Skype


'Skype' Articles

Skype Testing Feature on iOS and Android That Lets You Share Your Screen With a Friend

Skype has begun testing a feature on the iOS and Android beta versions of the company's app, allowing users to share their screens during a call (via The Verge). According to Microsoft, this will let users share a PowerPoint presentation with coworkers, browse dating apps with friends, or go online shopping with a family member. To see the new addition, you must be part of the Skype Insider program for beta testers, which you can sign up for on the company's website. To get to screen sharing, beta testers can tap on the ellipsis icon during a call and select "Share Screen." Skype didn't give any indication about a wider launch for the feature. Earlier this month, Skype increased the number of users that can be on the same audio or video group call to 50 (previously the max was 25). This update put Skype ahead of Apple's FaceTime for the number of users that can take part in a group call, since FaceTime supports a maximum of 32

Skype Doubles Group Call Limit to 50, Overtakes FaceTime's Max of 32

Skype has increased the number of users that can be on the same audio or video group call to 50, up from the previous maximum of 25. The bump up to 50 means bigger team chats and larger conference calls with speakers can take place, while full classes of students can participate in group calls. The change also means Microsoft's Skype now beats Apple's FaceTime for the number of users that take part in a group call. FaceTime supports a maximum of 32 people. In addition, Microsoft has made some changes to how larger Skype group calls start. Users now receive a notification to replace the default ringing sound, which is meant to allow every member of a group to receive a quick ping to join the call in a more unobtrusive way. The audio and video buttons remain available to use in larger groups, so users can still mute their microphones or turn on/off their webcam. Large group calling is available on the latest version of Skype for desktop and mobile.

Skype Gains Background Blurring Feature

Skype is getting a new screen-blurring feature this week. Users of Microsoft's video and voice calling service can now choose to blur the background on video calls if the scene behind them is something they'd rather not share. The idea behind the feature is to save the user's blushes because of the messy room they're skyping from, or to obscure a business plan on a whiteboard behind them, for instance. Background blur in Skype and Teams uses artificial intelligence (AI)—trained in human form detection—to keep you in focus during your call. This technology is also trained to detect your hair, hands, and arms, making a call with background blur just as relaxed and easy as a regular video call.Background blur in Skype is similar to background blur in Microsoft Teams, according to the software giant. The results are somewhat akin to the "bokeh" effect most commonly seen in Portrait photos on iPhone, but in this case in a live video stream. The feature is rolling out on desktops, mobile, and web, and can be enabled in Skype's settings or by using the video call button.

Skype Calling Features Coming to Alexa Devices Later This Year

Microsoft has revealed that Skype is coming to Alexa devices. The partnership between Microsoft and Amazon means that owners of devices in Amazon's Echo range will soon be able to make outgoing Skype voice and video calls, accept incoming Skype calls, and also make SkypeOut calls to most phone numbers around the world. Announcing the upcoming feature in a blog post, Microsoft said device owners will be able to say something like "Alexa, call Jimmy on Skype," or if Jimmy is calling you on Skype, they'll be able to say, "Alexa, answer." This isn't the first time Amazon and Microsoft has seen fit to merge existing products and services. The two companies partnered on Alexa and Cortana integration last year. "Since then, we've added Alexa integration on Xbox and are continuing to work together to bring the best of Skype and Alexa together to enable intelligent communications for our users," said Gaurav Sareen, corporate vice president for Microsoft. "We're excited to continue bringing the best of Microsoft and Amazon together."Skype calling on Alexa will begin rolling out later this

Skype Introduces Call Recording Feature for Mac and iOS

Microsoft today announced that it has added call recording functionality to the latest version of Skype available on Mac and iOS. Skype says that the new call recording feature is cloud-based, with Skype informing every participant in a given call that a call is being recorded. Call recording for video chats includes everyone's video and screens that are shared during the call, with the call available to be saved and shared for the next 30 days. There is no way to record the audio portion of a video chat without also recording the video. On both mobile and desktop, call recording can be initiated by clicking or tapping on the "+" icon at the bottom of the screen and then selecting "Start recording." Once call recording has been initiated, participants will see a mobile banner letting them know that a recording is in progress. Call recording is available in the current version of Skype, which can be downloaded from the Skype website on the Mac or the App Store on iOS. [Direct Link]

