Unified Messaging Skype Beta for Windows 10 Mobile finally leaks

Ever since January, Microsoft has talked about how it is bringing Skype messaging into the native text messaging app on Windows 10 Mobile. This morning, that app has finally leaked through a downloadable link to the Windows Store. The app appears to be installable by anyone with a Windows 10 Mobile device hinting that the app may be released with this week's expected Mobile Preview update.

The Messaging Skype Beta app comes in at just 24.7 MB and asks if it can take over your current Messaging app. Both apps remain, however, if you accept and all new SMS messages go to the new combined App.

Additionally, the download installs a second app called Skype Video Preview. This app is a much more streamlined Skype experience that lets users direct call each other with video. Indeed, the app is reminiscent of Apple's FaceTime as its only purpose is video calls. A list of call history is presented and tapping the user name launches into a direct Skype call with that user. If you want to chat with them, you need to use the Messaging Skype Beta app. You can chat with them during a call as the app's just switch and the experience feels rather seamless.

The overall experience so far with both apps is positive. The messaging apps is very similar to the current messaging app. Users can choose a Skype or typical SMS-style when creating a new message.You can dynamically switch between Skype and SMS within a single conversation so long as the contact's information is linked together (Skype and personal number). We did experience occasionally crashes and sudden app close-outs reinforcing that this is indeed still a beta.

You can download the app below to your Windows 10 Mobile device and give it a go. Like all things, remember that you are installing a beta app for what could be considered a crucial aspect of your phone: SMS messaging. As such, plan to have a backup ready in case something breaks.

Download Messaging Skype Beta for Windows 10 Mobile (opens in new tab)

