Skype brings Video Calling to Android Phones

LUXEMBOURG, 30th June 2011 – Skype today announced an updated version of its Skype for Android app – Skype for Android 2.0, bringing Skype Video Calling to the currently fastest growing mobile OS1.

With the new version, users will be able to make and receive free2 1-to-1 video calls over Skype between their Android phone and other Skype contacts on the iPhone, Mac, Windows PCs and even TVs3. Skype for Android with video works over Wi-Fi or 3G data connections and can be downloaded for free from the Android Market or Skype.com/m using any phone browser.

“We are committed to bring Skype Video Calling to as many platforms as possible and are delighted to deliver on this with our new updated Skype for Android app,” said Neil Stevens, Skype’s vice president and general manager for product and marketing. “With approximately 30 million concurrent users logging into Skype at any given time4 and making up to half a million simultaneous video calls5 , Skype for Android with video makes it even easier for users to share moments with their contacts wherever they are.”

In addition to video calls, users can also make calls to landlines and mobiles around the world, as well as send SMS’s to friends and family anywhere in the world at great Skype rates. All this comes with a complete redesign of the Skype for Android user interface. There’s a new main menu on the Skype app for Android where users can navigate easily through their contacts, access their Skype profile to change personal details or see the balance of their Skype Credit. Finally a new mood message box at the top of the Skype app menu makes it easier than ever for users to share how they are feeling, what they’ve seen, or what they’re up to.

For this first phase of launch, handsets that support video calling include the HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and the Google Nexus S.

1.Source: Gartner report “Market Share Analysis: Mobile Devices, Worldwide, 1Q11″
2. Additional data charges may apply
3. iPhone, iPod Touch (4th gen) with iOS 4 or higher, Skype for Windows version 4.2 and above, Skype for Mac OS X version 5.0 and above
4. As of March 2011
5. At peak times as of June 2011

Media Resources:
- Blog with more information on Skype for Android
- Video showing how the new Skype for Android works
- Pictures are available upon request

About Skype
Skype is a communications software whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they’re apart.

Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg. Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at www.skype.com.

KPCS: Damon Lindelof #117

Writer and Producer, his most recent credit is creating and producing LOST, but he’s also worked on the Star Trek reboot (and the upcoming sequel), Cowboys & Aliens, and so much more. We’re embarrassed at how excited we all are for this episode!

Australia for UNHCR launches world-first ‘interactive penpals’ project with Skype

  • In a global first, one Australian school will form a unique partnership with a Ugandan refugee school
  • The collaborative Here & There program will enable the school children in both countries to learn about each other’s lives, as part of their geography lessons

SYDNEY and LUXEMBOURG, 17 June 2011 – Australia for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s charity in Australia, has partnered with Skype to offer a world-first educational opportunity to an Australian school.

The Here & There program will team an Australian school with the Australian-funded school at Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda, with the children involved given the chance to work together on a creative project to learn more about each other’s lives.

Here & There is aimed at raising awareness around issues facing refugees among Australian schoolchildren, their parents and the wider population. It is purpose-designed to dovetail with the Australian geography curriculum, ensuring participating children attain maximum educational benefit while undertaking this life-changing opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with children who have very different lives.

Commenting on the partnership, Naomi Steer, National Director for Australia for UNHCR, said: “Many of the children in Nakivale have spent nearly their whole lives in refugee situations, so the opportunity to meet kids on the other side of the world is very exciting.

“Our donors have also really embraced opportunities for deeper connection with refugees. On previous visits to Nakivale, we have carried written messages of support from our Australian donors to share with the children and their families. They have been very enthusiastic about this exchange, asking for other ways they could interact. The partnership with Skype gives us the tools to make this a reality,” Ms Steer said.

“After four years of Australian support for Nakivale refugee settlement, we are delighted to be able to foster direct links between the children of Nakivale and their Australian counterparts. Our Australian donors have funded many areas of Nakivale such as shelter, water, health and education facilities, including building the first ever secondary school.

“We want to celebrate and recognise this special connection by developing closer links between Australia and the refugee settlement,” she said.

The project builds on Skype’s existing partnership with UNHCR and commitment to breaking down barriers to communication: “We are delighted to collaborate with UNHCR to promote the Here & There programme,” said Jacqueline Botterill, Skype’s CSR Manager. “As part of Skype’s dedication to connecting everyone on the planet, the use of real-time video will offer the selected Australian school and students from Nakivale refugee settlement an immediate way to interact with new cultures, languages and ideas, all without leaving the classroom.”

For more details, and information on how to apply, please refer to the background information.

About Australia for UNHCR
Australia for UNHCR was established in 2000 as part of UNHCR’s global fundraising network. Its mission is to provide life changing humanitarian support to refugees and other displaced and stateless people who come under the care and protection of the UN Refugee Agency.

About Skype
Skype is a communications software whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they’re apart.

Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg. Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at www.skype.com
You can get news and updates from Skype on its blog: http://blogs.skype.com, Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Skype or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/skype

About UNHCR and Skype
UNHCR partnered with Skype in 2010 to provide its overseas aid workers with a way to communicate with their friends and families. Skype and UNHCR are subsequently exploring the development of a communications solution that will benefit refugees more directly. Using the knowledge and experience from the deployment of Skype to UNHCR staff, the solution will aim to allow refugees to reach family and friends across borders and will also be used to facilitate protection operations, including repatriation, resettlement and family reunification. By the end of 2011, the aim is for Skype to be in at least 80 percent of UNHCR hardship locations and available to more than 3,000 staff members.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

How Australians are helping Nakivale
Nakivale, in south-west Uganda, is one of Africa’s oldest and largest refugee settlements, currently home to more than 56,000 people fleeing conflicts in nearby countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Australia for UNHCR has been supporting the Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda for more than four years, improving the health and living conditions of its long-term residents through support for water, education, maternal health, general healthcare and skills training.

How to apply for Here & There
Secondary schools across Australia have been invited to apply to participate in Here & There, explaining why they would like to share stories about their lives with the children of Nakivale. The school selected will then work with the school in Nakivale on a multimedia project designed to help students understand differences and similarities in childhood as experienced in their respective countries. This will provide a unique global education experience, with participating children interviewing one another on a supervised Skype video call in September this year.

To be eligible for the Here & There programme, the Australian school must apply online via www.herethere.org.au before close of business August 20th, 2011. Schools are encouraged to exercise creativity in their application through innovative use of multimedia, using either video or images.

Australians are encouraged to support and share their favourite submissions. The panel, comprised of education and UNHCR representation, will be selecting the school based on the following criteria:

  • Passion for the project
  • Creativity in their application
  • A belief that the project will be beneficial to the school
  • Connection to the curriculum content in a specific subject

The panel will comprise:

  • Sue Field, Vice President, Geography Teacher’s Association, NSW
  • Jane Turner, Actress, Writer and A4U Special Representive
  • Rick Towle, Regional Representative, UNHCR
  • Rick Millen, PWC *

Skype’s support for UNHCR
While supporting the Australia-funded Nakivale settlement, the Here & There program also builds on UNHCR’s existing global partnership with Skype, which has developed bespoke technology for deployment across 120 hardship locations served by UNHCR staff members around the world.

COMCAST AND SKYPE ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO BRING A NEW HD VIDEO CALLING EXPERIENCE TO THE TELEVISION

Partnership Will Enable Comcast Customers To Bring Family And Friends Together
Via Clear, Widescreen Skype Video Calls Using Their Existing HD Television and Broadband Connection

PHILADELPHIA and LUXEMBOURG – June 14, 2011 – Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Skype today announced that the companies have entered into a strategic partnership that will enable Comcast customers to communicate with family and friends through HD video calling on their television. They will soon be able to make and receive Skype video calls from their television, whether their friends and family use Skype on their home TVs, PCs, compatible smartphones or tablets.

Through this arrangement, Comcast customers will be able to experience widescreen HD video calling that is immersive and natural. With Skype, they can share in the excitement of a big game, a birthday party or holiday, a bedtime story, or a casual conversation with loved ones, and have the ability to communicate with hundreds of millions of Skype users across the globe. As real-time video communication becomes a more integral part of the way people connect, Skype and Comcast will bring a simple, affordable, high-quality video calling experience to millions of homes.

“Our unique relationship with Skype not only will change how our customers interact with their TV, but also will create new and meaningful ways to bring our customers closer to the people they care about,” said Neil Smit, President, Comcast Cable. “TV has evolved into a social experience, and Comcast and Skype will be delivering a product that personalizes the TV experience even more, and brings friends and family together through the biggest screen in their homes.”

Tony Bates, CEO, Skype, said, “We are pleased to announce this partnership with Comcast. By combining Comcast’s broad living room reach with Skype’s innovative communications platform and worldwide community of users, we can bring video calling into the heart of the home allowing people to share life’s experiences both big and small.”

Here are a few things customers will be able to do through this offering:
• Make and receive Skype video and audio calls, or send instant messages via Skype on a television while watching their favorite TV show at the same time, and accept incoming calls during a TV show with the help of Caller ID.
• Make and receive video and audio calls, or send instant messages via Skype on a compatible mobile phone or tablet.
• Import friends to their address book from their Facebook, Outlook, Gmail and smartphone contact lists, find them on Skype and see when contacts are online and available to talk.

This service will be delivered on the Comcast customer’s HDTV through an adaptor box, a high-quality video camera, and a specially designed remote control that enables customers to text on Skype as well as control their television. The other calling party does not need any special equipment beyond what is needed to use Skype.

In addition, customers will be able to access mobile features conveniently through Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile app, and continue to enjoy conversations by switching from one compatible device (e.g., smartphone, tablet or television) to another.

Customer trials for this offering will begin in the coming months, and further product details will be made available later this year.

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.

About Skype
Skype is software that enables the world’s conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Every day, people everywhere also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles. Download Skype to your computer or mobile phone at skype.com.

KPCS: Stephen Tobolowsky #114

Prolific actor, appearing in many notable television shows and films, including Groundhog Day, Californication, Memento, The Insider, and Glee!