Skysoft... errr, I mean Skype updated its previously measly Android device support from 5 devices to more than 20 today with the introduction of version 2.1 of its Android app. There are no new features outside of expanded device support, which was badly needed in order for the app to climb out of the sea of 1-star reviews (although stability and quality improvements would have made today's release even sweeter).
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 220.127.116.113 to 18.104.22.168.
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
So, you bought that fancy new Nexus S/DROID Charge/Galaxy S II/G2X/Flyer with a front-facing camera, and you were excited to make video calls. Then you noticed there isn't any native video chat client for Android (yet - Talk will have this integrated soon). Then you heard about fring, which is pretty cool. Then you tried to install it, only to discover it didn't work. Then you probably had a sad.
As of this morning, Skype is now officially tucked safely away in Redmond with its new Daddy: Microsoft. For a reported $8.5 billion MS has acquired the VoIP giant with plans to implement it into future products. The question on everyone's mind is, of course, what does this mean for Android? Aside from the guaranteed increase in security risks (I kid, I kid), MS claims that they "will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms," so we'll have to wait and see exactly what that really means.
Skype released an update to its Android app this morning, remedying the vulnerability which exposed tons of personal info that we revealed last week. Our own Justin Case who originally found the issue has taken a look at the updated version of the app and confirmed that the exploit he developed to demonstrate the vulnerability no longer functions.
Specifically, Skype has changed the permissions of the databases (which contain the personal information) in question.
Update #1: Skype is investigating the issue, we've been told.
Update #2: Skype's official first response can be found here.
The safety of our personal information is often a concern of mine - who has my email address, my phone number, my date of birth? How can I keep my private information safe while still enjoying the internet? These concerns have prompted me to take a deeper look at Android apps more than once, and often this can yield some frightening information.
Well, well, well, look at what we've got here - it's none other than the elusive Skype for the HTC Thunderbolt! If you remember, Skype was supposed to be pre-installed on the Thunderbolt but didn't actually make it onto the final product. We also told you that Skype Mobile for Android with video was coming to all VZW LTE devices back in January, and it looks like we're finally getting what was promised.
At Verizon's 4G event today, we got some quick demo time with LG's initial LTE offering, the Revolution. Sporting a trendy 4.3" display, the device is obviously geared towards content creation and consumption. Not only does it include a 720P-capable 5 MP camera on the back, it also makes a mark with it a 1.3 MP front facing camera for video calls.
Unfortunately, it only has a single-core processor, clocking in at 1 GHz with 512 MB RAM alongside, but that shouldn't stop it from being a fairly decent performer all around.
We are live at CES 2011 at the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE conference. This post is being updated live.
- currently serving 38 major markets, 100 million people
- will cover 2/3 of population by mid 2012
- adding 140 new markets by 2011
- by the end of the year, 175+ markets, such as Little Rock, Detroit, Memphis, etc
- 10 4G LTE devices in the first half of 2011
- LG is on stage, just announced the LG Revolution 4G LTE Android phone
- Skype is on stage now talking about how all 4G LTE smartphones will have Skype pre-installed, with video calling
- HTC presenting the 4G LTE-enabled Thunderbolt with HTC Sense, with Skype, video calling, etc.
Word around the web is that Skype is in the process of purchasing Qik for a cool $150 million. While not expected, the deal isn't exactly surprising, either: Skype is already a major player in the internet phone business, and in 2010, Qik substantially expanded its presence in mobile video calling and streaming. In fact, 2010 was huge for Qik: they expanded their customer base from 600,000 to 5 million users - roughly an eight-fold increase.