A few months ago, we brought news that Skype would be coming to the HTC EVO 4G. Now the company has released the telephony service to a wide range of Android phones. For those unfamiliar, Skype was exclusively available on Verizon Droid devices, but now anyone running Android 2.1 or higher on any network can download the app.
While Skype services for desktop computers offer free Internet-based PC-to-PC calls and discounted PC-to-Phone rates, options for mobile Skype users has been fairly restricted. Fortunately, the new Skype for Android app enables free Skype-to-Skype calling anywhere there is a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Unfortunately to call non-Skype users, U.S. customers can only do so over Wi-Fi.
The app could have a huge impact on the mobile phone industry as carriers could be edged out by affordable Skype calling plans. With Skype’s subscription plans, users can make unlimited phone calls to anyone, for as little as $3 per month. In addition, the company has some pretty good deals on international calls.
Skype says that it’s tested the Android app on HTC and Motorola phones but acknowledge that there are some problems with Samsung Galaxy S devices. The app can sync your Skype contact data with your phone’s address book, allowing you to make SkypeOut calls easily.
My biggest problem is the lack of 3G support, which seems to be only in the US. It is a bit strange since iPhone users on AT&T are able to call using 3G. Hopefully this feature will be implemented soon since it could have quite a big impact as more and more people are beginning to migrate to Android phones. To download the app for free, go to skype.com/m on your phone or visit the Android Marketplace.
Update: We were finally able to test it and were unable to make either Skype-to-Skype or SkypeOut calls over 3G.