Android gets Skype, iPhone has to wait

Good news for all those Skype users who got a G1 Android phone over the holidays. Skype just rolled out a beta version of Skype Lite, a free Java-based app available via the Android Market, that brings Skype's free voice-over-IP (VOIP) calling capabilities to the new phone. And for now at least, the G1 can boast a cool app that isn't yet available for Apple's iPhone.

With Skype Lite, Android users make and receive calls via IP, cutting costs since the cost of the calls are included in their phone's flat-rate data plan. Skype cautions, however, that users need both a calling plan and a data plan to use it:

The lite version of Skype uses local air time and a mobile internet connection in order to sign in to Skype, update your contact list, update presence and send/receive calls or messages, so you must have both a calling plan and a data plan on your mobile phone to use it.

The company also recommend users get an unlimited data plan to support Skype Lite. The version works with both the mobile and desktop versions of Skype, but it doesn't yet support video calling, something Skype said will probably be available soon.

In addition to the G1, Skype says Skype Lite will also run on other Java-enabled phones from Motorola, LG, Samsung, Nokia and Sony Ericcson. Still, it's not yet ready for the iPhone. Skype said it has developed a version for iPhone, but it's still struggling with some "power consumption issues." Oh well. Chalk one up for the G1.

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