Skype video icon

Video calling on Skype has been hit or miss over the years, but with some back-end changes in Skype for Windows 4.2, the company readies its VoIP client for high definition.

Without providing much detail, Skype noted in a blog post that when high-def Webcams pop onto the market, Skype's update "includes almost everything you'll need" to place HD video calls.

Longtime Skype fans will also be pleased to see the return of two features that have been absent since a significant update to Skype 4.0 just over a year ago. These are Skype Access, a pay-per-minute Wi-Fi hot-spot connector, and call transferring that kicks active calls to another Skype number, mobile phone, or land line. Although we saw Skype reincorporate call transfers and Skype Access in last December's beta release, Thursday's update to version 4.2 makes it official.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.