Skype video calling comes to Android

It may be a little late to the video calling party, but as the 800-lb gorilla, Skype can be. The VoIP behemoth has just introduced video calling in its latest version of the Skype client for Android phones – although as is so often the case with Andoid apps that use peripheral hardware, device support is still a bit spotty.

Currently video calls are only supported on Video calling supported on the following handsets: Samsung Google Nexus S, HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro. Skype is promising to add more soon.

Also new is better support for VoIP calls to landline or mobile phones if you have Skype Credit, and better SMS support. This applies to all Android handsets.

Skype has also done a major redesign of the Skype for Android user interface. There’s a new main menu on the Skype app for Android where users can navigate through their contacts, access their Skype profile to change personal details or see the balance of their Skype Credit. Not immune to the pull of Facbook-it is, Skype is making the “mood message” more central, with a box at the top of the app menu makes it easier for users to share their status or pithy comment about the nature of existence.

It will take a while for call and video quality (and reliability!) to be even acceptably smooth and lifelike, but the video calling that science fiction movies have been promising we’d have for generations has arrived.

Roger Hislop


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