Microsoft's messaging platform Skype is still very much alive, even though the company is starting to roll out the business-oriented Microsoft Teams to everyone. The latest update to the Android application finally includes Android Auto support, but there's a catch — only text messages will appear on your car's screen, not voice or video calls.
This story was originally published and last updated .
While you'd think that the world's webcam supply chain would have caught up with demand from the many millions of folks working from home by now, you'd be wrong. Logitech is still sold out of every model it makes online, and questionable cheap webcams popping up here and there on Amazon probably aren't a wise investment. But you do have a professional webcam at home, you just may have forgotten about it: your smartphone. With a few simple gadgets, you make your phone into a pro videoconferencing rig in a snap, and be the envy of everyone at the virtual office.
Skype used to be the go-to messaging app several years ago until it got gradually dethroned by competitors like WhatsApp and Messenger. However, Microsoft has been working on making its software more appealing lately, thanks to new features such as SMS messaging and screen sharing. The company is continuing to improve the app, as it's gaining new abilities, including the option to save drafts, bookmark messages, and preview media.
Even though our phones are very capable, many of us spend the day staring at a computer screen. Whether you're working or in a meeting, it's usually more convenient to text from your desktop, rather than taking your phone out of your pocket. Skype made this quite convenient, as the app's SMS Connect feature allowed you to chat with other users, as well as send and sync your phone's SMS messages with your computer. Unfortunately, Microsoft has just announced the functionality is going away, prompting users to switch to another solution.
Sharing your desktop is common, especially during business meetings. However, there are times when you'd like to show your phone's screen to the person you're talking to. This can be particularly useful when speaking to someone who's helping you solve an issue on your handset. Unfortunately, most devices don't have a built-in screen sharing option, and only a handful of messaging apps let you do that seamlessly. Thankfully, Skype is bringing the feature to Android and iOS, making screen sharing across platforms easier.
Once, Skype was the go-to video chat app, but those days are long over. With the rise of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Duo, and others, many users don't see a reason to have yet another app on their phone when it has the same functionality. However, some people still depend on Skype, be it for business or habitual reasons. This number might shrink further on Android: We're receiving reports that the Microsoft app automatically answers calls for some users, potentially letting callers catch them in unfortunate circumstances.
Microsoft is rolling out a new Skype update today. Technically, it started earlier this week, but it as only now released a changelog. If you grab the latest build, you'll get a few goodies like SMS messaging and a revamped contacts panel.
Skype is rolling out a new feature today in recognition of United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Starting now, you can get live captions in your Skype video calls, making the service more accessible for those with hearing impairment. Even if you hear just fine, this feature might help you filter out the noise in a busy video call.
Alongside its refreshed hardware lineup, Amazon (and Microsoft) announced back in September that Skype calling was coming to Alexa devices later in the year. Well, it's later in the year, and the new functionality is rolling out starting today. You can link your Skype account to your Alexa devices in the Alexa app.
In-conversation read receipts are either a useful way to keep track of text-based communication or a hindrance in ignoring people, depending on who you ask. They're finally coming to Skype — but only in its Insider Preview beta build. Now when someone reads a message in either one-on-one or group conversations, their avatar will appear underneath it.