Fring, a tool for social communication through mobile phones, has (finally) landed on the Android platform, enabling users who own one of the many phones that run Google’s free open source system to download and install the application onto their devices for free.
With fring, users can make free VoIP calls over Skype, MSN, Google Talk and via hundreds of SIP providers. The app also supports live chatting through ICQ, Yahoo, and more, and also boasts support for Twitter.
Fring on Android works over 3G, GPRS or WiFi connection.
Frankly, I’m surprised it took fring so long to come out with an app for Android. Rivals Meebo, Nimbuzz and eBuddy have long been available for the platform, so that gave its main competitors quite a head start and makes it way harder for them to acquire new users.
When I asked about the apparent delay, fring CEO Avi Shechter responded with:
Fring is the first [app on Android] to do free VoIP with Skype. We didn’t want to post a limited version with messaging only like all others but to provide full fring experience. Until now, Symbian and iPhone are the leading platforms and we’re focusing on higher-end devices where the experience is better, not like on low-end J2ME devices.
Israel-based fring has raised $23 million from multiple venture capital firms, most recently securing a Series C round of financing from North Bridge Venture Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Veritas Venture Partners and VenFin Limited.