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Skype 5.6 Brings A New Recent Tab That Shows More Chats, Places Round Avatars Plus Online Status On All Screens, And More

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.

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Skype App Updated To v5.5 With Single-Button Sign-In And Link Previews In Chat

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.

image01-android_5-5_signin image03-android_5-5_linkpreview

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Touchless Chat Lets You Send And Reply To Messages On Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, And More Using Just Your Voice

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.

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Skype Updated To Version 5.4 With A Couple IM Enhancements Including A New Script That Appears When A Message Is Being Written

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.

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Skype Room Systems Beta Companion App Enters The Play Store For Business Users

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.

SkypeRoomSystems1 SkypeRoomSystems2

After downloading the app, which is still in beta, you will need to sign in using your work credentials.

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Skype 5.3 Brings Chat Bubble Layout And Oversized, Animated Emoticons—Meanwhile Qik 1.5 Introduces New Video Effects

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.

Skype1 Skype2

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.

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Microsoft Partners With Samsung, Dell, And Other OEMs To Preload Office And Skype On New Android Phones And Tablets

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.

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Skype Reaches 500 Million Installs On Google Play, Becomes Just The 4th Company To Do So

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. Samsung gets number three, but since its sole app in the rankings is the Samsung Push Service, that's mainly a technicality. Skype really has third place bragging rights here.

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Skype 5.2 Now Lets You Share Photos With Someone Whether They Are Online Or Off

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. You can upload the image from your gallery or snap a new shot straight from your camera.

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Indian Carrier Airtel Cancels Plans To Charge Extra For VoIP After Public Opposition

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.

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