Google Not Blocking Full-Featured Skype From Android Phones

Google <em>Not</em> Blocking Full-Featured Skype From Android Phones

Google, which will “file comments” in this week’s FCC review of Apple and AT&T’s App Store/Google Voice brouhaha, is itself blocking Skype from being used on Android phones. Whoops! Updated.

Updated, courtesy of our readers and Google’s Andy Rubin:

Here are the facts, clear and simple: While the first generation of our Android software did not support full-featured VoIP applications due to technology limitations, we have worked through those limitations in subsequent versions of Android, and developers are now able to build and upload VoIP services. As we told USA Today earlier in the week Google did not reject an application from Skype or from any other company that provides VoIP services. To suggest otherwise is false. At this point no software developer — including Skype — has implemented a complete VoIP application for Android. But we’re excited to see — and use — these applications when they’re submitted, because they often provide more choice and options for users. We also look forward to the day when consumers can access any application, including VoIP apps, from any device, on any network.”

Original article follows.

As the New York Times Bits blog correctly notes, Friday’s Google “testimony” could very well be a classic case of the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

We don’t know what Google will say, of course, but educated guesses falling in the “they’ll probably argue that Google Voice should be frolicking freely on the iPhone” camp would probably yield the best return on investment (should you be one who bets on FCC hearings).

And as Google hypothetically makes that argument, we’ll all be shaking our heads in the wings, fully aware that Android users are only able to use Skype Lite on their phones. This version of the popular VoIP service only allows for calls over traditional phone lines. While these Skype Lite calls are still free or relatively inexpensive, users are still sacrificing call minutes to make them. Boo.

Perhaps a full-featured Skype is too evil for a company that notoriously shuns the word? [USA Today via Bits Twitter]