Skype announced on Thursday the forthcoming release of Skype Lite for Google Android and other Java-enabled phones. Skype Lite marks the communication company's first native VoIP client for Java.
Skype is submitting the app to Google's Android Market on Thursday morning, though it could take Google a few days to offer it for download.
In addition, Skype Lite will also be available on Thursday to about 100 models of Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, LG, and Samsung phones. The app has been available in beta form for a growing number of handsets on Skype.com, and isn't expected to change in this initial release.
Skype Lite is truly that: a back-to-basics build that allows the customary cut-rate international calling to Skype contacts, and also calling credits to non-Skype buddies using the SkypeOut service. You'll be able to IM other Skype friends in addition, an activity best done with a data plan. Users anticipating the fuller features of the newly updated Skype for Windows Mobile beta won't find them in this debut version.
Skype Lite will process calls to the United Kingdom, Poland, Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo), Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Australia, and New Zealand, and will also work for calls made in the U.S.
Skype Lite takes the communications company a step deeper into the mobile world with service for the top five phone brands, but it faces fierce competition from Fring, a relative VoIP youngster that already brings more advanced features than Skype Lite to Symbian devices in the Nokia and Sony Ericsson families, including file transferring and instant messaging with contacts on multiple chat networks.