Skype Redesign Ditches Snapchat-Like Highlights Feature to Focus on 'Simplicity'

Microsoft is to simplify the user experience of its Skype mobile and desktop apps, with the aim of returning the platform's focus to core services like calling and messaging. In announcing the decision in a blog post, Microsoft acknowledged that the Snapchat-style redesign it introduced last year "didn't resonate with a majority of users" and had "overcomplicated" the platform, and said it hoped the new changes would make the service faster to learn and easier to use. As a result, the Highlights and Capture features are being removed from the mobile app, leaving options for Chats, Calls, and Contacts at the bottom of the interface. Microsoft says users can download any Highlights they have posted in Skype until September 30, 2018. Meanwhile over on desktop, buttons for Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications are being moved to the top left of the application window, which should make more sense for veteran Skype users. In addition, contacts are being "updated for simplicity" to make them easier to discover. Visually, Microsoft says it has "toned down" the range of the gradients available in the light and dark themes, and it's also reintroducing the simplified Skype "Classic" blue theme, with subtle adjustments for contrast and readability. Lastly, some decorative elements have been removed from the Skype interface to provide users with "a more elegant experience" that brings the focus back to content. "This is only the beginning and you can expect many more updates over the next several months as we continue to simplify and improve the core

Microsoft Plans to Keep Skype Classic Available 'for Some Time' Following User Backlash

Microsoft last month announced plans to shut down Skype 7, aka Skype Classic, on PCs and Macs in September, with the company encouraging customers to instead upgrade to the latest version of Skype, Skype 8. Skype 8, first introduced last year, features a total design overhaul that has not been popular with some customers, which led some Skype users to be unhappy with Microsoft's announcement. As of today, as pointed out by Windows blog Thurrott, Microsoft has changed its mind following user feedback. In a forum post, the Skype team says that support for Skype 7 will not end in September, with the end of life date extended to an unknown time.UPDATE: Based on customer feedback, we are extending support for Skype 7 (Skype classic) for some time. Our customers can continue to use Skype classic until then.It is not clear how long "some time" will be, but customers who prefer the design of Skype 7 can continue using that version of Skype instead of upgrading to Skype 8. The Skype team also said that it is listening to customer comments and plans to introduce features customers have requested into Skype 8. Classic Skype for Mac can be downloaded directly from Microsoft, as can Skype 8.

Microsoft Recommends All Customers Upgrade to Skype 8 With Skype 7 Set to Be Sunset in September

Microsoft today highlighted Skype 8 and recommended that customers upgrade to the new software as the company plans to retire Skype 7, aka Skype classic, later this year. Skype 8 includes free HD video and screensharing calls with up to 24 people, reaction options for messages in conversations and @mentions to get someone's attention in a group chat, a chat media gallery for viewing photos and links, customizable themes, a notification panel, and options to share photos, videos, and files over Skype that are up to 300MB in size. In the future, Microsoft plans to add additional features that include read receipts, private conversations with end-to-end encryption, call recording, profile invites, and group links for initiating a call with multiple people. Skype 8 features are also rolling out on the iPad starting today. Microsoft is encouraging all Skype users to update to the new 8.0 version of the software as earlier versions of Skype will stop working on September 1, 2018. Microsoft says it is discontinuing older versions of Skype in order to provide the best possible Skype experience with no quality or reliability issues. Note: A previous version of this post listed the 8.0 update as new, due to the fact that Microsoft published a blog post announcing it as new this morning. Our readers have pointed out that Skype 8 has been available for some time, with 8.25 listed as the current version of the

