At long last, Skype is available for Android. Skype Mobile was initially introduced on the Verizon network and has remained exclusive to Verizon for some time. Now, you can download the free app from the Android market to make Skype-to-Skype calls for free and send/receive free Instant Messages. IM’s work on a one-to-one basis or with a group.
There are some serious caveats with this application, though. It takes a page from FaceTime’s book, only allowing calls over Wi-Fi for users in the United States. If you live in China or Japan, don’t bother looking for the app in the Marketplace because it’s not available.
While the app is available for a wide range of Android phones, it has only been tested on HTC and Motorola phones running Android 2.1 or higher. They note that it may work on other devices, but may have limited functionality and compatibility. You can download the app for yourself at skype.com/m to try it out.
If you are outside of the US, you can use Skype via a mobile data connection, but operator charges may apply. Skype recommends an unlimited data plan. If you are abroad, it’s still recommended that you make calls via Wi-Fi “for best value.”
This comes just after Skype announced a new CEO, Cisco SVP Tony Bates. Skype is on track to pass 1-billion next year and, in August, filed to go public. Fring has also recently made moves on the Android platform which seem to be aimed directly at Skype:
- $.01 cent/minute calls
- To/From any carrier
- No connection fees
- No VAT/taxes
- Any data connection (WiFi, 3G, 4G)
While Skype seems to be the standard for VOiP calling on the desktop, I’m not so sure they have secured their place in the mobile market. Their dealings with Verizon have restricted their growth in the US and the current app still has some major limitations. With Skype heading towards an IPO, it will be interesting to see if Fring is able to steal some of their thunder.Category: News | Tags: android, fring, Skype, VoIP, WiFi