When you get a text message in Google Messenger, you don't have to open the app to initiate a reply. You just tap the buttons that appear in the notification. This capability appeared years sooner in apps like Gmail, which allowed you to reply, archive, and delete messages.
It turns out this feature is available in the latest Android version of Skype. When an incoming notification appears in your notification shade, you will have the option to call the person or reply via text. These heads up notifications will also appear on top of your current app, so you don't have to swipe down the notification drawer to read them.
A small update to Skype today (version 5.10) adds two new features to the app, in the form of custom ringtones and a sort of in-app photo "forwarding" feature.
Custom ringtones can now be accessed by tapping in the lower-right area of a conversation and selecting "ringtone options," where you'll now find an entry to add a custom ringtone for a given contact. Skype should detect all of your phone's installed ringtones.
As to the photo forwarding, it's actually a pretty handy feature. Have you ever received or sent a photo to someone, only to then think "you know, I should send this to [X], too" and find yourself slightly annoyed at the thought of having to go through the full sharing process a second time, or download a received photo and then go through the sharing process?
The free version of Skype is great for personal use, but you can also get work done with it as well. I took part in numerous job interviews over video chat during my last year of college. When I landed an internship, we used it to communicate around the office.
But for big work done by big companies, there's Skype for Business. It comes with extra perks such as the ability to chat with up to 250 people and integrate everything with Office. The enterprise-oriented service replaced Microsoft Lync on desktops when it launched at the end of last year.
Do you skype with Hangouts or with Skype? If you skype with Skype, here's a bit of good news—version 5.6 is now available on the Play Store.
This release should make life easier for skypers who keep multiple chats going at all times. The Recent tab now shows more conversations on screen at once. Skype has also made tweaks that better show when your friends are online regardless of your location within the app.
While we're talking about looks, those round avatars that have been around for a while in chat screens and the contact list will appear more consistently elsewhere in the app, such as on the Favorites tab.
The Skype app is getting a bump to v5.5 today, and it comes with a pair of improvements. No, it's not going material—you can't have everything. What you do get is a faster way to sign in and link previews in chat.
joaomgcd's apps are usually about pushing your phone to do more with just your voice and some Google Now command integration, and Touchless Chat is no exception. The app takes the idea of interacting with your phone via voice commands and applies it to one area where I personally wished Google Now and Wear were better: sending messages to your contacts (ie initiating a conversation instead of just replying).
There are many layers to Touchless Chat and many ways of initiating a chat with a contact, but before we get into that, you'll need to give the app some permissions, mainly for accessibility, notification access, and device administrator. That's a lot of leeway, but it's the only way the app can work, so just be thankful that it doesn't require root as well.
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.
The other changes present in Skype 5.4 are all pretty minor.
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. The provided screenshots appear to be from Windows Phone, but they give you an idea.
After downloading the app, which is still in beta, you will need to sign in using your work credentials.
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.
A few other changes have made it into this release. Conversations will no longer jump to the most recent message as it comes in, allowing you to more easily scroll up to read ongoing conversations.
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. When you fire up such a device, look for the likes of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype.
The largest partner is Samsung, who already announced that it was including Office apps on the Galaxy S6.