Skype's the limit

This could be big news. Skype, purveyors of internet-based telephone calls and video calls, have apps available for all major mobile phone platforms which let you make calls over their systems over Wi-Fi or (in some cases) mobile data rather than racking up your phone bill. Sweet! But the real raison d'etre of Skype, video calling, has thus far been unavailable to mobile users. Boo!

Well, prepare to wee yourself with excitement, possibly, for it looks like that's all about to change. Skype have been teasing some big 'video-related annoucements' at next month's CES conference. But what could they be? Could they relate to Skype bringing video calling to mobile platforms?

Well, here's a clue: Skype accidentally updated the help pages of their website with a guide to making video calls on an iPhone. The page rapidly disappeared again, but Engadget saw it and proceeded to tell the world. Hurrah for high-speed internet-era journalism!

It's hard to guess what Skype will have done to get video calling on the iPhone working. One option would be for them to simply use Apple's iPhone-approved video-calling protocol, FaceTime. But that would be pretty limiting, given that FaceTime works only over Wi-Fi right now, and not mobile data. So hopefully they'll have found a way to plug the iPhone directly into their video calling network - and let you make calls over any kind of data connection. (Of course, you'll still have to pay your data bill.)

We'll be sure to tell you all the details - as well as whether any other phone systems, like BlackBerry or Android, made the cut - as soon as CES begins and the news starts to trickle out.

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