After a long wait, Skype is now available on Android mobile phones. The Skype Android app is a free download from the Android Market on your phone. It requires that your phone is running Android 2.1 or higher.
Details On the New Skype Android App
The Skype Android app works the same way as Skype does on your computer. That is, you can make voice calls to mobile phones or landlines from the Skype Android app, with these calls being paid for by your Skype Credit or covered under a Skype Subscription. You can also make free Skype-to-Skype calls. Use your existing Skype account to sign in, or create an account if you’re a new user.
To use the Skype Android app, you will need a data connection (3G or WiFi), preferably a free WiFi connection to save on data fees. Of course, using an existing unlimited 3G data plan with your phone carrier will also help you avoid any extra data fees. At this time, if you are in the United States, your only option with the Skype Android app is to call using a WiFi connection.
This app will need about 14 MB of space on your phone, and is stored in your phone’s internal memory, not on the SD card.
While the basic requirement for the Skype Android app is Android 2.1, or higher, not all Android phones are supported:
Skype has been tested on HTC and Motorola devices with Android OS 2.1 and above. It may work on other Android phones, but we can’t guarantee full functionality or compatibility.
To exit the app, go to the “My Info” tab, press the Menu button on your phone, then select “Sign out”. The Skype Android app will sign you out to the login screen, where you can press your phone’s Back button to quit the app. Another method to sign out and quit the app is to change your status to “Sign Out”.
If you want to switch out of Skype but not go offline or quit, then you can press the Home button and Skype will still run connected in the background.
Here is the summary from the Skype Android app page on the Android Market:
- Free Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G or WiFi
- Call phones abroad at great Skype rates
- Instant message one or many friends at the same time- Data plan or WiFi connection required (calling in U.S. – WiFi only)
- Some handsets (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S) are not currently supported
The Skype Android App does not offer video calling at this time.
Alternatives To The Android Skype App
If your phone is not running Android 2.1 (or higher), or if you do not like the Skype Android app’s size or features, then there are other alternatives for making voice calls from your Android mobile phone, while still benefiting from Skype’s calling rates or subscription prices. Skype To Go is one alternative that can make Skype calls using any phone, landline or mobile.