Update lets Skype users keep chatting in other apps
Skype has rolled out an update to its Android app that lets tablet users continue to video chat even when they have gone into other apps. The new picture-in-picture feature pops up a small Skype window that persists even as a user moves away from the main Skype app. The update also contains a number of other additions, as well as fixes to assorted compatibility issues.
Skype traffic in China flows directly through Microsoft servers
Microsoft has moved to a new partner for providing Skype in China, one that could help improve privacy in the region. The messaging service will now be operated by Guangming Founder instead of TOM Online, with some reports suggesting that the move could potentially offer greater protections to users in China from monitoring by the country's government.
Call states, message notifications to synchronize in Skype in future
Microsoft will be making some changes to Skype, in order to address a number of problems on the messaging platform. Skype product manager Jeff Kunins revealed that the company is testing updates that will allow for full message synchronization across multiple devices, among a number of other items set to improve the service overall.
Call recording, Skype-specific hardware to continue working through API
Microsoft has altered its plan of ending support for its Skype Desktop API, following feedback from users. Compatibility with Skype-enabled hardware and call recording apps will continue to be offered in the communications tool, though the same reprieve will not be extended to chat via third-party applications, which will end in December as originally planned.
Third-party apps, accessories will stop working with Skype in December
Third party applications, add-ons and accessories will soon cease to function with Skype, according to a new dialog box warning appearing when the app starts up. The change, which will take place in December, could end up rendering a large number of Skype-specific hardware either partly or entirely non-functional to users.
Apps can be snapped to side of screen by verbal commands
Microsoft has shown off how its Xbox One game console will work for multitasking between games and apps. A short video demonstrating quick switching and actions by voice commands through Kinect also shows how game players will be able to use multiple apps at the same time, as well as sharing content with other users.
Government considers banning information sharing
Luxembourg's data-protection commissioner has reportedly opened an investigation into connections between Skype and the National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program, according to a Guardian report. The commissioner is said to be looking into potential violations of the country's data-protection and privacy laws, which could lead to fines or other sanctions.
Microsoft updates Skype for Android with new tablet mode, better video
Microsoft has updated the Android version of Skype, days after updating the iOS variant. Version 4.4 adds a new interface for tablet users, as well as improved video call quality of up to four times the resolution of earlier versions, along with smaller updates in the form of UI changes, audio routing modifications, and a fix for an issue that caused some phones to reboot on an incoming call.
Skype upgrades accessibility features, interface style
International communication platform Skype has updated its app for iPhone and iPad, following the recent launch of iOS 7. Version 4.13 showcases a revamped interface, reflecting a similar aesthetic to iOS 7; general bug fixes are also included. Accessibility features have been improved, such as touch-type support for the dialpad, and VoiceOver can now announce the sender's name when messaging, as well as provide improved accuracy during group chatting. Though optimized for iPhone 5, Skype 4.13 is compatible with all devices using iOS 5 or later, and can be downloaded from iTunes for free.
Skype update fixes chat message bug
Skype for Mac has received a new update that simplifies the sharing experience and fixes a couple of bugs. Now when screen sharing on a Mac, users are given the choice to share either the entire screen or only a specific window. Support for three new languages has also been added, and a bug that caused some chat messages to not display has been fixed. A full list of changes can be found on Skype's blog page.
Possible Skype on PlayStation 4 not ruled out by Skype VP
Engineers at Skype have been working on 3D video calls, though it is unlikely to offer it to users for some time. The future video technology is revealed at the same time as Microsoft shows how Skype's audio codec is being employed in the Xbox One game console to provide higher-quality voice chat, when compared to the Xbox 360.
Over 750 channels now available to iOS app
The largest video platform and community for gamers, Twitch, has updated its TwitchTV app for iOS to Version 2.3.5. TwitchTV lets users stream gaming video on demand, and chat with other users. One can browse for content by channel or game, and receive push notifications for when one's preferred channels are live. Version 2.3.5 offers more stable chat and bug fixes. Additionally, more than 750 of the top currently broadcasting channels are now viewable on the iOS app, and the Following view now allows toggling between mobile-viewable streams and those available on Twitch's site. TwitchTV is available for free on iTunes.
