Skype launches on Android, Java-capable mobile phones

For the first time in the United States, mobile phone users can now download a "lite" version of Skype that can be used for making calls to other Skype members and to landline and mobile phones at a low rate. Unlike Truphone, Skype lite doesn't require Wi-Fi and instead utilizes the phone's data plan.

Skype has been beta testing a version of its software for a limited number of mobile phones since last year. The new beta release works with the Android based T-Mobile G1, along with 100 other handsets that run Java applications.

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By running Skype on a mobile phone, users could save a great deal of money when calling internationally, and potentially save on expensive roaming fees by using data plans, which can be cheaper than calling. In Russia, for example, 40MB of data costs just $6 USD.

Skype lite is currently available in: the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Brazil (Rio and Sao Paolo), Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Australia and New Zealand. More information and download instructions can be found on Skype's website.

Also announced Thursday was Beta 1 of Skype for Intel-based Mobile Internet Devices that run the Atom processor. Skype says it worked with Intel to create a new touchscreen mobile experience for the software, which runs atop the Moblin Linux operating system.

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