A new version of the Skype mobile app lets you turn any phone chat into a video-conferencing call with the push of a button. The revamped app is packed with new features for business users, and is compatible with all Windows Phone devices running Windows Phone 8.1, a new version of Microsoft's mobile operating system. Microsoft hasn't announced an exact launch date for the new Skype app, but says it's "coming soon." Here are three productivity-boosting features to look forward to.
Instantly upgrade to video calls
Face-to-face meetings are an important part of doing business, but they're not always practical. That's why video conferencing is such a valuable tool for communicating with employees, colleagues and clients. And the new Skype app makes it easier to connect via video chat. During any regular phone call, just tap the onscreen Skype button that has been added to the dialer in Windows Phone 8.1. That will activate your phone's camera and instantly turn any cellular call into a video call.
The new Skype app is fully integrated with Cortana, the new voice-activated virtual assistant that debuted with Windows Phone 8.1. Instead of launching the Skype app and initiating a video call, you can now start a video call using a simple verbal phrase. Just say "Skype, get (contact name) on video" to start a video-conferencing session. Voice commands help you start and complete your call more quickly and easily, so you can get back to work.
Video instant messaging
The addition of video instant messaging allows you to send video clips to your contacts, even when they're not online; they can view your message the next time they sign into Skype. The new feature can help users communicate, even when they have busy or conflicting work schedules.