Skype Mobile for AndroidSkype Mobile for Android

We had a bad feeling that when the Skype Mobile app for Android was updated late last night and seemingly allowed calls over Wifi, things were a little too good to be true. And sure enough, they were. At left here is the original description for Version, which tells of "Simultaneous Wifi & 3G." That would have been a big deal because the app so far had only worked over Verizon 3G, forcing you to use its data connection, which of course you're paying for. And that, of course, is ridiculous, though you can see Verizon's intent -- it keeps you from buying an unactivated phone and using it as a Wifi VOIP phone when instead you could be burning through your monthly data allotment.

But lo and behold, we have a couple of unactivated Verizon phones here, and sure enough, they freak out when you try to use the updated Skype client. And just a few hours after the initial update, the app description has changed to read "Wifi runs while app is on 3G." So it's just as we feared -- your Wifi connection remains, but you can't actually use it. Shenanigans, indeed.

Update: Skype has published details on the update. In addition to being able to maintain a Wifi connection, you get incoming caller ID, copy-paste in IMs, emoticons, country names and flags when calling internationally, and the ability to set your location as your mood message.


Reader comments

Skype Mobile update does not allow use of Wifi after all [updated]


Bet someone feels stupid about the Leo and Gina tweet ;-)

Nobody tried testing this feature before crying WiFi? Slacking in your pimping *tisk tisk*.

Ok, so they have a partnership with Verizon. I can understand that, it's business.
What I can't understand is why they won't release the app to the rest of the world, that has nothing to do with VZW. I mean they already have a free-for-all Symbian app. And Symbian is way more widespread here in Europe than Android & iOS put together. So why not give it to the Android community aswell?

The word exclusivity comes to mind. Verizon and Skyple must have struck a deal that allowed Verizon some period of exclusivity with the app. That would only cover the US, which may be the largest Android market (worldwide) at this point. Otherwise, I don't know, nor understand, why Skype wouldn't release the app in other markets around the world.

Actually, Skype works well over WiFi on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. Skype been there for quite a while. Vonage too.

Verizon can, a la Apple, decide that Skype is "unsafe" and not welcome on any of their phones. I'm sure they hold that over Skype.

This is android, not IOS.

Verizon knows that a wifi version of Skype would be hacked onto theirs phones in two minutes. The only way to prevent this is to make sure a wifi skype never gets built.

Long live Fringe.

I don't think it's shenanigans at all. If anything, it's clarification. Clearly a lot of people misinterpreted the initial language, which only stated simultaneous WiFi and 3G. I couldn't care less, really, that I can only use the app with 3G. I do care, a lot, that I can now keep my WiFi turned on when I run the app. It was really a nuisance to turn it off.

This is the one update I have been wating for!!! YES!!!! Now I can keep Skype logged in at all times, wether or not my WiFi radio is turned on. So excited!

What about Google Voice?
It makes and receive free calls to any US or Canadian phone number, and it works even when my Android phone is connected only by WiFi.

"when instead you could be burning through your monthly data allotment"

Anyone here with android on VZ who does not have an unlimited data plan? Anyone?

The point of that statement was that with requiring 3G in order to sue Skype you wouldn't need VZW at all, let alone their unlimited data plan...

I really wish a viable alternative to Skype would come a long. Or Google would just add voice to Google Talk on Android.

If Skype wants to stay Verizon only fine, it sucks but it's up to them. However I'd love to see someone come along and take over VOIP on Android on all other carriers.

All they would need to do is add the voice/video chat capability, and now the new call feature, that Google Talk has within Gmail on the desktop and Skype would be Android Obsolete... It would be an amazing app!!

They need to change the name to Verizon-Skype

I'll spend my money elsewhere until it runs on other Android phones..

Nimbuzz works for cheap calls over 3g/Wifi via Nimbuzz or SIP

I just installed and ran it on my Eris - I tried to log in with my account, it gives me a message that I must turn off WiFi or exit.