End-to-End Encryption Comes to Skype Through Signal Partnership

Microsoft is testing a new "Private Conversations" feature in Skype, which is being introduced through a partnership with Signal. Skype is using the Signal Protocol for the feature, allowing users to take advantage of strong end-to-end encryption for more secure communications. Private Conversations are available for one-on-one conversations on Skype, with users able to initiate a private conversation by tapping on the "+" icon and then selecting "New Private Conversation." Once a conversation is initiated, it will be available only on the specific device where it was started. Microsoft says Private Conversations offer several unique features: A Private Conversation will have a lock icon next to your contact's name. Preview messages from Private Conversations will not show in Chats or notifications. Private Conversation capabilities are limited. You cannot edit a message or forward a file. From the chat window, only emoticons, files and audio messages are available to send. Private Conversations are specific to a device. A new invitation must be sent and accepted, to change to another device. Private Conversations are available today in a preview capacity for Skype Insiders, Microsoft's beta testing program for

Skype, Tidal, VLC, Feedly and Other Apps Optimized for iPhone X

A handful of popular apps have been optimized for the iPhone X over the past few days. We've rounded up some of the notable ones below. Each of these apps now support the iPhone X's new screen size, rather than having a letterboxed design with black bars at the top and bottom. Skype VLC Tidal Feedly LINE Viber PlayStation Vue Bank of AmericaIf you have an iPhone X and use any of these apps, check the App Store's Updates tab to ensure you have the latest version

Apple Has Removed Skype From App Store in China to Comply With Local Law

Microsoft has confirmed that Skype has been "temporarily removed" from the App Store on iPhone and iPad, according to a statement given to The New York Times. Apple told The New York Times that it was forced to remove a number of voice and video calling apps from the App Store in China to comply with laws in the country.We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.Skype has been unavailable on the App Store since at least late October, according to users on Twitter and other websites. The service appears to function normally still for users who have already installed the app. Skype is the latest victim of China's strict internet filters, colloquially known as the Great Firewall. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. Microsoft wouldn't comment on why Skype is also unavailable on at least a few major third-party Android app stores. Many of Google's services, including Gmail and YouTube, have been blocked in China for several years. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but

Skype Launches Redesigned Desktop App With Cross-Device Functionality Between iOS and macOS

After first redesigning its iOS app and previewing a new update for Macs and desktop computers earlier this year, Microsoft has announced that its new Skype desktop software is launching today. The next-generation Skype desktop software is built to emulate the redesigned mobile application, which launched in June with an emphasis on media sharing and social networking features, although the iOS app's Snapchat-like "Highlights" feature isn't on Mac at this time. The new Skype Mac app connects across devices to the iOS app, and includes customizable themes, an organizable chat list, and cloud-based file sharing. A new "notification panel" lets users catch up on missed messages in one place -- including reactions, @mentions, and quotes -- and you can jump directly to these notifications by clicking on them. A new chat media gallery has been implemented as a place users can quickly find shared content including media, links, and files. Add-ins can also be introduced into each chat, ranging from GIF-based applications to event scheduling, sending money, video sharing, and more. When in a video chat or a text conversation, users can send reactions to express how they're feeling, and set status updates to let friends know when they aren't available. In total, Skype said that the goal for the new update is to help its users increase personal and professional productivity, while also unifying the Skype ecosystem across devices. To download the new features, Skype said that anyone with automatic updates enabled on Mac, Windows 10 November Update (2016) and lower,

Skype Brings Next-Generation Mobile Experience to Desktop in New Mac Preview

Skype today announced the release of a preview version of its next-generation desktop software, which is designed to emulate the redesigned mobile experience that it released in June. The new version of Skype shares design elements with the mobile version, but it has been created for the desktop's larger screen. Microsoft calls it the "most expressive Skype ever" with livelier group chats, real-time screen and photo sharing, and more. Skype's redesign features a new notification panel that displays mentions and message reactions, allowing users to better keep up with conversations. There's a new chat media gallery for keeping track of photos and documents shared in a chat, and group calls feature in-call reactions with emoji that can be shared. Skype Preview is available immediately for Mac users via the Skype Insider website.

