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Skype App Arrives on Android

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Skype has today announced the immediate availability of Skype for Android phones. The app requires version 2.1 of the OS however, which means owners of older devices than have not been updated by their manufacturer miss out.

Unlike the initial launch of Skype on the iPhone, the Android version will work over 3G, EDGE and even GPRS connection as well as Wi-Fi – at least in Europe. In the US, it is Wi-Fi only. It would seem that US carriers are fussier than their European counterparts.

As ever, Skype-to-Skype calls are free, or you can call direct to landlines or mobile phones. You can also send instant chat messages. After you synchronised your contacts between Skype and Android’s native address book, you’ll be able to launch a Skype call directly from the address book app.

As far as mobile platforms, Skype is already available on iOS, Symbian and on the Nokia N900, which runs Maemo 5, so the addition of a native app for Android fills in a rather glaring hole, and extends the appeal of Android even further – as long as you have Android 2.1.

Window Phone 7, due to launch next week, will be noted for the absence of Skype, all the more galling considering the older versions of Windows Mobile were trailblazers for the mobile version.

In related news Skype has named Tony Bates, formerly a big-wig at Cisco, as its new chief executive. Bates replaces Joshua Silverman who was CEO since early 2008. The move comes ahead of a $1billion expected flotation of Skype, and bringing Skype to Android sure to further bolster its IPO when it happens.

rav

October 5, 2010, 4:46 pm

Finally.

CodeMonkey

October 5, 2010, 4:55 pm

Fantastic..





But 13MB and no Apps2SD - major fail!

Simon

October 5, 2010, 4:57 pm

Nice app. Shame there doesn't seem to be a way to close it without signing out, meaning you have to put your password in every time you want to open it.

Marc Davison

October 5, 2010, 7:25 pm

You can press the home key to exit and leave running/logged in.





Is certainly a bit on the large size had to remove a few apps on my desire to get it installed :(

Robert

October 5, 2010, 10:46 pm

Installed straight to SD on my Nexus running Cyanogen 6, sound quality over wifi seems very good :o)

Runadumb

October 5, 2010, 11:54 pm

Was going to install it then read these comments. Apps to SD is working out will for google isn't it eh? Pfffft!





I swear my next phone will need to have a few gig before I even consider it...whatever it is.

raytr

October 6, 2010, 2:14 pm

Shame you can't login though. HTC Desire (and many others according to Google and Android Market comments).

MrGodfrey

October 6, 2010, 4:26 pm

But will you be able to use it? Take Orange as an example: Their terms and conditions for data bundles prohibit VOIP. They also prohibit non-Orange based streaming services, instant messaging - pretty much EVERYTHING except for e-mail and basic browsing - and state that you will be in trouble if they catch you. Of course, whether they enforce these restrictions is another matter, but it's worth bearing in mind especially if you're stuck on an 18 or 24-month contract. Might be worth checking your provider's T&Cs too. I'm considering switching to 3, since I know they don't have a problem with Skype.





Incidentally, the article mentions that Skype is already available for Symbian... is that only for Nokia devices? I was under the impression that for many Symbian handsets you'd need to use Fring instead?

Jay4d0

October 6, 2010, 6:37 pm

@MrGodfrey: also if you buy an android phone on 3 it comes with 3 mobiles own skype client so doesnt actually use your 3G data as it is 100% free. but you can use your 3G data for skype if it doesnt come with 3's app (iphone). It's nice to actually buy 1GB of data and actually be able to USE it for whatever you want until it is used up, as 1GB of data is 1GB of data, there is no difference between a web page and an IM or voip.





and yes I have had skype on symbian for ages, it works very well (I dont really use it because I am on 3 so use 3 mobiles skype client for 100% free skype) so I only use the official skype app when I am only on wifi and it is very good.





ps fring removed all skype funcionality a few months ago :(

CodeMonkey

October 6, 2010, 6:50 pm

@Runadumb It's not Google's fault that app developers are not implementing Apps2SD.





CoPilot Live and Skype are my 2 biggest apps right now that don't support it. That's 28MB of space right there. I dumped Flash to make room for Skype in the hope that Apps2SD will be implemented in CoPilot / Skype soon..

MrGodfrey

October 6, 2010, 8:49 pm

Jay: Thanks for the info. I do now remember having a Skype client on the N95, however there is no compatible app for my current Samsung which runs S60 v5. I installed Fring but had never got around to using it for Skype - looks like I won't now. My plan now is to buy an unlocked Android phone and get a 30-day rolling contract with 3 (I don't want either a long contract or phone company-specific bloatware) - wonder if I can still get those free Skype calls (crosses fingers).

Runadumb

October 7, 2010, 1:41 am

@MrGodfrey and that is why you tell orange to shove it and move to 3 like I did 2 months ago after 9 years on orange. I am on the rolling monthly £15 deal which is 300mins, UL texts and 2GB of data.


I'm also finding the speed of the data night and day compared to orange. I don't know if I could install the (Android) Skype app and use it for free though. Never asked.

MrGodfrey

October 8, 2010, 9:00 pm

Runadumb: Excellent advice, which I will be following the second my contract ends :)

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