Skype messaging and calling is finally available for owners of Android phones running version 2.1 or higher of the operating platform — 18 months after its launch on the iPhone.
The Skype app for Android brings a mature feature set, not only can users make Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G or Wi-Fi, but customers can also use Skype credit to make Skype-out calls to landlines and mobiles, offering cheap long distance rates compared with standard telco charges.
The app also automatically combines your Skype contact with contacts in your phone's address book. After syncing your contacts you can then select to make a call or message using Skype directly from the address book.
The launch is not without caveats and hiccups. While the app should work on phones running Android 2.1 or 2.2, lots of users on the Android Market have said that they are having trouble working on specific devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S.
We should also point out to any US users that the Skype app is restricted to Wi-Fi connectivity only in America — unless you're a Verizon customer, in which case you can only make 3G calls. Thankfully, things are much simpler down under.