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Skype introduces IM style features in cross platform update

Most of the features are fixes for things Microsoft broke
Thu Feb 13 2014, 15:06
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INCREASINGLY SHONKY VoIP and chat provider Skype has announced an update designed to silence criticisms.

The new version released today claims to eliminate problems with notifications between platforms that have plagued it and became a major bugbear during our recent Android Experiment series.

Also included for the first time will be notifications that messages have been received, bringing it into line with instant messaging (IM) services such as Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and Whatsapp.

This lucrative market has continued to blossom with IM services overtaking SMS text messages for the first time recently and Microsoft, Skype's owner, clearly wants a piece of that action.

Chat history has also been enhanced to ensure that all messages in a chat are visible across platforms.

Improvements to the mobile app include tweaks for starting and resuming the app and faster load times for previous conversations, all of which will increase battery life, Skype claims.

Microsoft has also laid out a roadmap for future enhancements to Skype over the coming months, including options to receive notifications only on the device you are using at the moment and roaming for contact lists and favourites. All of these enhancements apply to individual and group conversations.

While we are delighted to welcome any improvements to Skype that Microsoft has to offer, we're also aware that most of these changes are not new, but merely reinstate features that worked perfectly before Microsoft relaunched the app to incorporate it into its own shabby ecosystem.

Microsoft removed most third party addons from Skype in December despite protests from users, meaning that whatever Microsoft has done, Skype is actually much less versatile than it was six months ago. µ


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