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.