Aug 4, 2011
Skype has been slowly bringing video calling to Android devices. The device support has recently been expanded to officially support a variety of new devices, including some popular Android models, and even the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The full list is available on Skype’s blog. Some of these devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S, do not have front-facing cameras on some of their models; if these devices are on Froyo (Android 2.2) or higher then they can use their rear-facing cameras for video calling, at least.
What’s most interesting about this update for most users is that Skype has activated video calling for potentially all Android devices, not just ones that are officially supported. All devices on Froyo or higher can check in the settings of the app to see if the ability to enable video calls is available; if so, then video calling may work on the device. In order to use the front-facing camera on these unofficially-supported devices, the device needs Gingerbread (Android 2.3) in order for Skype to have access to the front-facing camera, otherwise only rear camera access will be available. Video calling between two people works well, even when calling users on various other platforms that support Skype video calling, meaning that this will work to call iOS Skype users. Finally, the bridges that have divided us for so long will be repaired!
Not all devices with front-facing cameras will be able to make video calls from the new Skype for Android update. Tablets may or may not work at this point, as video calling was not available on the Motorola Xoom running Android 3.2 after the latest update was installed. Skype should be adding more devices to the supported device list, and hopefully better tablet support is on its way. Skype for Android with expanded video calling is now available for free from the Android Market.