Massive, massive fail. It's bad enough that they will not allow WiFi as a network; it's bad enough that it's Verizon exclusive; but when they say it now lets you keep your WiFi network on and then it still will not let you, that's pretty bad.

(I had a feeling this would happen, by the way; the Eris shuts off the 3G radio when you have WiFi active.)

Skype is on the way to loose the pioneer adventage soon in the USA market. With options like Fringe or Google Voice, every month that passes by, skype looses some customers, and when they are gone they are gone for good, as long the new provider don't screw up. The problem with verizon is not that it uses the Verizon data network, that is mandatory unlimited for android phones. The problem is that it eats up your minutes!!!
I had to decide to get a new phone and new plan with verizon, or switch companies. Skype was one of the points I weighted in the decision. The difference in plan prices with TMO or using skype, wasn't a hard one. Fringe works almost as good, I have Google voice as an alternative also. I got a free Vibrant against paying 200 in a contract for VZ alternatives, and I save a few bucks monthly. Soo, bye bye Verizon and bye bye skype.....

Maybe Cisco will fix skype?

Networking gear maker Cisco Systems (CSCO - Analyst Report) has offered $5 billion for the Internet telephony company Skype, TechCrunch, a leading Silicon Valley blog, reported recently. The deal, if successful, would derail a planned initial public offering from Skype and redraw the battle lines in the lucrative market of video communications. Skype is reportedly looking for a valuation of $5 billion.

Or they may just want it to start making money with it:

In June, Cisco had announced that it was working an Android-based tablet computer device Cius aimed at the videoconferencing market. Skype’s expertise in video conferencing will help Cisco augment its IP telephony services that it provides to enterprises.

They just snapped up infineon, and maybe when they embed the baseband radios AND skype support into the Atom processor they will finally come up with something that can give the ARM a run for its money, and send the carriers into dump pipe status.

This application. Had 3g stuck on my notification bar for hours even though i was using wifi had to kill the app and reboot tp get rid of it. Don't plan on using it not a viable option right now

What everyone is missing here is the Verizon Skype app doesn't use any data for phone calls, they go over the regular voice service.

It does use data for Skype to Skype calls and for international calls, and for Skype chat. It uses Verizon minutes for Skype to domestic telephone numbers only.

I regret to tell you that is not so. It does uses your minutes everytime even in skype to skype calls. The only thing is if you make a skype to skype call and the person is outside USA you do not incur in long distance charges, but EVERYTIME it uses the phone (and the overpriced Verizon minutes unless you call on nights or weekends).

Calls to landlines in the US use your minutes, International and Skype-to-Skype do not. I think when you call out in one of these cases it still connects to Verizon via voice network and then from Verizon out to whoever you are calling.

Data is for IM and stuff, but calls are not VoIP.

Please check your usage. Everytime you use skype to make a call whether is Skype to Skype or Skype as your SIP, it DOES use your minutes, as well as when you RECEIVE a skype to skype call!!!!!!

More to the point is that Skype on Verizon doesn't even seem to use 3G data, it uses actual call Minutes, (whether charged or not).

This says they have pretty much no real software running in the phone, and they just worked a deal with Verizon to use Cellular calling rather than skypes usual DATA calling.

As such its totally different than the iPhone version which will work on WIFI even with no sim or on an iPod Touch.

It would appear the skype application for Adroid is a total FAKE. It just makes a phone call.
Am I reading that right?

Is there a way to make and receive wifi calls with Andriod and Verizon? I would like to do this at work where the cell signal is bad but I have a good wifi link inside the office.

Hey I just turned off wireless and used the Skype application to call my iPhone from my iPad - cool I didn't even know it could do that...

Yeah, I faced similar issues while using Skype android app. But you know what, Google search gave me a very good alternative; RHUB`s web conferencing servers. It provides free audio conferencing. You may try the same.