23
Jul
s

Skype just rolled out an update to its Android app, bumping it up to v5.0. The app isn't going to look much different, but it is gaining the ability to automatically find and add your phone contacts to your Skype contact list. It even happens automagically in the background.

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At some point when you are using the new Skype app, it's going to ask for you to verify your mobile number. If enough people do this, Skype can compare the verified phone numbers to your phone contacts, thus figuring out if someone you know is on Skype. If so, it adds them to your list for VoIP calls and messaging. There is also support for signing in with a Microsoft account to have your contacts matched to Skype users.

If this sounds like something you don't want, you can shut off the contact searching, or prevent your account from being added to your friends' accounts. The v5.0 update is live in the Play Store, but Skype points out not everyone will get the phone number verification right away. It might take a few weeks to roll out to all accounts.

[Skype]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Jamal

    Friends? Which app is that?

  • andy_o

    Is anybody else having the problem that the first incoming call doesn't ring (but it seems to wake up the app so the second call does ring)? It happens on the N5 AMD N10 stock. If so, I hope this update fixes it, but the bug has been there forever.

    • Er

      The Skype App has been extremely buggy for the last couple of months. Running it on a stock N5. Whenever I ring out I never hear any tone so the person I call, answers the call but the first words are never caught. So I always end up with a "Hello?!" after 10 seconds of silence.

      Also It completely freezes after a while. In all my calls I had so far. After 10-15 minutes it just goes quiet. The app becomes unresponsive and I have to force close it and call upp again. Not sure which update it was that made the Skype app for Android so bad. I'm barely using it nowadays - relying on the desktop app instead.

      • andy_o

        Interesting, I haven't had those problems, but actually they seem to have fixed things on my end, finally. Even after greenifying, Skype still can receive calls.

  • WORPspeed

    Is it requesting a whole bunch of new permissions or has the new Play Store just removed the *new* tag from permissions that are added in the update?

    • http://www.igorware.com/ Igor

      I have noticed that as well, it looks like they now request every possible app permission. Considering they did this without any given reason, I will skip this update (for now).

    • andy_o

      You can still see the new permissions, but now you have to go into the app page in the Play Store and scroll down to "permissions" then you'll see the new ones tagged there as "new" like before.

  • Robert_AU

    Another hyped "feature" that I don't want. Most of my contacts don't use Skype and I wouldn't want many of those that do to have able to see when I'm online or to contact me through Skype. MS seem to be trying to change Skype into a gateway to their products or a way to drag people into their twisted idea of social networking.

    I started using Skype years ago when there was good Linux support, before they were on Android and long before it was ruined by Microsoft buying them. The real value has always been in voice and video calls to contacts in other countries for no cost or low cost. It was simple enough for anyone to install/use, it had phone like handsets available to allow the non-technical to feel more comfortable using it and it worked on most networks without needing to make changes to firewalls. There are more options available today that work just as well and the cost associated with international calls have greatly decreased.

  • NSA employee #63277

    Skype is a great way for Microsoft aka spycrosoft to steal your data and sell it to third parties and the NSA.

    Beware. You have been warned.

    #screwbinged

    • IDon’tFeelLikeSigningIn

      Please stop being so stupid. Microsoft, Apple, AND Google are all "spying for the NSA".

      How about we just not listen to your advice and you learn to read instead of spreading incorrect information and fear mongering?

      • Microsoft paid shill account

        I see spycrosoft aka Microsoft NSA bing club are in a PR blitz.

        #screwbinged

        • DisqusSucksatLeavingCookies

          ahaha No. If I did, I wouldn't converse with an idiot like you. I'd be too busy finding your identity then fucking with you because that's what you think Microsoft does for a living, right?

          You're just an arm-chair "expert" on all things government, I see. Do you believe that lizardmen are taking over the world? How about the pyramids being built by aliens?

          Ooh! What about the nonsense of tinfoil hats and "comtrails"?

          With names like "NSA employee" and "Microsoft paid shill account", you're either a troll or some idiotic manchild who's gullible enough to believe everything some shady website tells them.

          Given the IQ of most Americans now a days, I'mma go with you being the latter. Please, try again.

          Oh, I guess I need a witty hashtag or something, right? Uhhh...how about #thisisfun?

          • Microshit

            Damn you sure are angry about people exposing Microsoft for the thieves they are.

            #laughingatthespycrosoftshills

          • ITotesWorkforMSyouGaiz

            I know right?! Even when they out themselves and two others as being just as bad as they are! Inconceivable!

            Unacceptable!

            RETREBUTIONABLE!

            (That last one might not be a word..so sue me!)

  • MarkG54321

    Anything that has anything with Microsoft, I don't want anything to do with. They are scumbags of the worst kind. Stopped using Skype the day Microsoft bought them.

  • Guest

    HANGOUTS MASTERRACE

  • Slawootsky

    Well, as long as it notifies me about OUTGOING messages that I sent from the other device, screw these Whatsapp-chasing changes! Get the basic functionality right first, damnit!

  • atlouiedog

    Twice the Skype app started blaring extremely loud tones for seemingly no reason. The second time they blew out the left side of my bluetooth headphones. Fortunately they weren't on my head at the time. Never again, Skype. Maybe they fixed the issue I and my contacts had where incoming calls wouldn't ring, but I'm not interested in finding out.