Skype new Android app has added video calling support for 17 new smartphone and tablet devices
Skype has added video calling capabilities to 17 more Android devices with its updated Skype for Android software.
The VoIP provider, which is being acquired for Microsoft for $8.5 billion (£5.2bn) launched Skype for Android 2.0 in June, supporting only the Google Nexus S, HTC Desire 5, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo and the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro smartphones.
The new Skype for Android app lets users make video calls to, and receive calls from, Skype users who are using landlines, Android phones, Apple’s iPhone, Windows and Mac computers, as well as some web-connected TVs.
Skype for Android users may also send SMS messages to friends and family. The app works over Wi-Fi and 3G mobile broadband connections.
Skype for Android 2.1 has performance enhancements and bug removals, but more importantly the company has added support for these handsets and tablets: Acer A5; HTC Desire (2.2); HTC Desire HD; HTC Evo 3D; HTC Evo 4G; HTC Flyer (tablet); HTC Incredible S; HTC Sensation; HTC Thunderbolt – Verizon (2.2) (US only); LG Revolution – Verizon (2.2) (US only); Samsung Droid Charge – Verizon (2.2) (US only); Samsung Galaxy S; Samsung Galaxy S II; Samsung Galaxy Tab (tablet); Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro; Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY; and Sony Ericsson Xperia ray.
Mark Douglas, Skype’s project manager for Android and Symbian applications, said owners of Android phone and tablets running Android 2.2 (Froyo) whose devices aren’t part of Skype’s current lineup of 21 gadgets should still be able to enable video calling in your Skype settings.
These devices users must go to “Skype settings” after launching the app and select “enable video calling.”
Douglas offered one caveat in his blog post:
“Unfortunately, if you cannot see the video calling settings, it means your Android phone does not meet the minimum requirements needed to make Skype video calls,” Douglas wrote. “Please be aware that video call quality may not be as good as on a certified Android device and only the back camera of the device will work if your device is running on Android 2.2 (Froyo).”
Skype for Android provides an alternative to Qik, a popular video chat application on many Android phones. Google does not yet provider a video calling solution for mobile phones.
Download the Skype for Android app from the Android Market here.