Today, Skype is delivering on a promise that it made back in July of last year. That's a long while to wait for an update, but this one is pretty major. In short, the team has carefully crafted an update for Skype for Android that allows it to run in the background with virtually no impact on battery life. That's what they're claiming, anyway.

Essentially, the application (and the service as a whole) had to undergo some major re-thinking, which led to a "transformation" of the way Skype actually works. The end result, however, was clearly worth all the work, and they're pretty proud of where the app stands as of today.

However, in order to get such aggressive battery management, instant notifications for group chat messages have been temporarily disabled. The Skype team has already promised to bring this feature back in a future release (with no impact on the battery life). If that's something you rely on now, though, there's an option to "sync group messages" so you won't miss a thing. Except maybe some battery life. Can't win 'em all, I guess. At least not for now.

Aside from the battery optimizations, this version also features a few other small fixes:

  • Workaround for the KitKat bug which caused a runaway process when the camera was synced in the background.
  • Fix for audio and video calling on tablets that do not have Bluetooth.
  • Now lists your Windows Live Messenger contacts in the Skype (default) view, not just the All contacts view.

Like what you see? The app is already live in Google Play, so give it a download and see what's good.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Wazzifer

    Skype has to be the worst app I've ever used on Android.

    • DT

      Hey at least it isn't designed like a Gingerbread app. I've dealt with worse.

    • Guest

      Since the redisign, its garbage, no Rotation support, if you swipe it from recent apps, it will disconect but still show online in the notification bar..

      • Guest

        and take forever to lauch like youtube

        • Mantas

          Until now

      • Konstantinos Pap

        This is a KitKat specific bug. They even wrote an article here on AndroidPolice, showing the bug.

        • andy_o

          That's interesting, I knew about both things but didn't make the connection. The issue though is that Skype now uses GCM, and it shouldn't have that problem, like Viber, Whatsapp, Line, etc, don't (I even greenify most of them).

          When you swipe Skype out of recent apps (or reboot without logging it out), it will get killed, but you will receive text messages via GCM, which will wake the app, so that's not a problem. The problem is with calls. Skype will wake up but it won't ring. It takes a second call for it to actually ring.

  • Zak Taccardi

    Skype, finally catching up with Hangouts!

  • Ricardo Ferreira

    That took a while.. Since then Skype is just an app forgotten on my phone.

  • csgabor

    It seems I can reinstall it.

  • Fardeen Beharry

    facebook is the worst with its constant background process

    • Deeco

      Greenify it! Yeh, but I know what you mean.

      • Imparus

        But if I does that I won't get informed about people messaging me on face :-/

        • andy_o

          FB messenger and FB use GCM. Greenify can let them wake up when a notification comes in.

          • Imparus

            neat didn't know greenify could do that.

    • Dario · 753 a.C. .

      i saw that after last update skype is not staying all the time in background when you don't use it. other friends of mine said me that for them it says in BG anyway.

      if i open it and then i tap "back" it don't remain in BG, i guess as telegram already does.

      what about on your phone?

  • Aaron Huffman

    The battery life with Skype is not what I'm concerned about, it's the constant forced device-restarts it somehow makes happen. This happens about 5x a day and should be a far higher priority than some battery life shindig.

    • csgabor

      On Nexus 5 and the Note 3 it drained the battery like hell through a process called mm-qcamera-daemon after the 4.4.2 update.

      • jj14x

        And that is one of the bug fixes that skype brought out in this release. The bug was/is actually in Android, not in skype. Skype just provided a workaround till the Android bug is fixed in the next release.

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  • Martial Clausse

    I hope they fixed the fact that skype constantly got disconnected, even on wifi...
    I've missed so many messages and notifications because of that...

  • idi

    I hate skype. Every single time i send a message, it just says "pending" and doesnt send. Anybody know a solution for this?

    • Ricardo Ferreira

      Yes, uninstall it and use Viber.. Or any other app that can send messages and you can talk to people.

      • idi

        I use whatsapp for normal use, but I also need Skype

        • Ricardo Ferreira

          oovoo & Hangouts, both can do what Skype does.

          • idi

            The person i'm talking to on the other side only has skype

          • Ricardo Ferreira

            That's a bummer.. Good luck...

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            Tell the other person to get a proper program instead?
            I mean... It apparently doesn't even deliver your messages, so why bother?

          • idi

            Thats what i ended up doing at the end

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            Well done.
            Skype on Android unfortunately is a piece of *insertswearinghere* and they don't seem to be able to fix it. Probably they don't even care at all.

  • http://www.mscha.nl/ Michael Schaap

    I hope this version also stops constantly using data while not even logged on!
    (Every time I go off-WiFi for an hour or so, it uses a couple of hundred KB of data, even when I'm not running Skype and haven't started it since reboot. That's not only a privacy concern, but also can add up, especially when roaming.)

    • http://www.mscha.nl/ Michael Schaap

      No, not fixed, Skype still stealing data when logged off (and apparently spying on us?)
      I was out, and thus off-WiFi, for maybe 15 minutes, here's by data use before and after.

      • andy_o

        Have you logged off with the menu option, and not just closed Skype or rebooted?

        • http://www.mscha.nl/ Michael Schaap


  • sony

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  • http://www.flexlabs.org/ Artiom

    By "Workaround for the KitKat bug" did they actually mean that they stopped accessing the camera all the time, causing massive battery drain + camera lockdowns?

  • ObeytheMonkey

    Isn't skype dead already

  • Vasilios Karaklioumis

    Still NOPE.

  • http://www.charmedproductions.com/ kizza42

    I liked Skype better when it had the auto logoff after X mins/hours feature;
    The IM of choice at work is Skype and it was nice to only have it log in for an hour or so if I ducked out of the office and not bother my phone for the rest of the day.

  • Steve Freeman

    Now if only all other app developers would include this battery-saving functionality...