Microsoft purchased Skype last year, and has since released a version of the popular video phone call service for its Windows Phone devices. But the newly developed app that just made its way out of beta this weekend seems to have some crucial flaws, according to critics.
There are some admirable features in the video-chatting app, such as phone-calling capabilities over 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi, networks, low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype credits and the ability to manage one's contact list and chat with friends. Still, the Windows version of Skype is getting some major flak from users, and here's why:
1. No background incoming calls. The main criticism lies in the fact that users cannot accept incoming calls unless the Skype app is open and active on the user's phone. This is different from how the face-to-face chatting app functions on other platforms such as iOS and Android, according to ZDNet.com. At first glance, Skype for Windows Phone works just like the iOS and Android clients, writes Daniel Ionescu of PC World. If users are in another app, they will not be able to receive calls through the Skype app.
2. Only compatible with high-end devices. Users will need a Windows Phone running Mango (7.5) with 512MB of RAM if they want to run Skype on the go. This means the app will work only with high-end devices on the platform, offering a limited sphere of capable contacts. For example, phones such as the Nokia Lumia 610 won't be able to run the Skype application, so don't expect to chat face-to-face with any friends who own low-end or dated models.
3. No Bluetooth headset support. This isn't as crucial as the issue of background calling, but it may pose an inconvenience for Bluetooth fans. Another minor problem is that the app will not run when the phone is connected to a computer via USB cable.
4. Calls may get cut off due to other notifications. Another relatively trivial yet noteworthy problem, in Skype version 1.0 incoming calls, alarms and low battery notifications may cut a phone call short.
5. There's already an app that's better. A rival video phone call app already exists, and it answers the largest problem that the new Skype version encounters. Tango Video Calls offers face-to-face phone calls that allow users to accept incoming calls when the app is not open and active. If video calling is important to you then try that service out, advices ZDNet.com.
The Skype application for the Windows phone is still in its early stages, and therefore still has its bugs and kinks to work out. But it appears Microsoft is planning to expand the video-calling service to other platforms, reports PC Mag. On Friday it was reported that Skype will be making its way to the Xbox gaming platform next. A recent job posting for an Xbox software development engineer in London called for a new hire to assist in bringing the service to its gaming console.
We're building the next generations of our products and technology right here in London, and Skype is looking to hire a software development engineer to contribute to the development of our experiences on Xbox, read the job listing.
There is no clear indication of when Skype will launch for the Xbox, but it will be interesting to see how Microsoft irons out its glitches before then.