Skype for Windows Phone updated. Adds high definition video support and more

Microsoft bought Skype back in May of 2011, so you’d think we’d have the premier mobile Skype experience on Windows Phone right? Well, it’s been somewhat of a rough start. The first app on Windows Phone couldn’t run in the background and more recent versions have been missing features found on iOS and Android. Well, Skype just got another update for Windows Phone, let’s see what it brings.

The last big update to Skype came back in early January. But if you direct your attention to the Windows Phone Store, you’ll see a new Skype sitting there at version What do you get in the latest version? Three nifty features actually.

  • Face-to-face video calls look better than ever with high definition video support.
  • Show your smile or just what’s around you – with front and rear camera support.
  • Video calls in portrait or landscape, whichever feels best.

It’s nearly midnight here on the West Coast, so I haven’t had a chance to test out the new high definition video support. We’ll play with it in the morning when people are actually awake and see if we can notice better video quality during video calls. You also get front and rear camera support, a welcome addition for when you want to share what you’re seeing with someone (and a feature we’ve heard in the comments you want). And finally you can now make video calls in either portrait or landscape, again a nice addition.

Update: Found a friend on the West Coast willing to put up with a Skype call at midnight. Everbody send Chris a high five. So we tried out the video calls on our Windows Phone, he has an 8X on Verizon and I was using a Lumia 620 (I know, test out the high definition video support on an entry level handset, good move Sam). That said, I can't comment on video quality just yet. WiFi at the far end of the house and the Lumia 620 probably don't show off the high defintion support of Skype. Play around with it yourself and let us know below if you see any improvements. The two features I can comment on are the new landscape and rear camera support. Rear camera works as you expect, you just hit the video icon during the call and select 'switch camera' from the options. Skype will automatically switch to landscape when you change the orientation of the phone. It looked nice and is a perfect combo when you're using it with the rear camera. Anyways, let us know below what you think of the latest update. Below are some screenshots from the video call. Again I'm going to stress bad WiFi plus low-end front-facing camera equal blurry time. That said, I am jazzed about the landscape support.

Skype SC 1

Skype SC 2

Another neat thing, it looks like Skype is back in the People Hub. We saw it disappear in early January as it was reported to cause syncing problems. Looks like they’re back in with this update.

But, there are some things still missing. For example, you can’t send another user a video message, like you can on iOS. Still, we welcome any updates to Skype and you should probably go ahead and update it right now. What other features do you want to see in future versions of Skype? Sound off in the comments below.

Before we go, Joe Belfiore sent out this cryptic tweet on Twitter tonight saying:

“Been wondering about some of the apps I've been using on my phone?  This will be a good week to find out! 1st answer comes in the morning...”

Could the Skype update be the app(s) he’s referring to? Or are we in store for some more surprises in a couple hours? Stick around and we’ll find out.

Skype is free for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 here in the Windows Phone Store, use the QR below, or swipe to the right in our app. Update: My Windows Phone 7.x device is currently kaput, so I can't test whether or not there's an update for Skype for you guys, but some folks in the comments aren't seeing it on their 7.5 and 7.8 devices. It might just be an update for Windows Phone 8, sorry guys. 

QR Logo Skype

Thanks for the tip Dean P. and everybody else!

