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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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Video Messages Coming to Skype on iOS and Mac




Microsoft is adding Video Messages to Skype for iOS, Android, and Mac this week, which will allow Skype users to send up to three minutes of video to one another. It will essentially function as video voicemail.

The messages, which are designed to be sent to both online and offline users, are a part of Skype Premium. Each Skype account will receive 20 free messages and when those are used, additional messages will require a subscription to Skype premium for $4.99 per month. The Verge went hands on with the app:
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The feature works on Android and iOS by using the front facing camera, with an option to switch to the rear. You can send up to three minutes of video to users who are either online or offline and the video will be delivered in the chat part of Skype.

The Mac client is very much the same, but there's an option to download the video messages you receive. It's certainly no Vine rival as the feature doesn't let you record in loops, but Skype tells us that it's an early beta still in testing.
Microsoft is also planning to transition its Windows Live Messenger users to Skype, merging the two services into one. The transition was supposed to happen in mid-March, but it has been delayed until April 8.

Video Messages are currently rolling out to users on both iOS and Mac. Skype for the iPhone [Direct Link] and for the iPad [Direct Link] can be downloaded from the App Store and Skype for Mac can be downloaded from the website. All three apps are free.

Article Link: Video Messages Coming to Skype on iOS and Mac
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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It's already available. Conversations -> Send Video Message.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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Good feature--but Skype has been about 60% reliable for me on all platforms, and that's not good enough to pay for.

Question: if you log on to Skype on your iPad/iPhone and then force quit the app or reboot your device, can you still receive incoming call notifications via Push? And then Skype will launch to take the call if you accept?

In the past, the Skype iOS app ONLY lets you receive calls while the app is actively running... which means very noticeable battery drain, and wastes RAM.

Other messaging apps are able to use the feature Apple built years ago for this: push notifications. Push works whether the app is running or not, and uses no battery. I can stay logged into AIM, FaceTime, Facebook and may others--able to receive incoming messages--EVEN when those apps are not running. Even if I reboot my device, I don't have to re-login. These are modern, efficient apps, in other words, not trying to do things the old way and run CPU cycles 24/7! An app does need to be running to actually be ON a call if you accept, but there's no need for it to be running just to find out you have an incoming call request.

I hope Skype has caught up, but I tend to doubt it. (I'm amazed Apple even allows an app to act the way Skype has long acted. I know there's an iOS VOIP service that keeps an app live... but it should only be needed when you are ON a call. Not 24/7.)
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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pretty cool stuff i dont use skype often but i guess i assumed this was already a feature of the service
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 01:11 PM   #5
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This is really cool. It'll be nice to communicate more personally leaving a video message while the recipient is offline.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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FaceTime should have something like this.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post
Good feature--but Skype has been about 60% reliable for me on all platforms, and that's not good enough to pay for.

Question: if you log on to Skype on your iPad/iPhone and then force quit the app or reboot your device, can you still receive incoming call notifications via Push? And then Skype will launch to take the call if you accept?

In the past, the Skype iOS app ONLY lets you receive calls while the app is actively running... which means very noticeable battery drain, and wastes RAM.

Other messaging apps are able to use the feature Apple built years ago for this: push notifications. Push works whether the app is running or not, and uses no battery. I can stay logged into AIM, FaceTime, Facebook and may others--able to receive incoming messages--EVEN when those apps are not running. Even if I reboot my device, I don't have to re-login. These are modern, efficient apps, in other words, not trying to do things the old way and run CPU cycles 24/7! An app does need to be running to actually be ON a call if you accept, but there's no need for it to be running just to find out you have an incoming call request.

I hope Skype has caught up, but I tend to doubt it. (I'm amazed Apple even allows an app to act the way Skype has long acted. I know there's an iOS VOIP service that keeps an app live... but it should only be needed when you are ON a call. Not 24/7.)
Great reply. I wasted my money for a Skype number in 2011. As you said it never worked. I never got calls and I'd be notified by email of the missed calls and/or voicemail. I live in Taiwan and I bought the Skype number so my family could call a local number for free but still call me. All Skype managed to do was make my aging Granny to get angry and tired of trying to call her grandson that never picked up the phone. Took me forever to explain that it was a software problem not me ignoring her calls. Thanks Skype! Now I use a free program Pinger that lets me text for free to people in the US and get all those previously missed Skype calls. All for free! If I want to call back it's a fee but nothing like Skype. Before pinger was not too reliable for texting (sometimes their server would be overloaded and you'd be asked to text later) but this hasn't happened to me since early 2012 so they must have got that fixed. No fan of Skype.

