voice audio. The other issue is that the microphone on the iPad is located on the side of the device (when you're holding it in landscape mode for your calls), which poses the potential issue of either accidentally covering or rubbing against the mic with your hand. It's possible to still hold the iPad comfortably by the sides, you just need to make a concerted effort to not cover the mic since it's located right in the middle of the edge, between the headphone jack and the power button (2011).
Other than the mentioned minor quirks on the iPad, overall, using Skype application on iPad enables the user to enjoy the best of what both can offer. Not only it allows accessibility in communication but also it best suit people who are always on the go. And because the trend of people nowadays is always moving, people who are hyperactive especially the young professionals, are constantly looking for devices and gadgets that will be their asset to use either for working or for recreation.