  • At least there IS a log out option...
  • That was gonna be my first question
  • yes there is, just click on your profile picture (top right) and click the bar on the bottom screen and choose switch account and you are sign out
  • Hey i didn't know that's the log out option. Thanks!
  • where is the log out option as i cannot find it?
  • Good!
  • i think he was talking about skype when he said ".and if you look in the right place now you *might* be able to find one we've improved to help keep-you-in-touch with people even better."
    so i think the tweet you mention means there is something else coming in the morning ..
  • 7.x version is stuck at 1.3.0 since last july.. -_-
    i'm starting to regret buying a windows phone. no support for a "not-so-old" hardware at all!
  • Bummer, I can't find my 7.X devices at the moment, so I can't confirm that for you. But I'll send an internet hug your way. 
  • well, let me confirm this for you :) yes, WIndows Phone 7.5 has old 1.3 version of skype. 
  • Seriously? Go buy a really fragmented android handset and lets see how long that complaint takes.
  • This is true. I have a galaxy tab 2 & so many apps/games won't work on my tablet. And it just had an update, still many top apps/games are incompatible. And the lag, OH MY GOD THE LAG! Getting an android for my bday has reignited my flame for my Windows Phone!
  • I just returned a galaxy tab 2.  It really made me apprecite my Windows RT and phone.   I had it for two weeks.  The only thing is, I guess you get what you pay for, as it is cheap.  I had the tablet for 2 weeks.  I don't get what people think is great with Android.  IMO it was a UI mess, slow, unresponsive, and the Galaxy tab 2 particularly, the screen was unimpressive to me.
  • Cyanogenmod?
  • This is why Android and full W8 are the only ways to go.  Don't like something?  Hack it.
  • FYI WP7 and WP8 have hacks and 'roms' as well.  
    Software DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OPEN SOURCE to be 'hackable', as machine code is just as readable as C if the developer understands assembly.
  • WP8 has ROMs? I thought WP8 is still un-hackable. No custom bootloaders (on NOKIA that I care about anyway)
  • I think he was talking about emulators like snes8 and gba8, the wp8 OS is unhackable but why would you want to mess with perfection ;).
  • one thing being bad doesn't make others good. so responding to a complaint against WP by critisizing android isn't the best thing to do.
  • Theory of relativity
  • Worked for me.
  • Does it work in the background?
  • For my Lumia 800 on 7.8, no Skype update available
  • Do you have a 7.8 or 7.5?
  • Sorry, my screen on the Dell Venue Pro broke and just a few days ago my HTC Radar died too. 
  • Damn Sam take it easy on your phones lol
  • I'll see your two broken WP devices and raise you a broken O2 Ice, broken Nokia 5300, 6300, 5530, 5800, broken BlackBerry Curve 8520 x3, broken BlackBerry Torch 9800, broken HTC Desire Z, and broken HTC Titan. :)
  • You have a Venue Pro? You sir have earned my respect. That's like the holy grail of WP.
  • Nope, doesn't work in the background....
  • It works in the background on WP8.
  • Never before have I received a single message or call notification in Skype on WP8 without having it open first, but I just updated and had a friend try with me and I FINALLY got both message notifications, AND a call through without having it open. It's finally bordering on useful for me now.
    Was the "Switch Accounts" option always there? Can't say I ever noticed it before, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention
  • the switch accounts can be use to sign out bro
  • Calls have always worked for me, but messages rarely pushed notifications for me, until recently.
  • Shame 7.8 is forgotten about. Works on all non windows phone in background, yet not on their own kit. Go figure.
  • People show so little interest in WP7. WhatsApp and KIK can receive notifications in the background. But Skype can.
    Then Nokia Drive can go offline. But Nokia Maps can.
    WhatsApp and CNN for Windows Phone 8 can use the wide-tile function. But even on Windows Phone 7.8 (where wide tiles should work), those apps can not go wide tile. A three-year old iPhone (4th generation) runs all the apps of today. A 9 month Lumia 900 doesn't. I know that WP8 is now improved. But does Microsoft deserve my money? I spent $645 on an unlocked Nokia Lumia 900 before June. Microsoft should already be happy. I'm sure Apple is ready to embrace me.
  • Why did u spend so much on a WP7 when you knew WP8 was around the corner?
  • Definitely insane spending that much on device that will be outdated in a year regardless of what version etc!
  • First, one has to remember that I was in Italy. There are no $99 contracts here.
    Second, it was an unlocked phone. I didn't want contracts.
    Third, Microsoft tried to show it's superiority of Windows Phone by saying it was better than Apple and Android. The iPhone 4 is three years old. It is still the second most used camera on Flickr. And it got iOS6. And ALL the apps work on it. I expected my phone to get the latest update too. And the latest apps.
    (The actual price of the Lumia 900 in Italy was $775. I was lucky to get the $130 discount.
    Buying an iPhone may have saved me today, only that the iPhone 4S (16GB) had an approximate price of $850 on the website. Imagine what it would be in a real store. Probably much higher.
    If that doesn't blow your hat off, the 64 GB version of the iPhone 4S had a price of $1160 on the website.
    Welcome to Italy.)
  • Actually I didn't. I suspected Windows 8. What I didn't suspect was Windows Phone 8. And I thought at least that it would be upgradeable. Like iPhones (who Microsoft were trying to bypass in the "Smoked by a Windows Phone" campaign).