You Can Now Send Money With PayPal in Skype App on iPhone and iPad

Skype today announced that users across 22 countries can now send money with PayPal in its mobile app for iOS and Android. Skype said the person-to-person payments feature is rolling out today in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Where available, users will need to link their PayPal account to their Skype profile. In a chat, users can then swipe right, tap Send Money, and complete the near-instant money transfer process, which is handled by PayPal. Both the sender and recipient must reside in one of the 22 countries supported. PayPal within Skype will support currency exchange as usual. If a user is sending funds from the United States, for example, to someone in Europe, the user will have the option to send money in euros if preferred. The feature will require the latest version of Skype for iOS, available as a free download on the App Store [Direct Link]. However, users receiving money can have any version of the Skype app

Skype Reveals Redesigned iOS App With Chat Bots and Snapchat-Like 'Highlights' Feature [Updated]

Microsoft today introduced an enhanced, all-new version of Skype for iOS and Android devices that puts an emphasis on chats, chatbots, camera features, and its own version of Snapchat's Stories. The update comes with an overall change to Skype's visual design as well, with the company stating that it's decided to focus on allowing personal user choice to dictate how sections of the app look, including the ability to customize the app with your favorite color. Skype's home screen now sits with a "Chat" window on launch, and users can easily swipe to the Camera and new "Highlights" feature, which is an extended version of Stories. Here, users can take a picture or video, decorate it with emojis and text, and then post it to their Highlight. After posting, content is available for a full week instead of just 24 hours, and only users who follow you can see your Highlight. Specific individuals and groups can also be sent a Highlight before it's posted. Skype has also introduced Facebook-like reactions to both chats and Highlights, allowing users to select emojis to react to messages, pictures, and videos without having to text. In a talk with TechCrunch, Skype didn't balk at admitting it was inspired by Snapchat Stories, pointing out Facebook's own argument that the "Story" model is a format that can be used by anyone in the industry and isn't owned by Snapchat. Highlights are Skype’s own take on Stories – something the company readily admits. “It’s like Facebook has said,” says Amritansh Raghav, Corporate Vice President of Skype, referencing remarks made by

Skype for iOS Devices Updated With Siri and CallKit Support

Skype today updated its iOS app to version 6.25, adding support for new features that were introduced with iOS 10. Skype now integrates with Siri, allowing users to ask Siri to make a call using Skype for a hands-free way to keep in touch with friends and family. With iOS 10 and SiriKit, calling someone on Skype is as simple as using the same voice commands you're already using. Let's say you're trying to call Lucy Archer on Skype. If you have her Skype contact information saved in your iOS device, simply say "Call Lucy Archer." Siri may ask for you to confirm it has the right contact--one click later and your Skype call is initiated!In iOS 10, contact details for Skype users can be added directly to the Contacts app, which makes it easier to initiate Skype calls and messages through Siri without the need to open the Skype app. You can also invite friends to join Skype from the Contacts list. Today's update also introduces support for CallKit, allowing incoming Skype calls to be displayed on the iPhone just like a regular phone call. Skype calls can be answered like traditional phone calls using the built-in iOS functionality, which means they're answerable from the lock screen. Skype can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link: iPhone/iPad]

