Microsoft announced today that it has started rolling out the new Skype UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app on Windows 10 Mobile. Additionally, the PC version of that app—which is included with the Windows 10 Anniversary update—has been updated as well.
“This release brings one of our most requested Skype features to your Windows 10 phone, the ability to make group video calls,” Skype’s Karen Tong explains. “You can have up to 25 friends and family come together on a free group video call, talk face-to-face with a 1:1 call, message your friends in an instant to share photos, video messages, your location and even send emoticons and Mojis to liven up your conversation. You can also quickly reply to Skype messages – no need to open Skype.”
That last bit occurs via the new notification pop-up that appears whenever you get a Skype message, so it works from anywhere on your phone.
But there’s even better news for Windows phone users: Later this summer, Microsoft will enable SMS relay on its own mobile platform—the feature is already available in Skype for Android—so you will be able to send SMS messages from a Windows 10 PC, or your phone, and access your SMS and Skype conversations all in a single place.And you were worried that the Messaging Everywhere announcement from a few weeks ago was going to be a problem. No, you really were.
This new Skype UWP app is also hitting the PC today, Microsoft says. Improvements include:
- You can call mobile phones and land lines at Skype’s low rates.
- You can leave and receive voice mails.
- You can put calls on hold.
- You can use call waiting to answer a call if you’re already on another call.
- It’s easier find people with search.
- You can collaborate with others using file sharing, screen sharing and translation for audio and video calls.
- The Skype Bots preview has been enhanced with new expertise, products, services and entertainment.
- There are many improvements to overall app performance and experience.
So a lot of stuff.
Note that you need to be on the Windows Insider program to access Skype UWP app. I assume that will change on August 2 when the Anniversary update ships. Or not.