At last, the Android version of Skype’s smartphone app adds video calling to its list of chat features. That’s the good news; the bad news is that Skype video chat only works on four specific Android phones.
Skype for Android 2.0 is available now in the Android Market, and it’s free, but one-to-one video calls will only work on the following handsets: the Google Nexus S, the HTC Desire S, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo and Xperia Pro. Video chat support for more Android phones is coming “very soon,” Skype promises.
The lucky few (for now) who can enjoy video chat on Skype for Android can place free face-to-face calls over both Wi-Fi or cellular 3G connections, according to an official Skype blog post—meaning a Wi-Fi connection isn’t required for video chat.
Users will be able to see and hear Skype pals on Windows PCs, Macs, and iPhones. (The Skype for iPhone app added video calling last December, while a Skype app for iPad is due any day now.)
The updated Skype for Android app also boasts a revamped interface, complete with a new “mood message” box (good for posting quick updates for your Skype buddies) at the top of the main Skype menu.
Of course, Android smartphone users have been able to video chat for about a year now, thanks to competing apps like Qik and Fring. Incidentally, Skype—which itself was recently acquired by Microsoft—gobbled up Qik earlier this year.
here’s the thing: Video chat on Android phones just got a lot friendlier thanks to Skype for Android 2.0—although Skype needs to get on the ball and support video calling on more Android phones.