Skype has landed for BlackBerry 10, but would-be VoIP users will need a Q10 initially, until BlackBerry updates its initial Z10 smartphone. The new app, confirmed as incoming only earlier this week, offers voice and video calling, instant messaging, and text messaging, just like Skype on other mobile platforms; however, it requires BlackBerry 10.1, loaded from the off on the newer Q10, but still pending for the Z10.
That puts the potential audience for Skype on BlackBerry 10 relatively low, at least for the moment, though plans to update Z10 devices to OS 10.1 are already afoot. Skype says that BlackBerry expects that to happen “in the near future” at which point the app will install.
Though described as a “preview”, Skype for BlackBerry 10 does show some significant integration into the core platform. Based on a port of the Android version, rather than built natively for BB10 from the ground up, it has a new UI – suited to the Q10’s squared-off touchscreen – and automatically funnels Skype contacts into the smartphone’s phonebook.
There’s also Skype notification support in the BlackBerry Hub, which means incoming chat requests, file transfers, and contact invite requests – among other things – will pop up in the unified inbox BlackBerry refined for its latest platform. The app can be used for sharing photos, videos, and other files, as well as for making SkypeOut calls to phones not using Skype.
Skype for BlackBerry 10 is already in the BlackBerry World store, where it’s a free download.