Microsoft Skype, one of the most widely used communication solution has upgraded itself and the app is now available to even Linux users in Beta mode. While Microsoft launched Skype for Linux some months back, it was still in the Alpha phase. Since then, Microsoft has now finally moved on to the Beta stage for Skype Linux, meaning the new Skype is a lot more safe as compared to the Alpha version and also comes with quite a few new features which Skype for other platforms has but were missing on Linux Skype. While some requests from Linux users have also been incorporated, most of the new features revolve around Skype for other platforms. The new Skype is user-friendly and also comes with added bug fixes.
Taking a look at the new, improved features in Skype Linux Beta, the first and foremost important feature is the new calling update, Under this calling update, Skype calls can be made to smartphone/mobile as well as landline devices, with Skype credit. One-to-one video call have also been facilitated between Linux and Skype users on other platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. The next update is in the form of Window Sharing where Linux users can now view shared screens from other Skype desktop clients. All other desktop clients are supported. In smaller updated, Skype Linux now shows whether online contacts are busy or away, and Unity Launcher also shows the number of unread conversations.
According to the Skype Blog, “Since the launch of Skype for Linux Alpha a few months ago, we have been focused on building a new experience that is in line with Skype’s ongoing transition from peer-to-peer to a modern cloud architecture. We want to create a Linux version of Skype that is as feature rich as the existing Skype on desktop and mobile platforms. Today, we’re pleased to announce that we are ready to take the next step and promote Skype for Linux from Alpha to Beta. This update includes features that make it easier for you to use Skype for Linux for your everyday communications needs. We have been listening to you and added in some of your top requests.”The new Beta version is up for download from the Skype website. New Facebook artificial tool can find out if a user is suicidal and help the person out
Summing up the key new features of the new Skype Beta version:
Calling updates: Calls to mobiles and landlines with Skype credit, one-to-one video calls can be made from Linux to Skype users on the latest versions of Skype for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.
Better collaboration: Linux users can now view shared screens from other Skype desktop clients (Windows 7.33 and above, Mac 7.46 and above).
Usability improvements: Unity launcher now shows the number of unread conversations, online contacts in contact list now include Away and Do Not Disturb statuses. Gmail to support up to 50MB files in mail, but send limit still restricted to 25MB
Microsoft is trying their best to push Skype ahead as the race among communication platforms and apps is getting more intense. While Skype does offer great features and security for calling, people are switching to newer platforms. Skype recently launched their new version of Skype called Skype Lite in India at a special event Future Decoded. Apart from making the app lighter, Skype Lite also integrates Aadhaar card credential verification into Skype for more secure calling. Microsoft has also announced that it plans to discontinue its Skype WiFi service from April 1s. The service helped people connect to one from millions of hotspots active online and the payment was made through Skype credit.