Skype for iOS Gains New 'Bots' Feature in Latest Update

During today's Microsoft Build conference for developers, Microsoft announced plans to bring interactive bots to the Skype platform on Windows, Android, and iOS. Starting today, Skype iOS users will have access to Bots that offer expertise, products, services, and entertainment through messaging options in the Skype app. Today we are introducing Skype Bots--a new way to bring expertise, products, services and entertainment into your daily messaging on Skype. Each Bot will enhance your Skype experience in its own way, bringing a new dimension into your everyday Skype chats by helping turn your ideas and plans into actions.Available bots that can be interacted with on iOS include Bing Music, Bing News, and Bing Images. Bing Music is able to search multiple sites to find song information, while Bing Image bot and Bing News bot are designed for web navigation. With the Skype Bot SDK, brands and developers will be able to create bots that work through Skype. In the future, Skype plans to expand Bot availability to audio and video calling, introducing new bot-based experiences. An example of Skype Video Bots was shown off during the Build Conference. To access the messaging bots in Skype, iOS users will need to download the latest version of the app. Accessing bots can be done through the "Search" option from the Contacts page, which includes an option to add bots to Skype. Skype can be downloaded from the App Store for free for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link: iPad, iPhone]

Skype Launches 25-Person Group Video Calling on iOS and Android

Earlier in January, Microsoft announced that it would bring a group chat feature to the Skype app on mobile devices over "the next few weeks," but never locked down a specific launch window. Today, the popular video chatting app will begin to support group video calling, similar to its web counterpart, on iOS and Android (via Engadget). The new feature will allow as many as 25 participants in a single Skype video chat, with 1080p video quality, and access to both front and back cameras. Much like the PC and Mac apps, the person talking will dynamically be rearranged to the center of the experience while everyone listening will be delegated to smaller tiles. The app will also let users pin someone in particular to the center tile to keep their face in a locked location even if they aren't speaking. For the ultimate get together experience, group video calls are in glorious HD quality and optimized specifically for the device you’re using, giving a more natural feel to the call. The person talking is displayed front and center and video is immersive and full screen. Audio is also crystal clear, thanks to our SILK Super Wide Band audio codec in our cloud conferencing stack. To achieve this, we’re proud to have worked with one of Microsoft’s biggest partners, Intel, which helped enable us to optimize SILK Audio specifically for Azure running on Intel processors. With the update, Microsoft will make it easier to invite non-Skype users into calls as well, allowing a video chat group's participants to invite anyone to the conversation by sending a link through a messaging

Skype Announces Free Group Video Calling for iOS Devices

To mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of Skype's video calling feature, Skype today announced plans to bring group video calling to mobile devices, including the iPhone and the iPad. As with group video calling on desktop devices, group video calling on mobile devices will be free. Group video calling has been available for free for Mac, PC, and Xbox One users since April of 2014. Prior to that, using the feature required users to have a Premium Skype subscription. Skype plans to begin rolling out group video calling on mobile devices over the course of the next few weeks, but Skype is allowing customers to sign up with their email address and Skype user name to register for early access. When signing up, Skype's registration process says access to mobile group video calling will be available in the next few

Skype Updates for iOS and Mac Bring Multitasking and Shortcut Features

Over the last few days Skype has been updating its app for the Mac and iOS platforms, bringing about full support for new system updates like El Capitan and iOS 9 along with new multitasking and shortcut features. The first update by the company came on Wednesday with Skype 7.13 for Mac, which brought about full support for OS X 10.11 El Capitan. The new Mac update allows users to place Skype into a Split View window so they can multitask with another app while the voice and text chatting service runs on the side. The company additionally streamlined a few ways to add friends on the service, letting users easily connect with their Mac address book to discover people who also use Skype. Beginning yesterday, Skype also brought in full iOS 9 support to iPad and iPhone devices, with the introduction of Slide Over and Split View for the iPad. Just like the Mac version, Split View allows iPad users to multitask Skype alongside an alternative app like Safari or Messages, and Slide Over provides a brief glimpse into the Skype experience with an overlay placed on top of the current app. Both multitasking experiences only function with IM and voice calls on the service. Millions of people use Skype every day to share URLs and photos. iOS9’s new Split View and Slide Over capabilities let you use Skype while using another app alongside it, making sharing your content even better. Imagine you’re planning a night out in London with a group of friends using IM or a group voice call. Now you can share links to bars and restaurants and decide on the best place to meet without