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Skype for Android updating with sign-out improvement

Bug fixes also in first update following major design overhaul We couldn't blame you for being a little confused as to how you're meant to sign out of the new Skype for Android. The messaging app received a major update last week with a brand new UI, and as a side-effect, the sign-out option —...
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How to sign out of the new Skype 4.0 for Android

Skype has done fine work with its new Version 4.0 on Android, bringing about some badly needed performance improvements as well as a redesign. But in doing so, it's buried the sign-out button, as well as the settings — two things that absolutely need to be in the top level of the user interface....
Skype

Skype 4.0 for Android launches - 'rebuilt from the ground up'

Messaging platform celebrates 100 million Android installs with all-new app Skype for Android is getting a major update today, bringing the app up to version 4.0 with a major redesign. The app, which Skype says recently passed 100 million installs, has been completely redesigned to be more...

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Skype updated with 'aggressive battery savings,' disables group chat push notifications

Battery life bug tied to camera access in KitKat also fixed One of the big issues with Skype on mobile devices, battery life, is expected to be improved dramatically today with the latest update to the Android app. According to Skype, after installing version 4.7 of the app you should be able to...
Skype

Skype says improved chat experience is coming

Skype this morning in a blog post addressed what may be our biggest complaint with the service — the clunky experience that is chat on mobile. Sync is, well, bad, push notifications are intermittent — basically not good all around. But here's the deal: We know that as users have started using...
Skype

Skype updated with more tablet-only features

Picture-in-picture display and fast zooming in your contact list come in Skype 4.5 Microsoft's Skype application has undergone another big change, and version 4.5 is headed to Google Play. Like the last major update, this focuses on tablet design. Included are the bug and crash fixes and support...

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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 1.5.0.4, 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.

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Great news for those of you rocking Skype Mobile on Android -- the app has been updated, and you can now make calls over Wifi, in addition to 3G. That means faster speeds, of course, and no more being forced to use Verizon's data, which is slower, costs you money, and was a pretty specious move to begin with. The bad news is that the Skype app is still exclusive to Verizon (wasn't that supposed to change at some point?). But as long as we're ending the night on a positive note, let's hope that soon changes, too. Thanks, @JasonAGrier

Update: We hear you, we hear you. Things aren't quite as they seem. We've done a little testing, and it turns out the update description was a little ahead of itself. Details here.

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Fring received a minor update today, which should address many user reported issues, but it appears the feud with Skype is still going strong.  Some of the updates include:

  • "Significant" audio improvements
  • The echoing is fixed (fixed, fixed)
  • Supports new Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S using the front camera
  • Many more bugs fixes

Seeing support for new devices is great, and we always love to see bug fixes and better quality, but please Fring and Skype, bury the hatchet and work together, video calling is so much more viable when it can be used with a cross-platform desktop program.

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When last we saw Fring, the VOIP app was touting its popularity after an update to its iPhone client and how it had to "temporarily reduce support to Skype" because of it. Looks like there may be a bit more to this story, however, as this morning Fring took a major backhand to Skype, complaining that it's Skype that is not allowing the access.

But it gets a little weirder than that. On one had we have a pretty straightforward press release detailing Fring's side of things. And on the other is a pretty inflammatory post on Fring's blog that openly calls Skype "cowards" for "trying to muzzle the competition." (Also a line used by Fring's CEO in the press release.) That's a long way from last week, when things seemed more like a small technological bump.

We're hoping to get Skype's side of the story soon. We'll go out on a limb here and hope that this is a precursor for Skype shirking its Verizon exclusivity and finally bringing a proper app to the Android Market. But in the meantime, we're all going to have to sit back and watch this one unfold. Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

Update: The plot thickens, as Skype just got back to us and tells us that removing access was all Fring's doing. Here's the quote:

“Skype has been in discussions with Fring regarding our belief that Fring is breaching our API Terms of Use and End User Licence Agreement. Skype is disappointed that an amicable resolution was not possible but Fring’s decision to withdraw Skype functionality immediately was of its own choice. Skype encourages developers to build products that work with Skype in accordance with our various API licences. However, Skype will rigorously protect its brand and reputation and those companies that do not comply with our terms will be subject to enforcement.“

 Update 2: Here's Skype's blog post on the whole thing.

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Yeah, so by now Fring users likely have noticed that Skype access has been pulled. And, you guessed it, we have the iPhone to blame. Fring recently updated its iPhone version, which allows cross-platform chatting (see our demo with Rene from TiPB) and sure enough, the gathering horde borked it for the rest of us. Here's Fring's official response, from its forums:

This is absolutely amazing. Since the release of our latest iPhone version yesterday we have seen a huge jump in fring video calling.