Presentation points to upcoming Surface updates, more MS stores
During today's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner called this year the company's "biggest innovation year ever" and teased new releases from the Seattle-based company. At the end of his remarks, Turner displayed a slide showing major releases from nearly every aspect of the company -- including Office, some Surface revisions, and a host of Skype improvements.
Refreshed interface, improved loading times in new Skype client
Skype has released an update for its Android client today, at the same time as revealing the app has broken the 100 million installations barrier. Version 4.0 of the messaging app introduces a few design aspects and the general theme of the Skype client used in Windows 8, as well as a number of performance improvements.
Most native apps updated
Microsoft-owned Skype today announced that its Video Messaging feature has left the preview stage and should now be available in most of its native client apps. Desktop support includes OS X and Windows/Windows 8. Compatible mobile platforms, meanwhile, include iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry.
Google adds remote desktop feature to Google+ Hangouts
Google+ users can now remotely control a desktop in Hangouts, something suggested by the company to help in long-distance technical support. The feature uses the same background tech from Chrome Remote Desktop, according to Google staffer Daniel Caiafa in a Google+ update. When enabled from the Apps section, Hangouts Remote Desktop will ask permission to allow the other user to control the computer, while still allowing both sides to talk and see each other throughout the control session.
Skype in Outlook.com accompanied by Windows client update
Microsoft has added the ability to make Skype calls within the Outlook.com e-mail service. The site, which left beta in February, will allow Outlook users in the United Kingdom to access their Skype contacts, make calls, and communicate using instant messages, all from within the browser instead of launching external applications.
Messaging tools could be in violation of Saudi laws
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued orders to its regulatory bodies to ensure that communication tools like Skype and Whatsapp comply with the government's stringent requirements governing Internet communications. The kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced last week that it had "become evident that some communication applications through (the) Internet don't meet regulatory requirements." The regulatory body did not, though, specify which laws certain apps might be violating.
Contact blocking, performance updates included in new update
Windows 8 users running Skype will now have the option to exert greater control over who can contact them, thanks to a new software update. Version 1.6 of Skype, tipped by the company in a blog post on Friday, brings the ability to block contacts. The update also includes a number of performance enhancements for the audio and video chatting software.
Users to start move from Windows Live Messenger April 8th
Microsoft has updated Skype to allow video messages to be sent to users, in the US and the UK. The new addition to the VOIP-based service comes at the same time as a revised timetable for Microsoft's migration of users from Windows Live Messenger to Skype shows it will start restricting access to Messenger from April 8th, forcing users to change services.
Mobile payments service Mach plans same for US, Canada
Voice over IP service Skype has started to support direct carrier billing for Skype Credit in Russia, with the United States and Canada set to follow. The new mobile payments option will allow Skype users to purchase Skype Credit directly from the mobile device through their smartphone's browser, with the charge being applied to their account.
Deadline issued for user migrations to Skype service
Microsoft has announced the date when it will shut down Windows Live Messenger. Users of the messaging service will have until March 15th to migrate over to Skype before the servers are shut down for most of the world, with mainland China being the sole market left using the service due to Skype being run by a company called TOM.
Pre-recorded video messaging to be added in near future
Skype is planning to offer video messaging as part of its paid-for service. A change to the terms of service confirmed rumors that the Microsoft-owned messaging network would allow its users to send a pre-recorded video clip to other Skype users, with limitations placed on how many can be sent on non-premium accounts.
Smuggled equipment used to bypass phone lines, cell networks
It has been revealed that Syrian rebels have resorted to using Skype to communicate with each other during the recent country-wide Internet outage. The messaging and voice-calling service was used alongside stockpiled equipment and a satellite connection so as to communicate with others around the country as well as overseas, despite government efforts to stop this from happening.
Skype allows merging Messenger, Hotmail, Outlook contacts
Several key iOS apps have received major updates today, most notably Skype and Skype for iPad. The pair can now access Messenger, Hotmail, and Outlook.com contacts after a person has entered their Microsoft account info. People who haven't used Skype before can now finally create an account from within the app, and instant messaging has been improved with selectable emoticons, and the ability to edit messages by tapping and holding. On the dialpad, saved phone numbers can be edited without having to visit a separate window.
