It’s been about a year and a half since Microsoft bought Skype, and the companies are finally getting ready to bring Skype to the Windows Phone platform in a big way. A new Skype app is in the works, and it integrates tightly with the Windows phone 8 operating system in ways that could make WP8 the best mobile platform… if Skype is the most important app to you.
Skype for Windows Phone 8 is always on. That means that any time you receive a chat message or voice or video call, you’ll get an alert. If your phone is on, you don’t have to worry that you might not be logged in.
The app has also been redesigned to fit with the Windows Phone user interface — and incoming calls now use the same call screen as normal phone calls. Skype notifications also now show up on the lock screen next to missed calls and text messages.
There’s also a call waiting feature, letting you quickly switch between Skype and normal phone calls.
Skype’s new Live Tile can show unread message counts, and if you’re using the largest available tile size you can also see previews of the latest messages.
Windows Phone 8 integrates your Skype contacts with the People Hub, letting you view all your contacts from one place as long as you’re logged into Skype.
While Skype continues to offer apps for other smartphone operating systems, the new app for Windows Phone 8 will offer tighter integration with the operating system than the apps for iOS or Android. I don’t know too many people that consider Skype the most important app on their smartphones, but if you fit the bill, you might want to take a look at some of the new Windows Phone 8 devices set to hit the market this weekend.
How funny that the company that owns skype has to VIE to be the best platform to support it.
It certainly beats another possible approach Microsoft could have used: cripple the service on all other platforms. I’m happy to see them take this more consumer-friendly approach.
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