Skype promises, and Skype delivers it seems. The feature that many of you have been waiting for on Skype, is finally here. Yes, am talking about group video calling on mobile devices! Now available for groups of up to 25 people!
Last month, on the 10th anniversary of Skype, Microsoft announced that it was brining group video calls on mobile devices. We got happy, but then realised that there was no concrete release date for the feature. Today, Skype makes good on the announcement, by rolling out the feature to iOS and Android users. As it usually happens, users the US and Europe will be getting the feature first, and the rollout should be complete by the end of the week. Within March, the rest of the world should have it as well.
This is not groundbreaking, but seriously useful. For anyone using Skype for group calls on the desktop, a group video feature on mobile started becoming a necessity. Now, you can get up to 25 people in on one Skype group video call – if your device and/or data connection can actually keep the call stable. Yet, Microsoft says that it has worked very hard on lowering the processing power required for a call of this magnitude. We’ll see…
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So, if all goes perfectly well, the question on my mind is… “How on earth do you get 25 people on a small mobile screen?” Well, it’s simple really. You actually don’t. The person talking appears in the centre.
If you do want to watch someone in particular, you can just pin their video feed to this position even if they are not talking. I can’t really think of any use for this, but sure… ok.
This isn’t the the only feature – anyone can also now invite others (non-Skype users) to a group conversation. These added people can also take part through Skype for Web. This is a great feature that was long-due.
Paradoxically, the only app on iOS not to offer similar functionalities is FaceTime. It’s only a matter of time until this changes I suppose.
Image credit: The Verge