Microsoft Releases Skype Lite for India

Posted on February 22, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Skype with 4 Comments

Microsoft Releases Skype Lite for India

Today, announced the release of Skype Lite for Android, a special version of Skype built specifically for the India market.

“Skype Lite is designed to deliver a great Skype performance in challenging network conditions, use less data, less power and enable more users to take advantage of free Skype to Skype calls,” the announcement notes. “As of today, Android users in India are able to download Skype Lite via the Google Play Store, free of charge. It is available in seven local languages: Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.”

Skype Lite was announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Future Decoded conference in Mumbai. According to the firm, it is the “fastest and smallest Skype app yet.” Sounds like the type of thing the rest of the planet might enjoy, too, right?

Well, maybe not. According to Microsoft, Skype Lite includes features that are unique to the India market, including SMS filtering, mobile data and Wi-Fi usage monitoring and India focused Skype Bots. It uses less data to send and receive messages, and make and receive voice or video calls. And it runs “far more smoothly” on the 2G networks that are still common in that country.

“Skype Lite uses less data and power by compressing large files such as photos and video content and therefore requires less battery power compared to the Skype mobile app,” the announcement explains. “This helps to minimize issues with the app draining the battery, especially on older devices.”

Microsoft says it will deliver Aadhaar integration to Skype Lite by June. This will enable users to verify the identity of unknown callers in a variety of situations where identification verification is required, including job interviews, goods and property sale, the firm notes.

 

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Microsoft Releases Skype Lite for India”

  1. Bart

    I have already been using this app when it was available in beta. I like it so much, it is my default text messaging app on my Nexus 5X. When under development, it was known as Skype Mingo.

    This app is available in English and can be side loaded as the apk-file is available at the usual websites. Obviously, proceed with caution

    • offTheRecord

      In reply to Bart:

      I did something similar when Facebook came out with the lite versions of its Facebook and Messenger apps. I mean, who doesn't want something that uses less resources, battery power and data? Facebook's app was notorious for draining batteries. One would think that the goal of all app developers would be to create an app that is as efficient as possible with mobile resources.

      One issue I had with Facebook's lite apps, though, is that they were light on settings, too. Other than notification settings, there are basically no settings in the apps -- no way to customize privacy or any other settings. Presumably, the apps would respect account settings you've made via other means, such as the web site, but I was never able to find out if this was the case.

      One thing I found interesting in the description for Skype Lite is that it said you can send *and* receive SMS messages. That has always been a weakness of Skype. Using Skype credit, one could send SMS messages, but not receive SMS replies -- making it pretty much useless for SMS.

  2. Ravi Tx

    "It is available in seven local languages: Gujarati" that is for me. Back in the days Windows Phones were very popular in India and all major Indian apps were coming to WP store. Only if Microsoft hadn't abandoned WP for markets like India where it was growing. I wish after this skype app, Microsoft actually focuses on India and rest of the world rather than US only. In localization Google is moving very fast and will dominate growing Indian market because for quite some time Google is actually developing features relevant to local market of India.

  3. Kudupa

    Skype Mingo is soo buggy and slow. I can't believe how Microsoft can release this app to public.

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