Skype has been a mainstay on many an Android device since it was released on the Market last year, and today’s update brings it more in line with the VOIP service’s desktop client. Those who aren’t regular Skype users might not know this, but in addition to video and audio calls, the service also includes a full-featured instant message function, complete with file transfer. Today the Android version gets the feature, though it’s focused on photos and videos at the moment.

Other improvements include better video support for newer Android phones, including the HTC Amaze 4G, the DROID RAZR. Tegra 2 phones and tablets should see significant power and stability improvements as well. The standard Skype rates and restrictions apply: calls to other Skype members are free, while calls to regular phone numbers cost a small per-minute fee. Skype works on WiFi or 3G, but naturally you’ll be responsible for data charges if you use the latter.

Skype has had an increasing number of competitors in the last few years, especially on Android, where most mid-range and high-end phones now include front-facing cameras for video conferencing, to say nothing of the iPhone. But the company is staying on top of things with consistent releases and admirable support. You can download version 2.6 in the Android Market now. Are you still using Skype, or have you switched to a competitor like Fring or Qik? Let us know in the comments.

[via SlashGear]