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Skype updates Android app with 'aggressive' battery life savings

Also fixes Android 4.4 Kitkat bug
Wed Mar 19 2014, 13:30
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VOICE OVER IP (VoIP) service Skype announced a hefty update for its Android application this week, promising "aggressive battery life savings".

The update, which bumps the Skype for Android app to version 4.7 and comes just days after the firm released an update for its Xbox One app, makes good on the firm's promise to prevent the application from draining users' batteries. Skype claims that users can now leave the app running without seeing a detrimental effect on their smartphone's or tablet's battery.

Skype project manager Eric Lin said in a blog post on Tuesday, "Sometimes a change you can't see can make a huge difference. Imagine being able to leave Skype running on your phone all day without having to worry about your battery life.

"With Skype 4.7 for Android, we are introducing aggressive battery savings that will allow most of our users to leave Skype running without noticeably affecting battery life.

"It has been a challenging process, because to do this we've had to transform to the way Skype technology works. Actually we're still undergoing that transformation - the process is not yet complete. But we are now at a stage where you can enjoy the fruits of our [labour]."

With Skype admittedly still working on the transformation, it has confessed that the update isn't without its faults. The firm revealed that group chat notifications have temporarily been switched off to prevent the app from draining battery life, and will come back in the "near future".

For those who can't do without notifications, however, Skype advised that this feature can be switched back on by going to Settings > Notifications and checking the "Sync group messages in the background" box.

Beyond battery life fixes, Skype for Android v4.7 also now lists Windows Live Messenger contacts in its default view, and the update delivers bug fixes for audio problems and a KitKat bug that caused a runaway process when the camera was synced in the background.

Skype's updated Android app is available to download for free from the Google Play store, and will arrive in Amazon's Kindle App Store later this month. µ


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