Feeds

Android goes Skype, iPhone to follow soon

Only not really

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Skype has announced an Android version of its mobile VoIP service, and hinted that an iPhone client is in the works too - but anyone expecting proper mobile VoIP on Android will be disappointed with Skype Lite.

Officially still in beta, the Skype Lite service works in the same way as Skype's UK offering with network operator 3. A voice channel is used to make a local call which is then converted to VoIP back at the office, with one essential difference: Skype Lite users pay for that local call.

Remarkably Skype has managed to spin this into a feature: "Call on Skype wherever you are - no WiFi or 3G required", as though the ability to make phone calls over the phone network were something new. There are, of course, savings to be had for long distance and international calls, especially if those called are logged on to Skype.

Currently Skype Lite is available for a range of Java handsets ,and given that Android runs something akin to a Java Virtual Machine for all applications the port is unsurprising. An iPhone port will be more technically challenging as well as difficult to get into the Apple Application Store: partner operators are unlikely to be happy about a Skype Lite client turning their international calls into local ones, and if it can be stopped simply by asking Apple, with no public explanation needed, then they're likely to do just that.

Truphone managed to get their VoIP client onto the store, but only by removing the ability to work over 3G connections. The Skype Lite Java client connects over GPRS or similar to keep an updated list of Skype contacts, as well as allowing messaging to those contacts.

Skype isn't going to make a lot of money out of this - it's enabling users to make more SkypeOut calls, but the real aim is keeping punters logged in for longer. That way, the hope is, they'll be more likely to adopt Skype as a central part of their life - there's also the happy matter of a load of cheap publicity for porting a Java application onto a Java-based platform (Android). ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.