Skype made its VOIP calling capabilities available to HTC and Motorola smartphones running Google's Android operating system version 2.1 and above.
Skype Oct. 5 made its voice over IP calling capabilities
to HTC and Motorola smartphones running Google's Android platform version 2.1 and later.
Users with Skype accounts who own such handsets as the
Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Incredible and HTC Evo 4G can now make free Skype-to-Skype
calls and instant messages from their phones to users' computers or phones.
Skype users will also enjoy making low-cost international
calls. To call phones using Skype abroad, users must dial the number in Skype
and pay with Skype Credit, or make unlimited calls with a subscription.
Skype offered some caveats. Skype doesn't guarantee the
app will work outside of HTC and Motorola devices with Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 and later.
For example, the phone won't work particularly well with
Samsung Galaxy S devices from Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon Wireless.
The company said it is working to address the issues.
Those who use Skype with a mobile data connection may
incur operator charges, so the company recommends users subscribe to an
unlimited plan if they are going to use the app.
Also, Skype users can only make calls over WiFi in the
United States. Finally, Skype is not available in the Android Market in China or Japan.
Skype Mobile Product Manager Mark Douglas explains how the
app works in this YouTube video
, but it's also pretty simple to explain.
First, a user downloads the free Skype app from the
Android Market, or from skype.com/m on their phone.
Any of the 560 million
registered Skype users who use Skype from their desktop computer and own an Android
device will see their full contact list when you sign in to Skype on your
Users will then tap on a contact in Skype from their
Android phone and tap call. Users looking for their friends on Skype can type
"add contact" and the app will search the users' contacts in Skype's
directory. Instant messaging works similarly, by tapping contacts, and by
typing in messages on the phone's keyboard.
Skype isn't the only VOIP provider looking to serve
Android users. Fring Oct. 4 unveiled its offering
to let Android phone owners call out to any phone in the world starting at 1
cent per minute. That's a break from Skype's Skype-to-Skype model.
Skype has had a busy week since news broke that it was working
on a deep integration with Facebook to enable Skype users to call or
instant message their Facebook contacts.
Skype 5.0 is expected to hit beta this month, which
should bring some additional new perks to the mix.