Last night we started to question whether or not Skype Mobile with Video was ever coming to the HTC Thunderbolt, but according to a representative from Skype, it looks like it will still be here, we just have no idea when. They are clearly experiencing issues with the video chatting version of it, something we noted back in February as being one of the reasons for the TBolt’s delay…
Verizon Wireless and Skype are committed to providing a great mobile video calling experience for customers, and we are currently working on ensuring that when launched, Skype mobile with video on Verizon 4G LTE phones will deliver the best possible video calling experience. We don’t have a specific date for availability to share at this time.
At this point, are we sure Skype even matters? Thousands of you have already picked up Thunderbolts, all while knowing that Skype would not be included. There are plenty of alternatives on the market that will satisfy your video chatting needs, right?
It seems like only a few weeks ago that we were enjoying Verizon’s CES press event which featured its lineup of 4G LTE devices, all with front-facing cameras to take advantage of the newly announced Skype mobile with video. Oh how times have changed.
Questions surrounding this new video chatting app all started after our friends at Big Red informed us that Skype would not be ready at launch for the Thunderbolt in February. Within days of that report though, a new 2/28 date surfaced, giving hope to those wishing to video chat with friends on their new 4.3″ tigerblooded beast. And then 10 days later, Best Buy sent out memos to employees with really bad news. The exact words were, “The Skype feature will not be available on the HTC Thunderbolt.” Uh oh. It didn’t say, “not available – but will be.” It just said, “not be available.”
And almost immediately after that news hit our inbox, the changing of HTC’s and Verizon’s sites started happening. The 4G LTE page for Big Red which used to feature its own Skype tab, was now missing for some reason. (more…)
Word started floating around last night that Skype with video might not be ready for launch with the HTC Thunderbolt after all, even though we had a confirmed date of 2/28 from Verizon. This shot from Best Buy definitely tells a different story and one that has more than a few of us concerned. By no means should we take this as meaning that it will never see Skype though, but should instead just assume it’ll come later in a software update.
Remember, we sat at CES and saw Skype’s CEO on stage demoing Skype with video on a Thunderbolt first out of all of the devices. It’s also still plastered all over the VZW 4G page and in HTC’s new commercial, so again, don’t think that the device isn’t going to see it some time soon. We know that the device release date was pushed way up and was initially supposed to launch around St. Patty’s day which leads us to believe that the technology just isn’t ready yet.
We’ll update this post as we have additional details…
I know I said February 27th last night, but the date for Skype Mobile with Video to go live for the HTC Thunderbolt is actually the 28th. We first reported back in January, that the video chatting service would not be live on the TBolt at launch, but would instead come as an update later on through the Android Market. That news hasn’t changed, we just now know exactly when it’ll be available.
We’ve also received a comparison chart of the different versions of Skype from our friends at Verizon that highlights some of the new features we can expect once our new 4G LTE devices launch. The first thing that stuck out to me was the fact that Skype Mobile with Video will be baked into your phone’s address book, giving you quick access to video calls with your friends. It will also allow you to make video calls to other 4G LTE devices, PCs, and to Skype-capable TVs. And of course, you can make calls over 4G, 3G, 1X and WiFi which as we all know, is something a certain other phone can’t do.
Is Skype still to blame for the delay of the TBolt? After seeing this firm date, I would say, “No.”
Now if only Verizon would stop teasing us on Twitter and bring us this goodness.
Chart after the break. (more…)
HTC released an ad today talking about all of the innovations we see through their line of smartphones and the one that we can’t seem to get away from, the Thunderbolt, has a starring role. When the phone appears at the 23 second mark, video chatting through Skype Mobile is the highlight and one of the major selling features that Verizon couldn’t stop talking about when announcing it at CES. It definitely looks amazing, but is it also the reason for an apparent delay? (more…)
The good news is that the HTC Thunderbolt will be one of the first devices on Verizon’s new 4G LTE network to utilize Skype’s new video chatting feature and also act as a mobile hotspot for up to 8-devices. The bad news is that it won’t have either at launch according to information we just received from Verizon. As you can see in the shots above, the hotspot feature will be unavailable initially which means we have no idea when it’ll be ready. Skype’s video chatting on the other hand will look like it’s pre-installed on the device with a placeholder icon, but users will have to wait to be notified before they can actually access it via download from the market.
We’re not sure if both apps that control these features aren’t ready, or if we should pull out the i*hone theory that we’ve been working on for a couple of days now. Any chance you’d buy an argument that certain features would be held back as to not compete with Apple’s phone that is scheduled to come out just 2 weeks before the Thunderbolt? We’re not usually one for conspiracy garbage, but the shot above also mentions again that the TBolt does simultaneous data and voice over 3G, but that reps should not be using it as a selling point. Maybe it’s just all one big coincidence.
We should make it clear that if you are due for an upgrade that none of this news should be holding you back from purchasing one. The Thunderbolt is going to be one of the best devices on Verizon for a long time and these features will all be there within no time, we’ll just assume they had a couple of setbacks.
Android developer Xeudoxus, one of the visionaries behind Dark Edge, has taken the Skype Mobile Android application and ever-so-slightly tweaked it to now allow you to make calls over 3G. To Verizon customers this isn’t that big of a deal as the VZW Skype already allows this, but to users who downloaded the newly released U.S. version for other phones and carriers, just know that you will no longer be locked into wi-fi-only calls.
*You DO NOT need to be rooted.
Install as you would any other application. Download, tap “Install” and run it.
Full support thread can be found at Xeudoxus’ dedicated page. Donate to him here.
Skype announced today that it has opened up its Android app to all phones running 2.1 or higher. While Verizon customers with a Droid have been using the service for months, the rest of the world can now take advantage of free Skype-to-Skype action, text messages, low rate landline/mobile calls, etc…
- 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
Full press release at Skype’s website. Grab it from the market now.