Skype for Android released: free 3G/WiFi VoIP and IM [Update: WiFi-only in US]

Skype for Android has arrived, a free download from the Android Market promising Skype-to-Skype and SkypeOut/SkypeIn calls over both cellular and WiFi connections.  The app – which had previously been a Verizon exclusive – is now freely available, and supports both voice calls and instant messaging sessions.

There's also integration with the Android phonebook, complete with online status indicators, and the app will work over GPRS, EDGE and 3G connections.  Unfortunately not all Android smartphones are supported right now – the Samsung Galaxy S is mentioned specifically.

Update: Skype has confirmed that the service is WiFi-only in the US, and that the company is working on a fix for the Galaxy S.  It's also only for Android 2.1 devices or above.

[via Android Community]

Press Release:

Skype for Android™ Now Available

LUXEMBOURG, 5 October 2010 — Skype today announced the release of Skype for Android™, a client for mobile handsets, built for smartphones running Android OS version 2.1 or above. With this latest release, the majority of smart phone users globally will now be able to experience the benefits of Skype on the move using either a WiFi or mobile data connection (GPRS, EDGE, 3G). Skype for Android is downloadable for free from the Android Market or consumers can visit to find out more details about how to get the application.

Skype for Android enables users to:

Make free Skype-to-Skype calls over WiFi or mobile data connection (GPRS, EDGE, 3G)* to other Skype users anywhere in the world using Skype's SILK codec for CD-like audio quality.

Make low rate Skype calls to landline or mobile phones

Send and receive instant messages to one or a group of friends on Skype

Synchronize contacts between Skype and the native address book and after synchronization place Skype calls directly from the native address book.

See when Skype contacts are online and available to call or chat

Easily import names and numbers to the Skype application from the native address book

Receive calls on their Skype online number

Mark Douglas, Product Manager of Android said: "The Skype experience is ubiquitous today. More and more people are using Skype to do things together when apart. With the addition of Android, we are pleased that Skype is now available on three of the most popular mobile platforms today: Android, iOS and Symbian"