Via: Windows Phone Addict; Thanks, @NotCassim, for the tip

QR: skype

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

403 Comments
  • This is gonna be interesting
  • I'm assuming this is a windows version of iMessage yes? Like a competitor sort of?
  • It's Skype.
  • Is it? I thought it wasn't :|
  • Skype is Microsoft's answer to iMessage/Facetime
  • Other way around. As skype is older
  • Skype may be older, but this is them changing it to be more like iMessage. 
  • all the services microsoft uses are older yet they always seem to only be answering to competitors recently rather than leading the way
  • So true. Mismanagement and a culture of copying Apple and Google instead of innovating.
  • Yeah right and Apple and Google have never copied Microsoft?!?!? Get real everyone copies each other
  • And yet when they try to innovate, they get smacked down for changing things. 8.x for example. 
  • @Michael, what if i told you that skype existence was not related to mobile? so nope, skype is older and was NOT in the same bussines like imessage. microsoft could as well to create another service to "compete" with imessage. but since skype has a name, why not diversify your own product to also be the main messaging platform on your mobile os?
  • Yes but Skype has been messed about a bit by MS and has lost it's status by a mile as the definative answer to communicating, especially if you have a tablet  :-(
  • What are you talking about? Msft has made massive improvements to the way Skype works. If you've followed since the acquisition, you'd know.
  • Like currently only having an awful desktop program on Windows?
  • Exactly. They have shown zero innovation around Skype for years while others similar products have gone from zero to hero. Appalling.
  • Wasn't this part of WindowsPhone 7? Or am I mistaking?
    I was kinda disappointed when they ditched it back then.
  • Correct, this is not new. They're bringing back what they took away from Windows phone 7 with a few additions.
  • Yeah, I see you're confused.
  • Such a simple answer, love it. Lol
  • I use to love that about iPhone, and if this is so make it that you can also receive mms texts and anyone with a Windows pc or tablet can text and video chat across all Windows devices.
  • That is the goal of this app. It will be on both pc and phone.
  • to be sure, it will also land on Apple and Andriod devices.
  • Yeah! In a few more days! And will be a better one for sure..... Well, change in CEO's have changed the scene and services quite around! Posted while running with the ninja cat
  • They can't do apple devices do to their locked down systems not allow anyone to use anything but their stock messaging app to receive normal texts
  • The other versions of this app will likely only work for skype chats. That's my expectation, at least.
  • To be honest Microsoft first implemented this with SMS + Microsoft messanger in the first iteration of Windows Phone. That got removed with 8.1, sadly. Hope this is become as seamless as it was in the past (but with Skype).
  • Yes, and It`s really confusing the way they change their mind about these services, it happend the same with the skype version for windows 8 that has been eliminated for a desktop version.
  • Microsoft seems to dislike building on their previous work. It always seems to be preferrable to them to start over from scratch.
  • How stable is the current windows 10 mobile build?
  • I'm using it as a daily driver. So, pretty stable for a beta release. Still, obviously not as stable as an 8.1, but battery wise, it is near perfect, at least on mine. Edge sometimes crashes on some websites, and lockscreen has a bit of lag, as some apps when entering (in comparison to 8.1's experience). They're probably going to release a new one soon though
  • Only use W10M on newer higher end devices as a daily driver. Slower and older phones are not yet usable in a practical way. Extreme lag and wait times.
  • depends on device*. im running it on 535.
  • I don't think that's completely true. I'm on 520 and the only bad waiting time I've had it's with the bug when loading up the start screen, and even then I just loaded up search, wait a few seconds then go back to start screen, which seems to fix it. I think it is very usable on Low-end phones. It isn't completely stable but is just as stable as high-end.
  • Not true. Smooth as glass on an $80 Lumia 640, but you probably want an SD card.
  • Just curious what devices you've tried it on, and did you do a hard reset after?  I was using it on a 635 I picked up just for playing with the W10M preview, and with the latest build (10512, I think), I decided to pull the trigger and load it on my 925 daily driver.  I initially didin't do a hard reset afterwards just to see what state the upgrade was in, and it was horrible like you describe.  Extremely slow and laggy.  I'd unlock the phone, and get a "Resuming....." until the screen relocked (it was a 1 minute relock time). Then unlock again and again with the same thing.  Left it alone for a few minutes and it would finally get back to the app or start screen.  Basically the phone was unusable.  I left it like that for a few days to see if it would improve after some time, but it didn't. I bit the bullet and did a hard reset and then the 925 started working well again.  I get momentary lags - maybe a little worse than 8.1 but not drastically so and the phone is completely usable under W10M. 
