Android users of Skype will likely be pleased to learn that video calling has been added to its repertoire on their mobile platform.
Video calls are possible over both 3G and Wi-Fi, although quality won't be as good when mobile one-to-one video chat is free of charge, aside from any data charges incurred when using Skype on a mobile data connection.
Video calls can be made to other Android users, in addition to Windows, Mac and iPhone Skype users (among others) without any special configuration. Handsets supporting video chat include the HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and the Google Nexus S - which covers the majority of the latest high-profile devices. Further handsets will be supported in future updates.
"We are committed to bring Skype Video Calling to as many platforms as possible and are delighted to deliver on this with our new updated Skype for Android app," said Neil Stevens, Skype's VP and GM for product and marketing. "With approximately 30 million concurrent users logging into Skype at any given time and making up to half a million simultaneous video calls, Skype for Android with video makes it even easier for users to share moments with their contacts wherever they are."
The introduction of video calling coincides with an overhaul of the entire Skype interface on Android. The hope is that all of the features of Skype - which also offers international calling and SMS, in addition to video chat - will prove easier to use than the old app.
With this Android update under its belt, it will be interesting to see what Skype's next move is. Given the company's recent purchase by Microsoft, we wouldn't be too surprised if a Windows Phone 7 application was forthcoming sometime soon.