Skype for Android optimized for tablets
An updated version of Skype for Android featuring support for larger displays has been released. Version 3.0 also includes support for Skype's SILK sideband audio codec, which was designed to capture the full range of human speech. The codec is also aware of a user's connection speed, and will dynamically adjust to provide the best possible audio quality on the fly.
Giftable Skype credit sold from Microsoft Stores, Facebook
Skype has launched its gift card scheme in the US in time for the holiday season. Mirroring the same promotional efforts in Mexico and the United Kingdom, Microsoft has put both digital and physical versions of the prepaid Skype credit on sale, which can be used towards subscriptions as well as flat credit international calling.
Call promotion ends tonight, for existing users only
Skype is offering a free international calling for a one-month period, in an effort to promote its international calling subscriptions. Open to existing customers of the messaging and voice call service until the end of today, the promotion includes free calling to landlines in 40 countries around the world and mobile calls to seven, including to the US, Canada, and Hong Kong.
Password reset token core to two-month-old flaw
A security hole in Skype's account management has been discovered by Russian hackers. Posted on a forum two months ago, the flaw revolves around the password reset function and requires the user's e-mail address to accomplish, and finishes with the hacker gaining control of the Skype account while locking the legitimate user out.
Preview includes always-on background service, full video chat
Microsoft has released a preview version of Skype for Windows Phone 8. Announced during the recent Windows Phone 8 event, the preview version includes the ability for the app to run as a background service, saving on battery power and processing, and for incoming Skype calls to come through to the handset in the same style as a normal phone call.
Microsoft says move will allow broader device support
Microsoft today confirmed rumors it was preparing to retire its Windows Live Messenger service in favor of Skype. Starting early next year, Microsoft will begin migrating Windows Live Messenger users to Skype, which the software giant purchased last year for $8.5 billion. Microsoft says that the move will allow the software giant to provide broader device support on all platforms for instant messaging, land and mobile calls, and video calls.
Skype rumored to replace Windows Live Messenger service
When Microsoft purchased Skype, it may have had some key long-term plans in store. The latest rumors stemming from The Verge indicate the software giant's Windows Live Messenger client will be retired in the coming months and integrated into Skype instead. The news comes from several sources, though they are not being named.
Skype prepaid card scheme set to expand to other countries
Microsoft has launched its prepaid card system for Skype in the United Kingdom. The prepaid cards can add credit to Skype accounts used by customers lacking access to debit cards, credit cards or PayPal, or could be used by those not wanting to link their payment information to the messaging and calling service.
Skype app for Windows 8 will integrate with People, get own Live tile
Skype has just detailed its forthcoming Windows 8 app, which will launch alongside Microsoft's latest OS later this week, on the 26th. The app will be accessible from the Start page/homescreen thanks to its own Live tile that will show any missed calls or messages. The app will always run in the background, promising quick notifications but reportedly without draining battery life on mobile devices.
Wi-Fi cost passed from customer to retail store
Skype is offering free Wi-Fi access across the UK and Ireland through its app. A deal signed with hotspot provider Wicoms will let customers connect at no charge at various “high street venues and businesses” across the country, in a move that sees the service offer free Internet connectivity for far longer than previous short-term special events, such as in New York City during New Year's Eve.
Opus could be used in browser-based Skype
Skype has been working on a new audio codec promising CD-quality audio through its calls. The codec, named Opus, has been approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a new standard for online audio, and is expected to become not only standard for all platforms Skype runs on, but also for other companies to take advantage of for their own products.
Skype for iOS gains Photo Share
Apple has released a security update for its Remote Desktop application, which addresses a problem with data encryption. According to Apple the previous release would fail to properly encrypt data when connected to third-party VNC servers, even with the "Encrypt all network data" setting enabled. In addition, the software also failed to provide a warning when the connection was insecure. Version 3.6.1 resolves the problem by creating an SSH tunnel for the connection, and preventing the connection if this tunnel cannot be created. Versions 3.5.2 up to and including 3.6.0 are affected, while earlier releases are not vulnerable.
New Skype interface revealed in Win 8 leak
Microsoft's new Skype app for Windows 8 has leaked out early, showing how the app has been modernized for Microsoft's tablet-first approach to the look and feel of its apps. Although the app is marked as an 'App Preview,' Neowin
says that it performs fluidly and is relatively stable. The app is expected to adopt exactly the same appearance and functional approach for Windows RT-based tablets as well.
