Sunday, April 22, 2012

Microsoft releases Skype 1.0 for WP, but still no background calling

Microsoft has released a 1.0 final version of Skype for Windows Phone. The new release replaces the Skype beta version that Microsoft delivered at the end of February at Mobile World Congress.

What's going to cause some major headaches, and major criticism, is that the app does not allow calling if Skype is open and the user is in the app.

Reportedly, the reasons are not arbitrary. A Skype spokesperson said the omission is due to "a combination of how Skype works and how the Windows Phone OS works."

If that's the case, technical limitations, it's most likely on the Windows Phone side of things, and shows that Windows Phone still needs to mature when compared to iOS and Android.

There are some minor improvements to the Skype 1.0 release. Among them are the ability to search for and add new contacts. Other changes include necessary bug fixes, an improved launch time, and the ability to call landlines.

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Since Microsoft owns Skype, it is expected to integrate the service more tightly when it releases Windows Phone 8. According to early leaks, however, the app will still remain that: a standalone app, at least at the time Windows Phone 8 debuts, which is expected to be prior to the end of calendar year 2012.

Skype also has versions for iPhone, Android and even Blackberry OS.

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