  • I use my personal Lumia 920 (Only Windows Phone I ever owned) as a "daily driver". Did a hard reset - Actual several times after upgrading, it works as the others are describing - but I used to have glance. That feature is currently not there or it is not supported yet.
  • I have glance on my 820. Just dl its app from the Store. It will ask you to reboot and then you will have the feature back.
  • It is support for sure. Have it running on my wife's 920. Glance on my 830 is a bit buggy though.
  • Thanks for the feedback
  • using the HTC One M8 - latest build was buggy as hell but after the hard reset, much better. Still has its issues but much more useable.
  • While I do find lag on my 532, it's all skippable, unlike 8.1. If it decided to take a bit to load the lock screen on 8.1, I'm stuck waiting. On 10, I can still unlock it and just start using the phone for example.
  • Well I'm currently rocking a L735. It's a pretty decent and good phone
  • Fairly stable actually, some bugs, and edge is flaky, but in general, it's a good build.
  • Thanks
  • It was really stable for me until this past week. Got so bad over the weekend, I went back to 8.1. The new build is coming soon, so I figured it would only be for a short stint.
  • That's what I am thinking, waiting for the next build to jump in
  • I think I will switch back to WP8.1 today. Will then fresh install W10M when the new update arrives. (Lumia 830 on AT&T, but non-AT&T version).
  • I'm using it too as a DD, since yesteray. It's nice. Very smooth on my 1520 with only a few cliches thus far. I hesitated for a while but honestly it's worth a try.
  • I hope they re-integrate facebook as well
  • I'm sure that was a Facebook decision and not Microsoft. They wanted to push - sorry, I meant "force" - their messenger app on all of us.
  • Maybe but AFAIK Microsoft removed the Facebook integration for one reason, feature updates. Rather than releasing a new build of WP each time they wanted to add a new feature they moved ALL the features to the app that plugs into the system. 
  • it has more to do with how often facebook breaks things, the fb integration rarely worked because facebook constantly breaks it.
  • I really hope that Facebook somehow invest to integrate their Messanger with this Unified Messanging concept of W10M. Though realistically there could be many limitations that Facebook might not able to fully integrate it and that's a problem. We're not sure (or maybe I haven't find any information) on how 3rd-party apps will integrate to Unified Messaging app (More like Messaging Hub), this is a problem ever since WP7.5. Facebook can do anything they want with their services good or bad, this is why the 3rd-party integration should be flexible for developers to integrate their services with all the features they want to implement. Making the Messaging app more like a portal and the 3rd-party services are like an app inside the app (Messaging hub), not like an inferior extension. I hope soon, very soon Messaging Hub will be like that. It will have very flexible and quite open to integrate their services and features as if there's an app inside the app or more like an extension type. Similar to current Peoples app/hub in WP8.1.
  • What's in it for Facebook?
  • Ask anyone still on WP7. MS broke it out because they had to. FB put a kybosh on that API.
  • Facebook integration would be nice to have again, but I'd rather have Facebook Messenger updated to the likes of the iPhone and Android apps. The app is much better on the other two mobile platforms, and has a ton more features, both useful and some just for entertainment purposes.
  • Facebook wanted the messenger split we are not going to see it merge again....
  • All it really needs is a tie in API dependent on a third party app, I wouldn't ever want it actually merged, it was frequently broken, rediculously lacking in features, and pretty well useless in the messaging hub.
  • Has anyone else observed the screenshots on the App download page? Notice how at the top there is a new icon layout as well as the conversation view sporting a lighter colored start menu bar. Just found it pretty interesting. Maybe next build??
  • Interesting development, i would wait for new build to try it out.
  • What's interesting is that you can change the default messaging app... So third party ones?
  • That's the first thing i thought.
  • That's been in the OS for a while now (8.1) but no app has been allowed to use the APIs until now.
  • Technically you are wrong Vodafone did a horrible orange messenger + app, it was laggy and slow I installed this on 8.1
  • Don't care about third parties, I need first class exp on first party, and it seems Microsoft will deliver it.
  • True, but it means google could put hagouts on it (we know they won't) but it opens doors to things like that.
  • If they opened it up, I wonder if Rudy would make something? If he did, it would be a great app, I'm sure.
  • What happens if you fall back to 8.x? Are the messages that went to this app lost or will they show up in the 8.x mesagng app history?
  • Try out and let us know.
  • My guess is they back up to the same place, but can't 100% guarantee it.
  • *nods* I'll just wait over here.
  • Your messages are still going to show up in the original sms app and your skype messages too, so you don't lose anything. Just back up your text messages like you have always done
  • How does this work with Skype emoticons? Like (joy) or rather (anger)? (monkey)? How about images in messages? Location sharing etc.
  • Will have to try out, as the emoticons crashed the app briefly. Edit: It handles emoticons the same as skype e.g. the (....) way.
