native Skype app for the iPad has finally appeared, opening up your Apple slate for voice and video chatting with others on Macs, PCs or even TVs. It's not listed as an update to the existing iOS app, but as a separate Skype for iPad download that's only shown up in certain countries so far -- at first we couldn't find it on the US iTunes but it finally appeared after some searching. Just like Skype for iPhone, everything works over both WiFi and 3G, but one key difference is the ability to instant message during video calls. Check after the break for the full release notes and the demo video that leaked in June.
Update: So, we've just taken the app for a quick spin via a 3G to WiFi call and it's laid out very nicely -- maintaining the familiarity of its desktop client. Getting a video chat started was quick with acceptably clean audio and mostly consistent video streaming (aside from an occasional freeze-frame). Whether you're in landscape or portrait mode there's access to recent conversations, and you can even start conversations within your current chat; we'd say that the former works out better for getting around, although it does make it hard to stay in frame. Overall it feels like a souped-up version of the iPhone release, and impressions aside, the gallery down below should give you a better look at what to expect.
Update 2: Just as suddenly as it appeared, it has now been yanked from iTunes stores everywhere. A Tweet from the official account says it went live "prematurely" -- your guess is as good as ours as to when it will return.