Skype for Windows Phone sheds Beta, but lacks key features

Skype for Windows Phone sheds Beta, but lacks key features
Skype for Windows Phone is official, but lags behind iPhone and Android versions

We've often though of Skype as a potential ace in the hole for Windows Phone, a chance for Microsoft to showcase an app that would make even iPhone and Android users would scowl with envy.

Now Microsoft has finally removed the Beta tag from the Skype app, but despite spending $8.5 billion (£5.3 billion) for the VoIP client last year, the first official version seems to fall short of its rivals.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the app doesn't allow background calling, meaning you can't receive calls unless Skype is running in the foreground.

That's something iOS and Android users have been able to make use of since the client first arrived on the App Store and the Android Market.

Windows Phone 7.5 only

Also, disappointingly for Windows Phone users utilising cheaper handsets, the app only runs on the 7.5 Mango version of the operating system.

Those using the scaled down Tango version are unable to access Skype, meaning owners of the Nokia Lumia 610 miss out.

Bluetooth headsets aren't supported, while Skype calls might be interrupted by battery notifications, alarms or incoming calls from regular mobile networks.

It's not all doom and gloom though. The app does allow for calls over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi and boasts a unique Metro-style UI which gives it a very different look and feel to its iOS counterpart.

We'd hope that version 1.0 is just that and Microsoft brings out the big guns for later iterations of the app, thus making Skype the shining light for Windows Phone we all hoped it would be.

Via: PC World

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.