A little bit late to the party, Skype has finally added video calling support to its Android app. The company released version 2.0 of Skype to the Android Market this morning, featuring a brand new interface and SMS messaging support as well.
Now for the bad news. Skype’s video calling feature will only work on the following phones:
- Google Nexus S
- HTC’s Desire S
- Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo
- Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
To be able to use video calling, you’ll need an Android device with “Android Version 2.3 and above with a front-facing camera.” If your phone doesn’t meet these requirements, hang in there. Skype plans to add support for more phones in the near future.
It wasn’t long ago that Skype was the de facto video chatting application. Their desktop application was pretty good most the time, and their cheap calling plans didn’t hurt either. Today, Skype seems to be having a hard time bringing that success to other platforms. One of those platforms is the web, where many companies are already building high-quality, multi-person video calling web apps. But Skype doesn’t even have a web app yet.
The other platform where Skype has missed the boat is mobile. We’re glad Skype is finally bringing video calling to Android, but the Android Market is already packed with video calling apps. Sometimes these are even better than Skype’s offering. Tango, for example, doesn’t require you to have Gingerbread or even a front-facing camera. Or fring, which lets you video chat with up to three people. In the two most important battlefields of the future, Skype is not even ready to fight yet.
But I could be wrong. How many of you still use Skype on your desktop PCs and phones on a regular basis? Prove me wrong in the comments.
LUXEMBOURG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skype today announced an updated version of its Skype for Android app – Skype for Android 2.0, bringing Skype Video Calling to the currently fastest growing mobile OS1.
“We are committed to bring Skype Video Calling to as many platforms as possible and are delighted to deliver on this with our new updated Skype for Android app”
With the new version, users will be able to make and receive free2 1-to-1 video calls over Skype between their Android phone and other Skype contacts on the iPhone, Mac, Windows PCs and even TVs3. Skype for Android with video works over Wi-Fi or 3G data connections and can be downloaded for free from the Android Market or Skype.com/m using any phone browser.
“We are committed to bring Skype Video Calling to as many platforms as possible and are delighted to deliver on this with our new updated Skype for Android app,” said Neil Stevens, Skype’s vice president and general manager for product and marketing. “With approximately 30 million concurrent users logging into Skype at any given time4 and making up to half a million simultaneous video calls5, Skype for Android with video makes it even easier for users to share moments with their contacts wherever they are.”
In addition to video calls, users can also make calls to landlines and mobiles around the world, as well as send SMS’s to friends and family anywhere in the world at great Skype rates. All this comes with a complete redesign of the Skype for Android user interface. There’s a new main menu on the Skype app for Android where users can navigate easily through their contacts, access their Skype profile to change personal details or see the balance of their Skype Credit. Finally a new mood message box at the top of the Skype app menu makes it easier than ever for users to share how they are feeling, what they’ve seen, or what they’re up to.
For this first phase of launch, handsets that support video calling include the HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and the Google Nexus S.