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Skype version 3.0 arrives on Android devices: Microsoft login, refreshed tablet UI (hands-on)

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Arriving just after its debut on Windows Phone 8, Skype's updated its Android app, with a focus on improving the tablet experience. Surely thanks to improved Google tablet sales, Skype references that it's optimized the new UI for the Galaxy Tab 2, the Nexus 7 and ASUS' Transformer Prime, among a few others. Menus and navigation are both repurposed to make use of the extra space, and while the navigation home screen still exists on the phone version (which hasn't changed, design-wise), you'll be staring at your contact list most of the time when using it on a tablet. In fact a persistent tab on the left side of the screen will take you to recent calls and the base contact list, while settings, search and the phone dialer all reside in the top right corner.

Video calls are generally better with bigger slabs, offering more screen real estate to beam your friends, family and co-workers to. However, tablets aren't well known for their camera skills, and our camera output was obviously far sharper on the Note II than on the Nexus 7. Supplanting Messenger as Microsoft's chat app of choice, you'll also be able to login with (and combine) your Microsoft account and this was relatively painless on both the phone and tablet. Skype has also updated the app with its latest SILK audio codecs, attuned specifically for human speech and -- more importantly -- varying internet speeds. After some initial 'robot voice' while connecting, we soon had no issues with several international video calls through WiFi. Hardware demands for Skype's latest encompass the minimum of Android 2.1 OS and an 800MHz processor or faster and if you pass those requirements, the source below is ready to offer you the download.

Gallery: Skype 3.0 for Android hands-on | 27 Photos

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