Skype has released an new app that’s available as a free download from the Android Market. It supports all phones running Android 2.1 and up. While Skype had already offered an app for Verizon Wireless customers in the US, it wasn’t widely available until this morning.

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The Skype Mobile app does almost everything you would expect. You can make Skype to Skype calls for free. That means if your contacts are using Skype on an iPhone, a desktop computer, or any other supported device you can call them for free from your Android handset. You can also use Skype as an instant message client for text chats with your contacts.

You can also make SkypeOut calls to regular phone numbers at Skype’s relatively low rates. This really comes in handy if you’re making international calls, since Skype’s international rates tend to be very competitive.

Now for the catch: If you’re in the US you can only make calls over WiFi. That’s not just the SkypeOut calls. That’s all calls. When I switched from WiFi to 3G, I couldn’t even make a call to the Skype Test Call contact on my Nexus One. In other parts of the globe, the app should work over WiFi, 3G, and other mobile broadband technologies.

The Skype App is also not available for download at all in China or Japan.

The Skype mobile app for Android is sort of hefty, weighing in at over 13MB once installed on my Android phone. That means it takes up a little more space than the Adobe Flash Player plugin. If you have a phone with plenty of storage space this shouldn’t be a big deal, but if you have a lot of apps already installed, you may have to decide whether you’ll use Skype enough to justify the 13MB of space it consumes.

You can check out a demo video and more screenshots after the break.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

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