So, to free up some room for more fring-to-fring video calling, we are temporarily reducing support to Skype. Be patient, we'll have some more updates soon.

These things happen, but surely just about everybody saw it coming. Anyhoo, hang tight, folks, and hopefully Fring will have things up and running soon enough. [Fring via Android Central Forums] Thanks to everybody who sent this in.

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A Skype PR rep confirmed to SkatterTech today that an Android app is coming to the Android Market, never mind that it's currently exclusive to Verizon. In an e-mail, the rep wrote:

"We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers. (i.e. similar to how we offer the iPhone app today)."

None too soon, and it might get even better, as this Skype "consumer app" (as opposed to ...?) may feature video chat -- though the rep backed off that claim, apparently. Either way, it's another reason to avoid last-minute surprise fees from other video chat apps that you thought were going to be free. [SkatterTech] Thanks, Jeremy.

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For those who are bent out of shape about not being able to get Skype on their T-Mobile or AT&T Nexus One and Backflip phones to make long distance calls, Vonage has come to save the day. Vonage works to make VoIP calls over Wifi or 3G networks. You can either pay per use, or use your monthly plab to make domestic and international calls. Vonage is a free app [Market Link] [vonage]

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At long last, you finally can officially use Skype on Android. If you have Verizon. And if you have the Motorola Droid or Devour, or the HTC Droid Eris. Otherwise, you're going to have to slum it like the rest of us.

Follow this thread in our forums to see how Skype's faring today. Oh, and it you want to buy any of those phones, there are handy links on Skype Android page. Just sayin'. [Skype]

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It's almost here! Skype Mobile for Verizon Wireless will become available on March 25th. As in this coming Thursday. As in all Verizon customers with smartphones and data plans will be able to download Skype Mobile and use it to:

  • make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to anyone else on Skype around the globe
  • send and receive unlimited instant messages with other people on Skype
  • call international phone numbers at our low rates

We've been waiting for Skype Mobile to officially launch on Verizon (and to a greater extent, Android devices) ever since we heard of it and we're excited to see how it'll work. The app will work on the Motorola Droid, Droid Eris, and Motorola Devour (and other assorted Blackberrys). Who's excited for some Skype on their Android device?

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Fring (Market link), the popular all-encompassing VOIP/chat/Skype/all-things-communications app, just updated its Android application, bringing a new look and new features.

  • High up on everybody's wish list was an honest-to-goodness dialer, and it's there now.
  • The buddy list has been updated and now shows your friends' pictures and mood line (from either Skype or Fring).
  • You can now personalize your profile with a picture, and edit your mood, e-mail address and phone number.
  • There also are a number of voice improvements, links now work and the chat screen, plus other bugfixes.

Fring is free. Update your current version now, or you can download from the Android Market. [Fring]

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Meet the new Skype, same as the old Skype. Except that this Skype is exclusive on Verizon (and is no longer welcome on Windows Mobile, apparently). But no bother. We've got the Android-powered Motorola Droid, Droid Eris and Devour on Big Red, so there will be plenty of VOIP calling to be had.

If you're new to Skype and the whole Voice over IP (Internet Protocol) thing, Verizon's worked up a handy cartoon (after the break) to explain what all this is about. What it doesn't answer: Exactly when we're going to see it. And color us paranoid, but we're still waiting to be nickled-and-dimed somehow. There must be charges at some point, right? Anyhoo, check out the video, and stay tuned for the Android app to come. [Verizon Wireless]

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There are whispers that the first device to introduce the newly formed Skype and Verizon partnership will be the Saygus Vphone. We know the Vphone, it's the device that offered video calling (which would presumably work via Skype now), but we didn't really know Saygus, so we were cautious in judging the phone's potential.

In short, it's a great idea, a video calling phone pairs with Verizon and Skype to deliver the full Skype experience on a mobile device but digging deeper, there's definitely questions abound. Why would Verizon choose to work with an unknown manufacturer like Saygus to be their first device with Skype capabilities? Earlier reports had suggested that Verizon wasn't even lending support to the Vphone.

We're sure those questions will be answered soon so in the mean time, we can dream about the perfect Verizon Skype device. The Saygus Vphone also got a bump in processor speed, jumping to 800 MHz from 628 MHz, which we hope equates in better performance. Other notable specs: 3.5 inch 800x480 screen, 5-megapixel camera, and your usual slew of connectivity options. Sadly, it still runs Android 1.6.

