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October 28, 2016

Skype Streamlines Video and VoIP Calls in Latest Update

By Michael Guta
Contributing Writer

With hundreds of millions of users, Skype (News - Alert) is one of the more popular communications solutions available to individual users and organizations. The platform provides multiple options for voice and video communication which traditionally have been used on desktops. But as more users migrate to mobile, Skype has announced it will be rolling out new updates in upcoming weeks to its mobile version of the app for iOS and Android devices.

According to Microsoft (News - Alert), the new updates will address video and voice calls on mobile so users can have the same experience as the desktop version of Skype.

The first improvement is call termination. In the past, if the person that initiated the call hangs up, the call ended. In today's collaborative environment that is definitely not an option. With this new upgrade, groups can continue the conversation even if the person that started the call has to leave.

Calling will also be simplified with one-tap access to key calling features. This includes tabs with access to calls to mobile or landline numbers that use Skype credit as well as Skype audio or video calls. With this option, users can call individuals or groups from the same place using a single tap. However, this feature will be available on Android (News - Alert) before iOS.

Another mobile friendly design is the removal of 'Call Phones' tab, which will just be 'Calls' from now on. Considering the user may be on a phone, tablet, desktop or a smart watch, this was an obvious move.

Voicemail, which is slowly but surely dying off, is being scaled back in Skype. The ability to create custom voicemail greetings, email notifications and SMS transcription will no longer be available. This doesn't mean you can't get a voicemail; you can enable the option by going to the Skype account portal. The new option is to leave a video or chat message or retry.

The rollout of these improvements will make Skype more mobile friendly which is being driven by the shift from the peer-to-peer infrastructure to Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform. With Azure, Skype will be able to deliver more communications options, including file sharing, video messaging, and mobile group video-calling.

As Satya Nadella (News - Alert)'s push to make Microsoft more nimble with cloud initiatives, all of the company's services will be optimized to take advantage of this technology, including Skype.




Edited by Alicia Young

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