Skype for iPad Appears, Vanishes, Reappears

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Skype for iPad briefly surfaced on Apple’s App Store this morning, promising to unlock net-based voice and video calling for tablet aficionados, but the app mysteriously disappeared just as quickly. In its wake: a puzzling “temporarily removed” note.

A quick scan of the company website and official Twitter feed solves the mystery: removed by the hand that feeds, it seems.

(LIST: 50 Best iPhone Apps 2011)

“To ensure your best Skype experience, we’ve temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today,” wrote the company on Twitter early this morning, adding: “We know you’ve been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad and apologize for the inconvenience.”

It’s not clear at this point what prevented the version uploaded by the company from ensuring the “best Skype experience,” or when it plans to roll the app back out. [UPDATE: And just like that, it's back—users are reporting Skype's re-upped the app, and that it's now working.]

User reaction to Skype’s “here today, gone today” tablet app was palpable.

“Tried installing #skype for iPad and got error that app isn’t available. Anyone else experience that?” tweeted one user.

“[Funny], #skype yanked the iPad app for “being released prematurely”…shouldn’t that have been done with every iPhone version they made?” tweeted another.

[UPDATE: "[Sweet], #Skype for ipad has been re-released on the app store. [No] more using the mini sized iphone app!!” tweeted a third after the app was reportedly re-upped.”]

Skype for iPad boasts two-way video calling for iPad 2 over Wi-Fi or 3G, though original iPad owners can only receive video, and to do video at all, you’ll need iOS 4.0 or later.

MORE: First Impressions of Facebook’s Not-So-Secret iPad App

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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