The Skype app was updated today with a few small, but welcome, tweaks to make its instant messaging service a better experience on Android. The biggest enhancement is the addition of a typing indicator that shows when other parties are composing a message. This element is pretty common in instant messaging applications, and Skype users I'm sure will welcome the new feature. Another small improvement is that the avatar picture will now move alongside longer messages as you scroll down the page making it easier to track who said what in a multiperson conversation.
Microsoft announced Skype Room Systems last month, and now it has released a companion app for Android. This software is aimed at business-running types looking to use Skype to create virtual meeting spaces.
The system is built around Windows 10, but the Android app does let you control and monitor some functions. These include seeing when you're waiting in the lobby, tweaking your volume settings, turning off your camera, and hanging up on a call.
Emoticons are nothing new for Skype or any other instant messaging client. Why, then, are they worth mentioning in version 5.3's changelog? Because now they're big. If you send a message containing only an emoticon, Skype will display a large version, complete with animation. Expressions appended to the end of a sentence, on the other hand, will continue to show up tiny.
While you're checking out these screenshots, also note the app's bubble style chat layout, which has now made its way over from other platforms to Android.
It should come as no surprise that Microsoft wants to have a larger footprint in the mobile market. So the company is taking one of its flagship products and having it shipped preloaded on a significantly larger number of phones and tablets. No, silly, not Windows. I'm talking about Office.
Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with a good number of OEMs to have Office shipped out of the box on a plethora of hardware over the next year.
Congratulations are in order for Skype. The well-established app known for providing free voice and video calls, along with instant messaging, has surpassed 500 million installs on Google Play.
Skype (or should we say, Microsoft) is only the fourth company to meet this threshold. Google obviously has the most, with more than a dozen apps boasting over 500 million installs. Facebook gets the number two position thanks to its popular social network, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
There's roughly a quarter million ways to send someone a photo online, give or take a couple dozen, but sometimes the easiest method is to fall back on the chat client the two of you communicate through. Skype already lets you send photos (it should, right? considering it got famous handling video), but before now the mobile app required the recipient to be online. With version 5.2, that restriction is gone. Now if you want to insert a quick photo while your contact is nowhere to be found, you can.
Airtel is the largest mobile carrier in India, but even that kind of market position wasn't enough to push through a change the carrier desperately wanted. After announcing last week it would begin charging extra for VoIP data, Airtel has backed down in the face of bad press and angry customers. VoIP calls will continue to be billed as regular data, at least for now.
Reddit user Ponkers posted an interesting find to /r/Android today, pointing out a significant privacy hole in Skype that essentially allows users to force an Android device to answer a call, making eavesdropping nearly effortless.
Ponkers drew a diagram below, which I feel compelled to include based on its artistic merits, but here's the gist of how the process works.
Assume you have three devices, device 1, device 2, and device 3.
In ye olden days of Android, a video-sharing service by the name of Qik attracted millions of users. It grew rapidly enough to catch Skype's eye, and the larger video-based serviced acquired the smaller for a cool $150 million. It eventually shuttered the offering, and now it's bringing it back in the form of a peculiar new video messaging app.
Skype Qik draws inspiration from a number of different apps.
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.