Thursday, 29 September 2011

Skype adds ads, landscape, more video

New: video in landscape mode, ads

Skype 2.5 for Android is out. The update adds video calling for more phones. You're no longer stuck to videos in portrait mode, because now it does video in landscape orientation too. But before you rush out to grab the latest edition you better make a backup of your old copy. Skype is the living evidence that newer is not always better.

The ability to tilt your video comes at a price, because Skype has added advertisements. The ads show up if you're in the USA, UK, and Germany. Other countries will get them later. You won't see the ads if you have Skype credit or any other paid service active, so keeping a balance of a few pennies may be worth it, even if you only use the free features of Skype.

Old: tabs, silence, passwords

Even without the ads, you might want to keep an old version if you don't care about video calling. The last version with tabs is Since then, switching between contacts, chats, and calls requires a trip back to the main screen. The annoying startup and signoff sounds can't be switched off in the new versions, and the dial pad beeps won't go away either. It also forgets your password when you sign out. The old versions remembered it. Could the low rating on the Android Market have anything to do with the terrible user interface? With a quarter million ratings, an average of just three stars and a half for an app like Skype means something must be wrong.

If you really need video calling (it gets old real quick) use a recent version of Skype. If you're only in it for the calls and chats, use an old version. Tip: you can also chat on Skype with multi-network instant messenger imo.

Skype (Android Market)
Skype (Google)

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