  • (Xbox) et al also work
  • Does it work with skype credits?  Downloaded it but could not if skype credits works, or need to revet to using the skype app.
  • Please how do I download the skype beta app, av tried the link but it goes to MS site without any access to store. Must I be in the states for it to work?
  • When you get to the MS site. There is a button "get the app" click on that and it will open up store app. And you can download. That's what I did.  I'm not in the US.
  • They work, but are not animated. However I don't really see this as a Skype app replacement just yet if ever. I mean Skype always had it's own specific design language and feel, which is not here. It looks like a normal messaging app with ability to switch from SMS to Skype and around. Good thing is It works faster just like sending a regular Message and SMSs and Skype messages are together so you can kind of continue to talk via Sms if you go out without internet access.
  • They need to make those animated and make it flat design, becuase it looks now disjoint with overall design of the W10M. I wished that they will implement stickers and have Store to download new ones, also let 3rd-party devs/designers to make Stickers to sell (More monitization for both dev/designer and Skype team) or for free. Stickers are very popular feature among the messaging apps, its became very essential to modern text messaging needs, especially in Asian market where messaging apps are daily bread. Facebook used not to have one but because of demand, now they got large collections of it right now.
  • Then we will complain the app is slow.
  • Skype in current form on WP8.1 is slow and its bit less featured than Android, but runs faster on high-ends (except for entry-level Android which should be avoided).
    Viber app on Windows Phone have stickers and video call feature, its essentially a Skype competitor for smartphones and runs faster than Skype app. So there must be some underlying issue with the codebase of Skype makign its performance very slow. Indeed we need great performance and that's given, but also Skype is losing its mindshare on mobile users time by time. Most people I know didn't even install Skype on their phones but have on their PC which we only use for video calling alone. It's hard to convince them since Skype only good for VoIP and video calling but isn't great as a text messaging platform. W10M from now on promise this and looking good so far, but they really have to take look at the competition. It's hard indeed but well Skype needs more messaging features + great performance.
  • Thanks Dan for bringing us this news even on a Family Day. Appreciate your effort very much. I hope this messaging app shows up in windows 10 too.
  • Sure thing. I mean, I'm excited too. But I'm also excited to go on a bike ride :P
  • Go on and enjoy your day!!!
  • Dan seem to love his new bike very much ;)
  • We have so many bike trails aka 'rail trails' (former railroad tracks) up here in MA, it's a lot of fun to explore :P
  • What bike u have???
  • 2016 Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc
  • Very nice. Funny thing one of my friends had an older specialized trail bike that just got stolen. Hope you have better times.
  • Wish I knew what that meant lol
  • Good choice, nice bike!
  • Something leaked will be release asap #newUpdateComing :))
  • I think that video calling should be integrated with the Phone app. There is no need for three apps to take the place of one.
  • It kind of is...Skype video calls show up in history and it integrates into their contact info.
  • Ur right... Lot of settings are present as apps.... Microsoft is dumb...its copying iMessage but cant even copy properly
  • Have you tried this though? It's not so much separate apps as they are all interconnected. You just have different ways to get there.
  • Having them separate but behaving like one app (as long as its fast and fluid enough), means that they can update each individually, meaning quicker updates and features being added at a faster rate.
  • Exactly. Like the current people, phone, and messaging apps.
  • ^This!
  • try it, it gets merged in a nice way... Won't hurt if it updates to let you differentiate skype calls from phone calls
  • I love it! It would be simply awesome to have facebook chat integrated in Messaging app too as it used to be.
     
  • This. I used to love that from the WP7 days...
  • I love that in WP8.0 days.
  • Tell Facebook that. It wasn't "benefiting them" at all which is partly who they removed support for that integrated feature. They want people "in their app".
  • Yup
  • Danial did u own iphone and did wp be ur daily driver #justWantToKnow
  • I do have an iPhone 6 and Galaxy Edge and I like both. I prefer WP UI though.
  • Hey Dan this might be a question i can answer with some searching but, what WP have you been using.
  • Icon, 640, 640 XL, 830 and 1520, I have a few SIMs, switch often
  • Mr Dan, which is actually your favorite ?
  • He uses a 1520
  • Man, I really need a new build! Haven't been able to install the last six or seven MS apps. Tried every browser and every QR reader I have, I keep getting the greyed out Get App box.
  • Had the same and it was Edge browser set in "desktop" mode. After setting it to mobile redirecting started to work. You may want to check your settings.
  • omg. .this is what I've been waiting for Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It looks awful. Boring, ugly,