A long eight months after Skype appeared on Verizon Wireless' Android smartphones, following one of the VoIP provider's most strategic carrier deals, its application has been released on all Android handsets running release 2.1 and above.
Skype for Android is a full client for Android 2.1 or 2.2, running telephony over Wi-Fi and, outside the US, 3G.
It is a free download from Android Market, allowing users to make free Skype-to-Skype calls around the world plus low cost calls to landlines and mobiles, and instant messaging. Native Android contacts will be synced with Skype contacts so that either address book can be used. And customers can receive calls to their Skype number.
The lack of 3G support in the US remains a mystery. Verizon's implementation of Skype forces calls to pass over its voice, rather than its 3G EV-DO, network and the carrier's pact with Skype gained it a hefty market lead in this popular tool among Android users.
Some may still miss out though - as well as releases below 2.1, Skype noted that tests have revealed performance problems on certain devices, notably the Samsung Galaxy S, though a fix is being prepared.
Other exceptions - the Android app is not available in China or Japan.
Skype's official statement also points out: “It's free to use Skype in a Wi-Fi zone. If you use Skype with a mobile data connection, operator charges may apply, so we recommend an unlimited data plan. A fair use policy applies to unlimited subscriptions.”
This article originally appeared in Rethink Wireless
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