Right on schedule, Skype showed up in the Android Market today — for Verizon wireless customers. If you have an Android phone on the T-Mobile or AT&T networks you’re still out of luck. But Motorola Droid, Devour, and HTD Droid Eris users on Verizon’s network can now download Skype for Android. A mobile Skype client is also available to Verizon customers with several BlackBerry phones including the Storm2 and the latest Curve and Tour editions.
The Skype mobile clients will allow users to make free Skype to Skype voice calls and send an unlimited number of instant messages with other Skype users. Neither of these activities will cost you a penny. You can also use Skype to make low cost international phone calls. Skype’s rates are much cheaper than Verizon’s for international calls.
The one thing you won’t be able to do is use Skype to make domestic calls without going over your voice plan’s alloted minutes. Skype to Skype and international calls are routed over Verizon’s network, and as Engadget discovered, the Skype Android app won’t even launch if you’re using a WiFi connection. It’s 3G only.
Another interesting observation from Engadget? There’s no way to purchase Skype credit from the mobile app. So if you do want to use Skype to make cheap international phone calls, you’d best stock up on some Skype credit using the company’s desktop client first.
If you don’t feel like browsing the Android Market, or if you happen to be on a supported BlackBerry device, you can hit up the Skype Mobile page to grab a download link. And no. This won’t work for non-Verizon customers.
Oh, and incidentally while the official Skype client doesn’t work over WiFi, Fring and Nimbuzz do… and they both support making calls over the Skype network.
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