On Mac OS I always have connection problems with video calls that don't occur with FaceTime. I still use Skype with some students I teach on line because I can text or send files and screen share all at the same time. If there is a better multi platform alternative I would like to use it. Skype for Mac or ios runs my battery down so fast and makes both my MacBook Pro and iPhone 4 heat up. The processors are put to work I guess. I have problems with my contacts showing up correctly on my MacBook as well.

Nope. Cheat me once shame on Skype cheat me twice and I'm just stupid. Ha
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 03:31 PM   #8
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In more than 20 years of Apple experience I don't think I have witnessed a piece of software become more disappointing than Skype.

They destroyed a wonderful piece of software,service and experience. (and most of the degradation happened before MS bought it)
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 03:58 PM   #9
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How are unlimited video messages possibly not free? Let alone regular voicemail? It's 2013.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mathcolo View Post
How are unlimited video messages possibly not free? Let alone regular voicemail? It's 2013.
Microsoft.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Squuiid View Post
Microsoft.
Skype was nickeling and dining before Microsoft. Group video chat was also only for subscribers, for example.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cougarcat View Post
Skype was nickeling and dining before Microsoft. Group video chat was also only for subscribers, for example.
Yes, because they were trying to increase revenue before selling, to Microsoft.
It is now up to Microsoft to not continue with this practice and thus shoot themselves in the foot.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RolyPolyBird View Post
In more than 20 years of Apple experience I don't think I have witnessed a piece of software become more disappointing than Skype.

They destroyed a wonderful piece of software,service and experience. (and most of the degradation happened before MS bought it)
I am on 2.8 version still and won't upgrade ever! BEcause new versions are full of shoilt
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 12:17 AM   #14
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Using Skype isn't a good idea, let alone paying for it...

There are so many alternatives that are so much better. Google Plus is great, and so is AIM/.Mac/MobileMe. They're all free. Meanwhile, Skype is mediocre and paid. Of course, I looked Skype up on Wikipedia at some point and noticed that Microsoft is running it. That explains a lot.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 12:47 AM   #15
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20 video messages FOR FREE?? So generous
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 02:28 AM   #16
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Sadly these days it's all about generating revenue rather than providing a service. People will gladly pay if the price is fair and the service great.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 03:41 AM   #17
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Great, now how about letting android users use the app in portrait mode again -.-
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Squuiid View Post
Yes, because they were trying to increase revenue before selling, to Microsoft.
It is now up to Microsoft to not continue with this practice and thus shoot themselves in the foot.
Why should MS cater to you for free? (or anyone else for that matter).
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:17 AM   #19
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I donīt use Skype anymore, all my contacts are on facebook.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 03:02 PM   #20
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I actually have a bit higher hopes for Skype under Microsoft than I would have before. Most of the problems were not MS's making. I'd hope MS would fix them before moving all their MSN users over to Skype, though, and that hasn't happened. I hope a complete overhaul is in the works behind the scenes.

With real push service, to stop burning up my batteries!
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 05:20 AM   #21
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Useless feature.

Should've just included messages to offline users with push notifications.

The way Skype operates is outdated. Just think, you have to first call somebody with a regular line and tell them to turn on Skype, and then chat, totally dependent and outdated method of establishing contact. If you've got Viber, LINE or even a Facebook messenger, any of the new generation messengers, they don't have this online and offline mode anymore, you just send a text and forget it, they'll either receive it instantly or if they have no connection once they go online it'll be delivered them.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:01 AM   #22
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the biggest downside of skype is that is not possible leave a message.
the other person will receive the message just when the sender comes back online. that's sad...
i wonder how such a mediocre service became the one and only voip software to be used globally, and still no one seems to be able (or willing) to compete with it, not even facebook or google..
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 12:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by RolyPolyBird View Post
In more than 20 years of Apple experience I don't think I have witnessed a piece of software become more disappointing than Skype.
The question becomes exactly what piece of consumer software alternative is there, though? Yahoo Messenger support died on the Mac LONG ago. FaceTime is fine for Mac to Mac and iOS to Mac, but has no use for communicating video calls to Windows or Linux users. The ability to share screens is very valuable. Messages on Mac relies on OTHER services to function and so it and FaceTime are not really a replacement for something like Skype.

I'm sure there are some other 3rd party apps out there, but what kind of market saturation is there and do they have even remotely good Mac support? Sadly, this is why Skype is still important.

Why hasn't Apple jumped in and offered their own cross-platform alternative? They just dumped Safari support for Windows. It seems we like to complain about Microsoft not supporting Macs, but I don't see Apple stepping up any longer on their end and making Windows compatible applications (other than iTunes which is too much $$$ to ignore).

