Skype Video Calling Now Available on More Android Devices

Skype Video Calling Now Available on More Android Devices

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.

The Hills Are Greener: Freedom is Fragmentation?

The Hills Are Greener: Freedom is Fragmentation?

Jul 4, 2011

Fragmentation sometimes is an overblown issue on Android; it still is a major issue on the platform, though. More and more big name apps are launching on Android with app support lists that are miniscule at best. Netflix is still limited to a few phones. Hulu Plus supports six phones. Not to be outdone, Skype for Android supports four. Of course, Hulu Plus is still more ridiculous just because of the fact that this is a device that runs Flash, and the only thing stopping browser-based support of Hulu on Android is Hulu. This also affects the world of gaming; Order & Chaos Online’s support list is a nonsensical mish-mash of devices, as well. Any particular reason why the Samsung Captivate, a Galaxy S phone, doesn’t support the game when other carriers’ Galaxy S phones do support it? Of course, this is AT&T’s version of the phone; anything is possible.

This has led me to hypothesize that if Google+’s “Hangouts” feature ever were to come to mobile (and Google has talked about it), iOS would be more likely to get it first. While Gingerbread does have built-in video calling, video calling between multiple platforms is apparently a very tricky proposition; it might be difficult for Google to get it supported on a wide array of devices. It’s quite possible that if and when the iOS version of Google+ launches, it could be getting Hangouts much sooner, or at least on a wider array of devices, than Android gets it. Mind you, this is a Google service, so while such a possibility is unlikely, it would be tremendously ironic considering that fragmentation is still Android’s biggest problem.

iOS devices are not free from fragmentation, and some apps don’t work on some devices, sure; earlier devices are quickly being phased out by Apple, and there was legitimate fear that iOS5 would have spelled doom for the iPhone 3GS, which still gets advertized by AT&T, though it appears it is safe for at least a few more months. However, iOS does have the advantage of more unified hardware and software bases in order to make development for features like cameras far easier than they are on Android, which is partially why features like Skype video calling come quicker to iOS, and why Netflix and Hulu Plus were able to get to release on iOS much sooner. The openness of Android is at times its strength and its drawback; and at times, its drawbacks are on full display.

Tango Video Calling For Android

Tango Video Calling For Android

Oct 6, 2010

The barren desert of free video calling apps for Android just gained a drop of water called Tango. Tango is a free mobile video calling service available for both the iPhone and Android. iPhone people will ask “Why would we need this when we have FaceTime?” Well, because FaceTime only allows video calling between supported Apple devices and can only be used over WI-FI. Tango not only works over WiFi, 3G and 4G, but cross platform, as well.

Tango offers high-quality video calling for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and Android devices including Motorola Droid X, HTC EVO, HTC Incredible, and Google Nexus One. Tango can be used with a front facing camera or with just a rear camera. Being able to be used with rear facing camera phones opens the list of compatible devices to 30 models, including ones from Acer, Apple, HTC, LG, Motorola, Pantech and Samsung.

Tango is simple to set up and uses your phone number as your ID so there is no need to setup yet another profile. Tango also reads your contact list and will add anyone from your contacts who use the service to your Tango contacts or you can easily invite friends with one click e-mail or text.

Video calling provides a more personal and fun way to communicate with your friends and family.
We can’t always be around a computer so it’s nice to know you can take this technology with you thanks to services like Tango. You can read the Press Release for more info or visit the Tango website. The Tango app is available and can be downloaded from the Android Market for free.

Source: Tango, via All Things Digital