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Innovation

Skype Lite? Don't bite.

Whoopie! Skype has come to the Android! Or so I thought.
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor on

Whoopie! Skype has come to the Android! Or so I thought. But no - what appeared in the Android Market was Skype Lite, billed as a heavily cut down version of the Skype software.

Cut down, I can live with. But after loading Skype Lite (Market is every bit as swift and painless as the Apple Appstore, although we'll have to see how it goes when paid-for software turns up in Q1), it got plain weird. "Receiving calls will use your Skype Credit", it warned. Uh? Then, it insisted on me inputting my phone number before it would allow me to log on.

It turns out that Skype Lite isn't a true wireless VoIP service. Instead, it makes a local call over the phone system to connect to the Skype network, and calls your phone over a gateway when people want to call you. Thus, it costs you more to use than just getting people to call your phone directly - and eats away at your network minutes when you use it to talk to someone else.

It also turns out that Skype Lite lasted around three minutes on my G1 before being uninstalled.

Why it was designed that way and what Skype hope to achieve are both utterly mysterious - but unless you make a lot of overseas calls and don't mind paying for your Skype buddies to call you, I'd give this particular experiment in convergeance a miss.

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