June 30, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Skype for Android took forever to arrive, then took a while to extend beyond Verizon, and even longer to deliver a video calling option. The operative word being took because Skype Android video calling is now available through the official app in the Android Market.
Like other video chat options, Skype relies on a front-facing camera and is not guaranteed to work with every device. However, it does support the most requested video calling feature of every Android phone I’ve ever seen – mobile-to-desktop. Fring was able to accomplish that before it’s dust-up with Skype, but now users can call anyone on Skype, whether on a phone or laptop, and see each other’s pretty face. It can even switch to the rear camera to show a friend something.
The number of devices officially supported is predictably low. Mobile Skype-to-Skype video calling requires Android 2.3 or above and a front-facing, so only the Nexus S, HTC Desire S, and Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo and Xperia Pro are promised to be compatible. Of course, you can feel free to test on your phone and let us know if you manage to get things working. Skype promises to add more support soon.
Also added in the latest update is an easier way to call landlines/mobile phones and send SMS using Skype (for a fee). There’s no group video calling yet, but it’s good to see Skype finally deliver a way to use mobile phones since it’s the most commonly-used video chat software among consumers. I wonder if Google+ Hangouts has them nervous.