Voice over IP (VOIP) service provider Skype announced the latest version of its service for Google Android devices, Skype 2.6 for Android, which allows users to send photos and videos to contacts from Skype on an Android device. The service is free and works over WiFi or 3G on a mobile data plan.
As well as offering photo, video and file sending, Skype improved battery life and video quality with Skype 2.6 for Android on devices using Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset, which include the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Xoom and Acer Iconia Tablet.
“We are also working hard to extend the list of whitelisted devices for video support. These handsets have been tested by Skype’s Engineering Team to ensure the best possible video experience. Latest additions include the HTC Amaze 4G and Motorola Droid Razr,” wrote Skype Senior Product Manager Dan Chastney on the company’s blog. “In general, almost anyone with an Android device running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or above can try out Skype video calling for free. We’ll let you know if you can turn on video calling when you first start up Skype on a non whitelisted handset.”
On the Android Market Website, Google noted that due to Android restrictions, devices running Android 2.2 will only be able to use the rear-facing camera, though devices with Android 2.3 or higher will be able to use both front- and rear-facing cameras.
Skype continues to put an emphasis on video calling capabilities via Web interfaces and mobile devices as more capable handsets, such as the Apple iPhone 4S, hit the market. Having been integrated into Microsoft, Skype is now moving ahead with new Facebook integration and some new features for its Mac and Windows versions.
The latest versions of Skype for Mac and Windows now boast the ability to conduct Facebook-to-Facebook calls from within Skype. Starting such a call involves connecting the user’s Skype and Facebook accounts, then selecting a Facebook friend with whom to chat. Skype is also smoothing the video-rendering capabilities of Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac, and has added to Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows a group screen-sharing capability for any Windows users with a Premium subscription.
Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion earlier this year, turning the VOIP provider into a business division headed by Skype CEO Tony Bates. Microsoft executives have repeatedly announced their intention to tightly integrate Skype’s assets with Microsoft products, ranging from Xbox Kinect to Windows Phone, although support for “non-Microsoft client platforms” such as the Mac will apparently continue for the duration.