First step towards in-browser Skype video without plug-ins
Microsoft has officially announced its proposal to bring realtime communication in browsers, without relying on plug-ins. The W3C WebRTC working group received the "Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web" (CU-RTC-Web) proposal from the software giant, as the first step toward establishing a standard that would be essential to creating a browser-based version of Skype.
Logitech rolls out latest 720p TV Cam with Skype
Logitech has revealed its TV Cam HD with Skype video calling. Unlike the previous version, which required users to have a TV with a free USB port, the new model works with any TV with a free HDMI port. It will connect to the Internet either through Wi-Fi or by direct connection through an Ethernet port and does not require a computer.
Windows, Mac, Linux updates available
Skype is now releasing hotfixes addressing a serious security flaw in its VoIP client, according to a blog post. If a few recent versions of the app crashed during the middle of an IM session, they would sometimes send out the last recorded message to the wrong person on a user's contact list. The glitch was also contingent on rebooting Skype, or logging in as a new user.
Network admins to remove network-wide Skype installs
Microsoft has accidentally deployed a Skype update to Windows clients that never had it installed before. The update, via Microsoft's Windows Server Update Services, installed Skype on all connected machines, forcing system administrators to manually remove the software from computers affected by the error.
Also enables video auto-rotation for calls with mobile users
VoIP service Skype has released a new version of its Mac client, 5.8. One of the main additions is support for OS X Mountain Lion, which is set to be launched next month. The company has also responded to complaints and re-introduced the slim contact list, which can be resized and repositioned as necessary.
Skype hopes new feature will spark conversations
Skype has announced that it is launching a new feature: Conversation Ads, according to a blog post on the company site. Users without Skype Credit or subscriptions who make Skype-to-Skype audio calls using the Windows client will now see ad images displayed in their call windows. The company bills the new feature as a means by which to get customers to engage in "meaningful conversations about brands in a highly engaging environment."
Microsoft gives OEM partners option to preload SKype onto new Windows 7 PCs
Microsoft is allowing some of its OEM PC maker and system builder partners to download the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) that will preload Skype on new Windows 7 PCs. Included in the kit is Skype 5.8 for Windows code, which is slightly older than the currently available Skype 5.9 for anyone to access. The kit makes it easy to silently pre-install the software for OEMs, who need to be registered with Microsoft before accessing such OPKs, ZDNet reported.
DCAC in Quantico will allow FBI to increase Internet monitoring
The FBI is reportedly forming a unit to develop new technologies for electronic surveillance, enabling the agency to expand monitoring capabilities for VoIP, wireless signals, and the Internet. According to Cnet, the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, located in Quantico, VA, will serve to intercept Skype conversations and analyze data received from a social network or carrier.
Nationwide rollout of Skype on Xfinity commences
Comcast has made its Skype on Xfinity system available in Boston and Seattle in the first stage of a nationwide rollout. The previously leaked Skype camera allows users to perform video calls through the service, with instant messaging available while watching TV at the same time.
Five-year rollout will bring hotspots to NYC subway
Boingo and Transit Wireless on Thursday announced a deal that will see New York City subway stations equipped with hotspots. The rollout will occur gradually over the next five years in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens stations. Users will need to have a Boingo account or access the hotspot network using their Skype, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon accounts.
PS Vita gets Skype with background support
PlayStation Vita owners got a major feature update Tuesday with the imminent release of Skype for PS Vita. The app lets the Sony console participate in both voice and video calls using either the front or back cameras. The app not only works both on 3G and Wi-Fi but truly runs in the background, making sure that gamers will catch an incoming call.
Skype on Windows Phone official for all
Skype picked an uncommon weekend introduction to post the finished version of its VoIP app for Windows Phone devices (Windows Phone Marketplace). The new version from Microsoft's recent acquisition adds some of the core features that had been missing in a preview version from February, including Skype Out calls to landlines, the ability to add and find contacts, and numerous improvements to performance. It could already make typical Skype-to-Skype calls and chats in an interface tailored to Windows Phone's Metro interface.