Skype actually works well here on my Mac Mini EXCEPT that when I do a 720p video call with my new Logitech B910 webcam, the CPU usage jumps to 100% while video is active (it starts in a lower resolution that uses 30% but as soon as it detects sufficient bandwidth, it goes to 720p automatically and pegs the CPU and starts heating up the computer. Facetime, by comparison uses 25% CPU for the same relative call to another Mac. But again, it seems I'm limited to Macs and iOS devices.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatalbert View Post
Using Skype isn't a good idea, let alone paying for it...

There are so many alternatives that are so much better. Google Plus is great
Google Plus is at least as invasive as Facebook and I for one want no part of it. I don't want to use my real name across the Internet and the last time I checked Google Plus REQUIRES you to do just that and so all your restaurant reviews, etc. will have your name attached to it and potentially create real problems with irate businesses, etc. All I want is a private video chat (phone-like) function, not a social network alternative to Facebook (which I do NOT subscribe to; one might as well just paint a bulls-eye on their identity and beg hackers to steal it as they seem to get hacked regularly).

Quote:
and so is AIM/.Mac/MobileMe.
MobileMe is GONE. Facetime doesn't work with Windows machines anyway. I don't know ANYONE who is still using AIM and I don't believe video chatting is supported on it with Macs anyway.

Quote:
They're all free. Meanwhile, Skype is mediocre and paid. Of course, I looked Skype up on Wikipedia at some point and noticed that Microsoft is running it. That explains a lot.
I don't pay a DIME to use Skype. WTF are you talking about? They charge for extra features. I can make audio and video calls all day long with Mac and Windows users for FREE in addition to messaging plus there's screen sharing.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:31 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Cod3rror View Post
Useless feature.

Should've just included messages to offline users with push notifications.

The way Skype operates is outdated. Just think, you have to first call somebody with a regular line and tell them to turn on Skype, and then chat, totally dependent and outdated method of establishing contact. If you've got Viber, LINE or even a Facebook messenger, any of the new generation messengers, they don't have this online and offline mode anymore, you just send a text and forget it, they'll either receive it instantly or if they have no connection once they go online it'll be delivered them.
You seem to be saying the SAME THING, though. "IF [the person] has no connection once they go online it will be delivered".... SO what you're saying is that IF the person has no Skype connection, they'll get the message when they go online. The ONLY difference is that those other apps are using delivery methods are ALWAYS RUNNING and so they get the message whereas someone might not have Skype running all the time. In short, the difference is purely semantics.

If you don't have an iPhone (I don't; I use a dirt cheap pre-pay system for voice only), you don't generally have this "always online" thing going for you and sadly, the biggest hurdle for skype in general is that when you close that Macbook lid, the application cannot making a ringing sound so you know to open the lid back up again. Apple has made some background tasks work on SOME devices like the Macbook Air, but I don't think Skype qualifies as a good use of battery power. But THAT is exactly what it needs to function as a video telephone device. It HAS to have some partial presence always running just like your own home telephone. And that applies to ANY device designed to do that. If you take your telephone off the hook, you can't get a phone call that way either!

So if you have your home computer running and Skype isn't on and you then are peeved you have to make a real phone call, whose fault is that? If you want people to reach you through Skype, leave it running in the background at all times. But don't log off. Don't go out to eat. You see you have to be near a phone to answer it and you have to be near a Skype device to answer it also. Of course if you have Skype on your iPhone you could leave it running these days (wasn't even possible before multi-tasking was allowed on iOS devices).

I would think an obvious answer to video chatting is that the device at home should be on something that is always available. Something like a next generation AppleTV (especially one imbedded in a smart tv with a web cam built-in) would be a good platform for home phone calls in addition to the mobile and desktop options. I've seen cable boxes show caller ID calls overlaid onto the screen; this should be extended to answering video calls as well at some point. I mean, after all, Back To The Future II promised me large screen teleconferencing as a normal thing in 2015 and we're almost there (of course it also promised flying cars and Jaws 19 in a holographic theater and I don't see either of those happening ANY time soon. Sadly, the real 2015 won't be THAT different from 1985 save mobile computing devices and more powerful gaming systems and home computers. Cars more or less look the same. Buildings look the same. Heck we haven't even been to the moon since 1972 unless you believe those alien conspiracy people.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 02:02 AM   #25
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The question becomes exactly what piece of consumer software alternative is there, though?
Completely agree with everything you say.

My main Skype usage has always been the chat with a little bit of calling, but the new UI just sends me into a complete rage - generally I am a pretty chilled out kind of guy.

There is real opportunity here... I can't believe that its technologically that difficult to write the software, and if the software and service is good then the funding would follow. Indi developers have been providing text and video conference software for more than a decade.
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