Skype for Windows Phone hits 1.0, still missing background notifications

Daniel Bader

April 23, 2012 10:02 am


Skype for Windows Phone ambled into beta form earlier this year to mixed reviews. While the Microsoft-owned franchise was a shoe-in for Windows Phone integration, it was missing the key feature that was necessary to carry it over into the mainstream: background notifications. Unlike in Android and iOS, the Windows Phone client cannot receive calls or notifications when the app is closed, negating many of the reasons to use it in the first place.

This is owed to the fact that Microsoft has not in fact given developers any special API dispensation for VoIP apps, which Apple opened up in iOS 4 (and Android always had). But Skype version 1.0 is still a fully-realized affair, with the ability to add contacts, search the large Skype database and, perhaps best of all, call landlines.

Video calling quality is said to be mixed, any only a small number of second-generation devices came with a front-facing camera, but according to WPCentral the quality isn’t as high as Tango, an app that has become the de facto standard on Windows Phones.

If you’re a regular user of Skype, the release of version 1.0 will be a welcome occurrence.

Download it in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Via: WPCentral

  • Rory

    Gotta say I really love the whole Metro UI thing. Haven’t tried WP yet but don’t think I want to touch it until maybe next year.

    They are likely not allowing background because they intend to integrate it with the OS and want to keep the app separate for older versions later but even still that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    From what I understand, Tango, a 3rd-party app does backgrounding so that is pretty sad MS/Skype couldn’t do it with their own app.

    • Francis

      Whatsapp and many more apps actually work in the background and use push notifications. No excuse for Skype not to use it unless Microsoft does expect to bundle it with the OS in the future.

    • Stu

      I totally agree that there are plans in the works to integrate it into the OS. I’m loving my Lumia 900 – would be nice if they rolled out the data connectivity issue when they say they will though. It’s really detracted from enjoying the device this past week.

  • Alex Perrier

    i’m thinking of trying out Tango. Seems straightforward. Too bad it doesn’t work on OS X or Linux, though.

    i get why Microsoft wants to limit the background usage each app can have. Furthermore, 256 MB phones are quite limited in terms of what apps and/or functions work. Other systems like Android 2.x tend to need a third-party “task killer” to prevent memory-hogging apps from crashing the phone. Still, MS should fix their Skype app and add lightweight background notifications for incoming messages.

    • bob

      no need for task killer on android 2.2

  • DS

    Ummm.. Microsoft *OWNS* Skype… Skype should just be basic functionality in Windows Phone. I can’t believe they can’t even get that right on this flawed platform…

  • Keith Z-G

    Hilariously, Skype works better on the Nokia N9, running the OS that Nokia ditched for Windows Phone, since it’s fully integrated into the OS (just like any normal call, incoming or outgoing; and nope, my battery life doesn’t seem to take much of a hit at all if I leave my Skype account turned on from the fully-integrated-into-the-system availability menu in the main dropdown menu).

    Hell, the predecessor to the N9, the N900, had better Skype integration in every way than WP7 does . . . even though that was years ago, and Microsoft has owned Skype a good deal of the time since then.

    Good thing Nokia switched to a mature OS like WP7 rather than the half-baked Linux variant they were planning on using for their future lineup ;)

  • glonq

    So, Skype for WP7 finally launches.
    – Despite Skype being owned by Microsoft, it takes 1.5 years of broken promises and missed deadlines before it is released for WP7.
    – Unlike VOIP apps on every platform, Skype on WP7 lacks an essential VOIP feature: you can make calls but you can’t receive them.
    – Despite Skype’s track record of great device support (like my 64MB WM5 phone from 2008), the app won’t work on brand-new 256MB WP7 Tango phones sold today.
    This is the kind of terribleness that people get fired for. It’s been a whole week since the last WP7 team firing/resignation, so let’s wait and see what happens…