01
Jul
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Skype, one of the most popular audio/video calling applications on the desktop and now property of Microsoft, has been long criticized for lacking any video support on Android and being generally unstable and prone to crashing. In an effort to rectify the situation and raise that 3.6-star Market average, the company released a major version update minutes ago from 1.0.0.983 to 2.0.0.45.

The update finally brings video calling, albeit to only a small subset of devices:

  • Google Nexus S
  • HTC Desire S
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia pro

Update 7/1/11: The Nexus S 4G and the European Nexus S were added to the list of supported devices after a small 2.0.0.47 update today.

The number of devices is very limited, and Skype's choice is nothing but strange, with popular front-facing-camera-bearing phones, such as the EVO 4G, EVO 3D, Thunderbolt, and others, completely unsupported (though the Thunderbolt got its own video-enabled leak in April). Why Xperia neo and pro are supported in their place is not clear to me - Skype, perhaps you could invest in a few more test phones people actually use? How about it?

Video calling is not the only feature present in the Skype app v2 - in fact, there are 2 other notable additions:

  • a major UI overhaul
  • SMS support

I welcome any major updates to popular apps, but seriously, guys, with over 200 different Android phone models out there, it's time to start releasing software compatible with more than just 2%.

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Grab the update in the Market by using the widget below.

LUXEMBOURG, 30th June 2011 - Skype today announced an updated version of its Skype for Android app - Skype for Android 2.0, bringing Skype Video Calling to the currently fastest growing mobile OS.

With the new version, users will be able to make and receive free 1-to-1 video calls over Skype between their Android phone and other Skype contacts on the iPhone, Mac, Windows PCs and even TVs. Skype for Android with video works over Wi-Fi or 3G data connections and can be downloaded for free from the Android Market or Skype.com/m using any phone browser.

"We are committed to bring Skype Video Calling to as many platforms as possible and are delighted to deliver on this with our new updated Skype for Android app," said Neil Stevens, Skype's vice president and general manager for product and marketing. "With approximately 30 million concurrent users logging into Skype at any given time and making up to half a million simultaneous video calls , Skype for Android with video makes it even easier for users to share moments with their contacts wherever they are."

In addition to video calls, users can also make calls to landlines and mobiles around the world, as well as send SMS's to friends and family anywhere in the world at great Skype rates. All this comes with a complete redesign of the Skype for Android user interface. There's a new main menu on the Skype app for Android where users can navigate easily through their contacts, access their Skype profile to change personal details or see the balance of their Skype Credit. Finally a new mood message box at the top of the Skype app menu makes it easier than ever for users to share how they are feeling, what they've seen, or what they're up to.

For this first phase of launch, handsets that support video calling include the HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and the Google Nexus S.

Thanks, @DwightKurtFan and @DJ_suMo_!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Mindreich

    Skype is a joke, initially useless on Windows 7, totally pointless on Android.

  • Kenneth

    WTF...its never coming to my evo :(

  • JJ

    When will it support the LG O2X?

  • Yoyo

    About. F***ing. Time. Skype, I still hate you.

  • MC

    Why not on my Xoom? Why no Skype on tablets?

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu/ Abhiroop Basu

    I cannot believe that the SGS2 was not included on the list. I buy a new phone and I don't even have video calling :(...back to using Fring!

  • Yotam

    The new UI is horrendous.
    Any way to revert to the old version?

  • kam

    Just downloaded the new update on my nexus s and it works great. It even have a sign out button in the menu. Video calls work great too. Five stars rating for me. Havent found anything to complain about.

    I tried to install it on my xoom, it works all well but no video support. Why?

    • IAmTheK

      Doesn't sign in automatically even when the option is selected. I have to enter my password each time I sign out.
      Love the sign out button in the menu tho, I less step than before.

  • Jason

    I still don't see the use in releasing a phone (DInc2) with a front facing camera without support for a program that has prove to work flawlessly over 3G.... also... Netflix.... ugh.

  • John A

    Working on my nexus S....to bad no one else I know has a compatible phone. Here's an idea. Lets make a version for all phones with front facing cameras. I mean how aren't you going to support the EVO line???

    • Zomby

      Even more insulting, why no support for the Galaxy line, wich have the same guts as the Nexus S

      • Chris

        What's more bizarre is that they left out video support for the Nexus S 4G from Sprint. Why?

  • steenz

    Christ... Thus is great news, but it needs to come to the Evo, right stat now. Cuz its getting ridiculous, having a front face camera, and I cant use it to chat with Skype. Let's go, skype. Get a move on.

  • http://www.amugofjava.me.uk Ben

    Voice calling unusable on my Wildfire S. Sound is choppy and dies after a few seconds. I mean, I know it's not a high end phone but how much resource does Skype need to run?!

  • Fleeing

    Funnily enough I could never get Skype to work on my HTC Desire, and that includes the 1.0.0.983. Every time I asked Skype they told me my phone was not yet supported. Luckily I stumbled upon an apk 1.0.0.984 and by some kind of accident it works!
    But isn't it about time someone (Google?) came up with a decent alternative and blows this horrendous skype thing into oblivion.

  • DJ suMo

    Thanks for the mention!! Let's hope these devices start pouring in, Skype!

  • Broke

    DO NOT UPDATE TO THIS SKYPE FOR ANDROID.
    IT BREAKS AUDIO (Microphone). Is now USELESS on SE X10 Xperia as the Microphone cannot work.
    STAY WITH THE PREVIOUS VERSION!!
    The earlier versions work, this version does not.

  • Bernie

    Nexus S works fine. Love it. Not the most
    powerful phone at the moment, but gets
    updates earliest on any new public droid
    software, sorry about that, hang in there,
    it's coming to you eventually.

  • microchip01

    Video calling refuses to work on Canadian (Fido) Nexus S w/2.3.4.
    Gave up, uninstalled the app and side loaded 0mie's modded version and it works great now.
    http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/07/01/skype-v2-now-working-on-more-unsupported-handsets/

  • Andy

    Skypes lack of expedience for the Android platform is disgraceful. iOS has had Skype functionality for ages now, what on earth is so difficult to bring it to Android? Not only that, but what is so difficult to bring it to ALL Android devices rather than just a select few? It beggars beyond belief as the old British saying goes. Come on Google and get Talk video chat functionality more widespread.