Today Skype announced the release of Skype for Android 2.5 with support for 14 additional phones, taking the total of supported phones to 41. Notably, Skype for Android is now supporting five Motorola phones, the popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and LG Optimus models, including the LG Optimus Black that has a Skype edition for TELUS customers. A complete list of supported phones can be found on the Android Market (click on the “more” button).
Update Dec. 16, 2011: Skype released Skype for Android 2.6 which provides hotfixes for several issues reported by users.
Other notable features include:
- Enhanced video on several models: including switching between landscape and portrait mode and zooming in through a simple double tap on the screen; video calling enabled by default on more devices
- Improved support for Bluetooth headsets
- Revised user interface for message history
- Support for joining a (multi-party?) call
- Support for editing and deleting messages
- Advertising for non-paying subscribers, continuing a program previously announced for Skype for Mac 5.4, and Skype for iPhone/iPad 3.5.
In the direction towards a more common user interface across all Skype clients Skype’s Garage Blog elaborates on the “Revised user interface for message history”:
The main notable changes to the message history views are that we are now grouping the instant messages, calls, etc. all together. Skype 2.5 for Android works now exactly the same as your Skype on Windows or Mac already.
The Skype Garage Blog post also provides more details on the new features as well as a list of known issues. The one issue not mentioned is whether Skype is taking any initiative to improve the impact on battery life.
One caveat: for several of the models make sure you have the latest version of Android (2.2 or 2.3, as appropriate).
This release continues the recent stream of Skype upgrades where we are seeing enhanced video calling support and a move towards more consistency in the user interface across platforms, such as support for editing and removing messages. But one cannot overlook the move towards more revenue generation through either advertising or encouraging purchase of Skype credit or a Skype calling plan subscription. Certainly the latter is helping to build value for the post-Microsoft acquisition days.