A power-packed communications tool
Though Skype has been associated with only free calling over the internet, it also offers other benefits, including video messaging, voice calls to phone numbers, text chatting, file sharing, screen sharing, and group calling. With every updated version of Skype for iPhone, features just keep getting added to the list.
Seamless and free peer-to-peer video calling!
Free group chat is a big win for Skype.
iPhone users had been waiting for an updated version of the Skype app. The latest version not just adds a fresh look, but comes with improved performance, better notification management, and fast group chatting.
While plenty of other services like Viber, Facebook Messenger, and Tango have similar capabilities, none of them works as a single communications tool packed with everything. Over the years, Skype has been the leading name, and with good reason.
Get started with plenty of features
Getting started with Skype is pretty easy. You can either use your Microsoft or Facebook credentials, or fill out a form to create a Skype account. The sign up process is quick, and lets you sign in to the app effortlessly.
Though it’s not mandatory to enter your credit card information, doing so can get you a few additional benefits. You’ll be able to get cheaper access to public Wi-Fi hotspots, SMS messaging, and calls to regular phones.
If the need arises, you can get a unique incoming number from Skype. It works with standard landlines and mobile phones. While the redesigned Skype app for iOS doesn’t support all the features of the desktop version, it has a highly intuitive and user-friendly interface.
Simple and clean interface
Like the previous version of the app, you won’t find a true home page. In fact, you get three main views, i.e., Favorites, Recent, and People. These are all you need to start communicating with friends, family, and colleagues.
‘Favorites’ gives you easy access to the ‘important’ people in your list. The large tiles make scrolling easy and hassle-free. To find someone from your contact list on Skype, you can click ‘People’. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see two buttons, which let you access the dial pad and the chat window.
As compared to the older version, the Profile page’s design is cleaner and simpler. However, Skype has removed a few helpful entries that were earlier present. For instance, you won’t find any entries for your Skype phone number. Also, you can’t see the status of call forwarding, Skype Wi-Fi, or voice messages.
Improved video and call quality
While Skype has been the leading name among messaging apps, it just keeps getting better. The voice quality is phenomenal, and in some areas, you can expect it to be better than a regular mobile call. Though video depends highly on bandwidth, it’s reasonably clear over mobile connections.
Skype’s voice quality isn’t as sharp as FaceTime, but the difference is negligible. Moreover, FaceTime requires both parties to have an Apple device, while Skype works across platforms and operating systems.
Group chat is an amazing addition
This new feature can be a gamechanger! You can now start a chat session with multiple users from anywhere on the main page (Favorites, People, or Recent). Although you can include images in chats, Skype still lacks a good emoticon selection.
Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp make the conversation more interesting with a wide range of emojis and stickers.
If members in the group chat go offline, they can view messages whenever they sign in again. A major problem is that Skype doesn’t run in the background, so you need to sign in everytime you open the app. This is mostly due to Apple’s restrictions, and there’s no way out of it. Though group video chat isn’t available right now, we might just see it in the next update.
Get rid of unwanted notifications
Skype has improved the notification system, which doesn’t show the same missed calls or unread messages on multiple devices anymore. Once you’ve addressed them on a device, they will be removed from other devices you use to log in. You can also choose from various combinations of in-app, audio, and push notifications.
Over the years, Skype has been synonymous with video conferencing. The iOS version makes the app compete against Facetime, Apple’s native video conferencing service. Considering that Skype has already managed to get over 11 million users on iPhone, it definitely has a good start.
Where can you run this program?
Skype for iOS is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It requires iOS version 10.0 or above.
Is there a better alternative?
While Skype comes with a lot of features, the lack of video conferencing or group chat is a deterrent. iVisit has already been using this technology, and you can try its app to chat with multiple people over video. One thing that would be welcome in Skype’s list of features is something like Viber’s ability to shift a call from the app to your tablet or desktop.
FaceTime could be a great alternative too, but only if all your friends and family members have iPhones. For customization options, you should check out Tango, which has numerous stickers and a feature that lets you edit appearance on the screen.
Though group chat is an added bonus, Skype is a complete communications package. The latest version for iOS is faster, simpler, aesthetically appealing, and consistent with other versions of the app.
Should you download it?
Yes, definitely! With a wide range of features, Skype lets you do everything you want from a communications tool. The design is fluid, fast, and intuitive. Though it could be more powerful with advanced features and customization options, it’s still one of the most promising platforms for voice calls, video calls, chats, and group chats.
- Excellent video and voice quality
- Simple and clean interface
- Better control over notifications
- Doesn’t support group video chat
- Less features than the desktop version
- Doesn’t run in the background