A version of the Skype voice over IP platform has been launched for Google's Android mobile platform and more than 100 Java-enabled mobile phones.
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The "lite thin-client" version of Skype builds on a successful public testing of the software last year, and the incorporation of user feedback to an earlier beta version, which was only available on a limited number of mobile devices.
The updated beta now makes Skype software broadly available to millions of mobile users worldwide, including, for the first time, mobile users in the US. The lite version delivers core Skype capabilities including:
- Make Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world
- Send/receive instant messages to and from individuals or groups
- Make Skype calls at low rates to people on landline or mobile phones
- Receive calls to your online personal phone number on Skype
- See when your Skype contacts are online/available to chat
The lite version of Skype works wherever your mobile phone works, without requiring a Wi-Fi connection. The lite version of Skype uses local air time and a mobile internet connection in order to sign in to Skype, update your contact list, update presence and send/receive calls or messages.
To cut costs users should have both a calling plan and a data plan on their mobile phone to use it.
"Making the Skype experience available for download to Android-powered devices, as well as hundreds of other mobile phones from the world's leading handset manufacturers, is a major step forward for Skype," said Scott Durchslag, COO at Skype.
"Nearly half the world's population are mobile phone users today and we know that many people who already use Skype want the option to use Skype on their mobile phones. We are committed to working towards our goal of getting Skype into the pockets of the mobile masses."