Skype, the VoIP acquired by Microsoft last year that connects millions of people everyday, has been doing well in its mobile revival efforts. It’s Android app alone has reached over 70 million downloads in Google Play.
And because of the love they’re receiving from the Android community, they’ve added support for more Android devices. Now, 1,300 Android devices from HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG and others, can enjoy Skyping with friends, colleagues and family. It’s among the most popular VoIP app on Android with 25% of their top users using either Samsung or HTC smartphones. Skype not only lets you do video calls, but you can also send files, photos and videos.
In February of this year, Skype recorded 34 million users online concurrently, which was a major achievement for the Microsoft company since that number tallied simultaneous real-time users, unlike social services who boast of big numbers on a monthly basis.
And while Android’s Skype app is doing well, their iOS app was downloaded over 60 million times in 2011 and has likely surpassed the 100 million mark by now, or are really close to achieving that milestone. It just goes to show that Skype’s done well to regain consumer interest in the mobile space, often beating out native VoIP tools and other rival apps on certain platforms.
Android and iOS have been particularly important for Skype’s mobile success, and though it was snapped up by Microsoft last year, little has been done to integrate the VoIP tool for Windows Phone. Released just this year, Skype for Windows Phone hasn’t seen the high number of downloads witnessed on Android and iOS, but of the 2899 who rated the app, most of them were four stars, so it’s not all bad on Skype’s new home turf. No news yet as to how many times Skype for Windows Phone has been downloaded.
Other Skype News
Skype continues to be a strategic platform for communication integration, as Yuna Software, the company that develops, designs and markets Messenger Plus! for Skype and Windows Live(TM) Messenger, announced that Version 1.5 include the ability to stream movies and overlay images in video conversations viewable on all Skype-enabled devices including mobile phones and tablets.
“Messenger Plus! continues to enhance Skype with advanced technology,” says Alex Shamash, Business Director, Yuna Software. “What started with just a few features a few months ago has quickly developed into a powerful product that brings both business and entertainment benefits to the Skype community.”
The update features YouTube streaming, skinning capabilities, menu interface modifications and smoother functionality overall. Animations and effects can now be enjoyed by Messenger Plus! as well as non-Plus! users.
Tips n’ Tricks
So a lot of people are using Skype, but does everyone utilize all of Skype’s amazing features for Android devices?
Here are some neat tips n’ tricks from Skype:
Use Skype from your phonebook – from your phonebook, long press on a contact to bring out the context menu then simply select skype to make a call. Even if you’re logged out from Skype, this action automatically signs you back in.
Make a Skype video call to your favourite person in one click- this trick works for Android phones that allow homescreen contact shortcuts though. All you need to do is create that person’s contact shortcut, set the default call setting to Skype, so when you need to call your fave person, all you need to do is tap on that icon and you’re all set.
Save money on international calls by using Skype as the default dialer – Skype has lower rates than cellular networks so doing this tip would surely save you a lot of money especially if you’re fond of keeping in contact with friends/business partners/family in other countries.
Share videos, photos and files of any size – not many people know this but you can share a lot of things on Skype aside from your face. All you need to do is select the file, photo or video you want to share, choose “Share via SKype”, the app will open, select the contacts you want to share them with then just click send.
Receive videos and files on Skype – if you can send, of course you can receive, duh! But maybe, you didn’t know that you can receive multiple files at once? Yes, you can with Skype for Android. When someone sends you a file, all you need to do is accept the file and open it when it finishes downloading. File received will be placed in the download folder.
Liven up your video calls – a simple trick that keeps things interesting. Just double tap on your own photo to switch cameras or tap to bring up the controls, and then tap the ‘swap camera’ button.
Group chat with as many people you like – keep the conversation flowing by adding more people to group chat with, just click on ‘Add’ in the context menu to add more friends to the chat. You can also manage the participants and add a topic from the menu on the top.
Error corrector – when you misspelled a word and hit send before you realize your mistake, there’s no need to send another message to correct your mistake. All you need to do is long-press on the erroneous message, hit “edit”, then edit your mistake.
Do more – just long-press on a contact to bring up the context menu so you can do more with Skype like video call or Skype call people.