August 28, 2014

Android Gets Skype App Before Apple Does

Here’s one we didn’t see coming.  Starting today, G1 and other Android users will be able to download Skype Lite from the Android Market.  The official app allows for voice calling to other mobile handsets or desktops running Skype. We would have bet money on the iPhone seeing this first.  Oh well!

While it doesn’t quite support video calling, this software is also available for over 100 other Java-based phones from 5 top handset makers.  Call it pure coincidence, but 4 out 5 of these companies (LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Nokia) are members of the Open Handset Alliance. Maybe down the road their Android handsets will come preloaded with the software.  That probably depends on what the carriers want to see loaded though and we can’t imagine them being too willing to offer customers an alternative to their expensive minutes.  Especially when it comes to international calling.

The basic features of the Lite version of Skype are:

  • Make Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world
  • Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups
  • Make Skype calls at low rates to people on landline or mobile phones
  • Receive calls to your online personal phone number on Skype
  • See when your Skype contacts are online/available to chat

Also making news today for Skype is the announcement of a Skype designed for Intel’s Atom-based mobile internet devices (MID’s).  Intel is one of the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance in case you’re new to this Android thing.  This version of Skype will support video calling as well as instant messaging.

You know what, maybe these aren’t all chance happenings… Skype is owned by eBay, also an OHA member from day one.  Maybe there’s some Hall of Justice where these super powers get together to discuss secret stuff and work on projects together.