Home Skype Unveils Video Calls for Select Android Devices

Skype Unveils Video Calls for Select Android Devices

Skype has released a new update of its Android application that will bring video calls to a select batch of devices. Skype video calls will be available on the Google Nexus S, HTC Desire S, Xperia Neo and the Xperia Pro with more devices to be added to the list eventually.

The rollout of video calling on Android for Skype is limited because of the system requirements. A phone must have a front-facing camera (of course) and be running version 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher. As more devices upgrade to Gingerbread, the more will be able to take advantage of Skype video chat. Can Skype remain relevant in the mobile ecosystem as services like Pinger, Google Plus/Talk, Facebook and others become more prevalent?

The iOS version of Skype has had video calling for some time. But it is much easier for developers to create an app for the iPhone than it is for Android. The argument is longstanding – there is one set of specifications for an iPhone, there are dozens for Android. That number is smaller than the 312 (or so) total Android devices available worldwide because not all of them have a front-facing camera, but new Android devices like the Motorola Atrix and Samsung Galaxy II are more than capable of handling the bandwidth and processor requirements of video chat.

Skype is following in the list of companies that have recently made previously unavailable apps accessible to a limited set of devices. Netflix and Hulu Plus finally came to Android in limited rollouts, with promises of more devices to be added later.

Qik Video Connect also allows for video calls over Android. Qik allows for video calls between Android and iOS devices, as well as users on computers. Qik was bought by Skype for $100 million in January.

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