Let's hope that the Saygus Vphone can be the Verizon Skype phone we all want!

[via androidspin]

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Skype and Verizon Wireless are embracing one another and taking a step into the future together. Skype and Verizon Wireless just announced that they'll be partnering up to deliver a full Skype experience for Android devices (and Blackberry) on Verizon Wireless. Here's what you'll be able to do with Skype on Verizon Wireless:

  • make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype user around the globe on America’s most reliable wireless network
  • call international phone numbers at competitive Skype Out calling rates
  • send and receive instant messages to other Skype users
  • remain always connected with the ability to see friends’ online presence

The current plan is to launch in March on the Motorola Droid, Motorola Devour, & Droid Eris (among other Blackberry phones). Skype will come pre-installed on those devices, fully integrated. This is huge because it kind of, sort of enables users to use Skype in lieu of Verizon Wireless for phone calls, potentially saving users a ton of money. If Verizon just offered a data only plan for Android devices, it'd be even more amazing.

We're not sure how this Skype+Verizon Wireless deal works out for the rest of the industry because there are other Android devices on other networks. Will they receive the same application that Verizon Wireless Android devices would? Would the other carriers allow the same functionality? We'll see soon.

[skype, verizon]

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Nimbuzz, the uber-VOIP app, has been available for Android for a while. But what was sorely missing was Skype support.

That day has finally come, my friends.

In addition to Skype, it also works with Google, Yahoo and Windows Live Messenger. New options include mute and speakerphone use while on a call, as well as quicker log-in times.

Nimbuzz is available in the Android Market, at Nimbuzz.com, or you can hit the QR code you see here.

[Nimbuzz via GigaOm]

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If you haven't heard all the FCC vs Apple/AT&T/Google drama yet, you should head over to the iPhone Blog and catch yourself up with official statements, interrogative questions, and more about why Apple "hasn't approved" (read: banned) the Google Voice application for the iPhone.

Though the whole fiasco doesn't directly apply to us Android users, it is interesting to note that USA Today has accused Google of being plain hypocrites throughout this process. Citing Google's own 'banning' of popular VoIP application Skype to their Android Market, USA Today claimed that Google and Android are hardly as open and benevolent as they claim to be. If you remember, Skype for Android is actually a 'Lite' version that isn't capable of true VoIP calls, rather routing phone calls through traditional phone networks thus eating away precious (read: expensive) cell phone minutes.

Gasp. Is Google falling away from their 'Don't be Evil' motto and joining Apple as the grim reaper toward quality applications? Did they really ban a full-featured version of Skype? No. Completely False. Wrong. Not even close. According to the father of Android, Andy Rubin:

“Here are the facts, clear and simple: While the first generation of our Android software did not support full-featured VoIP applications due to technology limitations, we have worked through those limitations in subsequent versions of Android, and developers are now able to build and upload VoIP services"

So basically USA Today got it completely wrong and that it wasn't a Google decision to ban Skype from Android but rather a technical shortcoming. Also, if Skype truly wanted to develop a full featured application for Android and for some odd reason wasn't allowed in Android Market, Android users could still download the application via alternative channels. Android Market is hardly the only solution for third party applications like the iPhone App Store is. And for that, we can be thankful.

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Truphone Anywhere, an app that enables the user to make low-cost international calls and send IMs on a variety of platforms, is now available in the Android Market for Android phones, including the T-Mobile G1. According to the press release from Comunicano, Inc., Truphone Anywhere is now available for customers in the U.S. and U.K. markets and should be available in March in the Germany and Austria Android Market. According to the press release:

As well as being able to make low-cost international voice calls, Truphone customers can also easily instant-message their friends across a variety of networks including MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk and Twitter from within one Android application. Customers can also call friends anywhere in the world on Google Talk for the price of a local call, and similarly will soon will be able to instant-message and call their friends on Skype.

It's exciting as developers make more apps available for the Android platform that increase the usefulness of our 'droid phones. Truphone is already running on iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, and Nokia, so it's nice that Android can now join the club. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

[Comunicano]

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The news that came out from CES 2009 was that Skype would soon be available for Android. The only question left was how soon? The wait was not long because it's available for download right now! So if you're a big Skype user you can go ahead and download Skype Lite in the Android Market right now!

Skype Lite marks the first native VoIP Client for Java and it should be available for other handsets as well. You'll still need to pay Skype to make calls with Skype Lite but messaging your contact list is done over your data connection.

Is anyone excited to see Skype on Android? What are other VoIP Applications you use?

[Gizmodo]

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