Skype offers free Wi-Fi in airports, but not for Android

By on December 20, 2011, 4:30 PM

In a display of Skype's holiday spirit, the company will be gifting travelers with one hour of free Wi-Fi access at over 50 major airports across the United States. The offer will begin on Dec 21 and last until Dec 27.

In order to take advantage of this offer, travelers must have a device capable of utilizing Skype Wi-Fi, a protocol found in newer versions of Skype that is being used to authenticate against hotspots around the country, not just at airports. To make sure you can enjoy free Wi-Fi this holiday season, simply install the latest version of Skype on your Windows, Mac OS or iPhone OS device.

Did you notice that Android was missing from that list? While this is a great offer for most devices, it looks as though Android users will be left out in the cold. Although Skype exists for Android, the app currently found in the Android Market is said to not support Skype Wi-Fi. That means a plethora of phones are tablets will not be able to nab free Wi-Fi at airports this year. The Skype Blog goes out of its way to explicitly name Windows, Mac OS and iOS devices without mentioning Android anywhere. Combine this with the fact a new version of the Android Skype app was released about a week ago and it quickly sounds like Android support will not be added any time soon.

Now owned by Microsoft, Skype has some deep pockets to reach into. This campaign sounds like a very effective way to get people installing the software on their portable devices although millions of Android users will be left disappointed.

Google rolled out a similar but more exhaustive campaign last year, offering free wireless Internet at participating airlines and on planes (where applicable). The offer lasted for about six weeks and hit about the same number of locations.




User Comments: 10

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KG363 KG363 said:

Sounds like a lot of things were excluded, not just android. The headline made it sound like android was targeted.

treeski treeski said:

@KG363: They are leaving out more devices by requiring Skype to be installed. As far as I can tell, Android, Linux and Symbian are the only devices capable of running Skype that are being left out.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

I only have so many words to work with in the title, people. :-)

In terms of market share, it is pretty much Windows, iOS, Android and Mac OS. Anything else is an unfortunate bystander and touches only a very very tiny portion of our readership.

Guest said:

Where is the DOJ, the FCC, the SEC this is obviously a monopolistic lack of competition, aggressive intervention by Microsoft to ban Android users from the freedom of the net.

Guest said:

hey rick, just for fun, what do you use?

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

All the airports that i have been to already have free Wi-Fi.

caravel said:

Android is a google OS, based on the Linux kernel. Skype is owned by mickeyshaft...

I just can't think why this has happened.......

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Google has free phone numbers to use their Talk and Voice with Video service. So use that on the Android that support those features. That's free for another year. Skype Video Chat is free for now. Mostly everyone is a beta tester until they iron the bugs out they'll start charging to use this service.

supportme said:

Rick said:

I only have so many words to work with in the title, people. :-)

In terms of market share, it is pretty much Windows, iOS, Android and Mac OS. Anything else is an unfortunate bystander and touches only a very very tiny portion of our readership.

You have made it sound like Android has been targeted by Microsoft in the article too...

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

You have made it sound like Android has been targeted by Microsoft in the article too...

You can draw that conclusion if you want.

I mentioned that Microsoft owned Skype and the context was entirely about advertising/publicity. In the same paragraph, I mentioned that Android users would be left out. The implication was SUPPOSED to be bad advertising/publicity, not that Android is being victimized by Microsoft. We all tend to read things in a manner consistent with our own bias though, so I can understand why you might think that.

I won't say my writing is completely unbiased (totally not true and I am no journalist), but I do make some effort to keep my writing neutral. I fail sometimes, but I do not believe this is not one of those times.

hey rick, just for fun, what do you use?

Windows 7 for my primary and work computers, Ubuntu 11.4 server for odds and ends on a small PC (backups, media/file server, voice/services/game hosting, client data recovery and some other things..), I don't own a tablet and my mobile is an iPhone 4S. I also have a PC laptop running both Mac OS 10.5 (shhhh... don't tell anyone) and XP for computer repair purposes... not to mention quite a few other things laying around. I definitely need to hit eBay. :-)

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