So today I found out that Skype have released an app for Android 2.1+ devices and just had to give it a whirl. I have friends in France and Thailand that I'd like to keep in touch with and Skype is a very cost effective way of doing so. Ok I could use the full application on my laptop/netbook (yep - the Linux versions run just fine) but hard to believe as it may be, I don't have them turned on all the time. Having Skype in my pocket would be fantastic, but would it work?
Well the answer is (as usual) it depends! I initially tried it on my works WiFi and the experience was not great. I called the Test number and it was like I had a bad line - the speech was broken and laggy. When I recorded my message to be played back it too came back slightly broken.
But not to worry, this was my works WiFi during my lunchbreak, god knows who was downloading what at that time. I took a wander around the town (need to get away from my desk for at least 30 mins a day) and tried the test call again. Unfortunately I can only get the EDGE network near my work and the experience was no better, so I'd have to wait until I got home to my own Wifi and where I can actually get a 3G/HSDPA signal (depending where in the house I stand).
Well the news is a little better from home :-) but not much :-(
Using my WiFi (not super fast but still 4.5 - 5 Mbps) I still experienced the choppy connection. However, on a 3G and HSDPA network the speech quality improved to a point where it would be easily usable, especially with the latter. Odd results there - I would have thought that I would be better off on my WiFi (that was the hope) but this does not appear to be the case.
There is always the possibility that my HTC Hero, which is not listed as being supported, is just not up to the job. I hear it runs fine on the Nexus One
which is not supported either. It would be a shame as I really like the Hero, although I'm not saying I'd get a new phone just to get Skype working but then not ruling it out either. I mean, looking at the other features of the app it does look really good, but it's not a lot of use if I can't make calls on it really is it ;-)
Well my Camera just caused a my phone to reboot (old news) and now I can't login to Skype at all, but it seems to fail a little be too quickly, you know - like it's not really trying. Maybe a glitch with the service (although I can login via the desktop).
[Update: 06/10/2010: This morning I seem to be able to login again, although the call quality is still the same :-( ]