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Skype calls not allowed over iPad 3G connections



During our live iPad 3G first look this afternoon, TUAW readers were able to confirm that Skype calls still cannot be placed over the iPad 3G's cellular network connection. The Skype application will not connect those calls, telling users that, "You need WiFi to call over Skype." So what's the reason for this? "Skype calls over 3G networks are currently not allowed due to contractual restrictions."

This should not come as a surprise. Skype has yet to release an iPad version of their software, and the iPhone-specific application has not received an update since early April. Testing the software on the iPad only confirmed that the same old things continue to work the same old way, regardless of the platform they were run upon.

So why the big interest?
In January, the iPhone SDK agreement and software was updated to specifically permit VoIP, or "voice over Internet protocol" communication. Since then, users have been waiting for Skype for iPhone OS with cell network access to debut. According to a February Skype blog post, it will be "soon."

As expected, February levels of "soon" do not include late April/early May. That's mostly because new VoIP OS features will be released this summer when iPhone OS 4.0 hits the street. Unfortunately, the removal of VoIP restrictions does not seem to backtrack into the 3.x firmware.

For the time being, you can continue to make Skype calls over Wi-Fi. The iPad (and the iPad 3G) includes both a built-in microphone and built-in speakers. You can also use external head sets, either through the headphone jack (via iPhone style earbuds with built-in microphone) or through the Camera Connection Kit with a USB dongle.

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