Skype launched version 2.0 of its mobile app for Android this week, adding support for 2-way video chat. The only catch? The feature only works on 4 supported phones. If you don’t have one of those devices you can still make voice calls to other Skype users or to telephone numbers using the app, but you’re missing out on one of Skype’s biggest features.
Fortunately, it took all of about a day and a half for someone to crack open the app and figure out how to make it work on additional devices.
Not all phones are supported. I was able to install the hacked version of Skype 2.0 on my Google Nexus One and on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. While the Galaxy Tab has a front-facing camera, the app crashes every time I try to login. I’m guessing the app simply wasn’t designed for tablets running Android 3.1. The Google Nexus One gets a little further… even showing an option to place a video call. But when I click the button the screen turns sideways and then… nothing happens. I’m guessing the app doesn’t know what do on phones that don’t have front-facing cameras.
Anyway, there are definitely reports of the hacked version of Skype working on some additional handsets. If you want to give it a try, just make sure your phone is configured to let you install apps from unkown sources (you can probably find a check box in the Applications menu in your phone’s settings) and then download and run the .apk installer from the VillainROM forum.