  • This is a legitimate gripe. I'll give MS a pass this on time, but this had better be the last time there is such a huge difference between platforms. This pisses people off, and I'm guessing there were a lot of people who purchased 900's days and weeks prior to the 920.
  • totally agree to this!
    they shouldn't have released the L900 as the windows phone 7 flagship in the first place! MS would already have known that wp7 hardware won't run wp8. why did they still go ahead making a new (and rather expensive) flagship phone?
  • They knew. People were speculating at rumours that WP7 wouldn't be upgradeable already in April. Microsoft confirmed the truth too late. The phone had been live in the US for three months, in Italy three weeks...
  • Switch Accounts is new.
    I was getting reliable message notifications from messenger people before but broke frequently and I never had a surefilre way to fix it.
    Hoping this update rectifies it permanently and not a temporary fix for a few days.
  • They need to integrate into the Messages hub, just like Messenger is/was.
    They also need to address networking and message delivery issues. Between desktop versions and mobile, I have seen that some messages get lost or not shown at all using the Messenger (not Skype) feature.
    The HD video call is a welcome addition. I will try it this morning when some of my contacts are awake :D
  • Ha seriously, it's time for bed here in California. I got lucky that Chris is in the same time zone. And I totally agree about Skype integrating into the Messages hub. 
  • only integration of message hub?
    hell no, Skype is owned by Microsoft, msg hub integration, Skype voice/video calls should be revived at os lvl, like a GSM call etc .. that ugly Skype app should be ditched already.. im tired of staring at the resume...... connecting...... screens..
  • agreed... i want native support the resuming and connecting screens are ridiculously slow and not user friendly
  • Agreed.  Skype should be baked into the entire OS including the messaging hub.
  • I'm actually paranoid in using this App. Not going to install it just yet. The last time I had skype installed was a nightmare. 
  • +1 on that!
  • +2
  • +3
  • +4
  • I used Skype and then removed it the very next day. Fingers crossed on this version. Thanks for the heads up WPCentral.
  • this application still does not provide a deasent notification support, which basically makes the application useless. who wants to use an instant messaging app that can't tell you thats its reciving information *sighs*
  • After reinstalling the app (not just running the upgrade) the notifications seem to work significantly better! It is still sketchy and only works some of the time though.
  • :|
  • Actually uninstalling and reinstalling Skype seems to be necessary at any time.
    After the Portico update, Skype's notificiations and call receiving screwed up on my 920. I uninstalled it and reinstalled and it was fine again.
    Same is true for this update. Firstly just upgraded and found I did not have all the features available, and I didn't have the image feedback (the little window of myself) in the bottom right of the screen. I uninistalled completely and then installed Skype afresh and everything came good and I was able to view the feedback view, and able to swap camera (front/rear).
    My suggestion to anyone having issues with Skype or an app in general - uninstall it fully, then install (you may want to restart your phone if you really want to get narky about it). But that fixes all sorts of things.
  • wp 7.8 no update via QR
  • There isn't update for 7.8 yet! Bad MS is bad!
  • Doesn't support 7.8. I'm really disappointed. I should have chosen Android, but I got way too excited about the idea of single OS environment for PC and smartphone. Unfortunately Microsoft really screwed that one up. I bought my phone like 14 months ago and it's already half-dead since most updates come only for WP8 and some developers don't bother updating their apps at all after enough people bought it.
  • Single OS environment for phone and PC only really started with win8 and wp8..... As far as developers are concerned..
  • +1
  • I ordered a Lumia 900 on the 16th of June 2012, just as it had been released in Italy. On Mobday the 18th I payed $645 to get the unlocked phone. Two days later the news broke: it wasn't getting WP8.
  • Seems speedy on l820! People hub integration could be better (just give an option to call via Skype please) but it feels like a major jump
  • They did previously and it was a huge issue that was causing lockups etc. Was the reset I needed to reflash my handset after trying to factory reset
  • @jkom It works beautifully. Was able make calls even on a 2G connection.
  • In the people Hub It adds your Skype Contacts and then you can make a Skype Call by tapping "Skype, Voice, video, chat".  It calls the contact.  What I think it needed is a seperate option for chat and voice.
  • Great we can support all sorts of new video features which is great but still can't listen to voicemails. Way to prioritize MS... Who is running the show?
  • Try reinstalling and maybe you will get notifications.
  • cant login after reinstalling. wonder if this is a issue with my mobile network. do i have to be on wifi to login the first time after reinstalling? - No its not - took me like 15 minutes to login - finally worked
  • After reinstalling i also got back the people hub integration...weird.
  • This is great!!! People Hub integration is back!!
  • Did you need to add it manually from settings/accounts? I updated my skype, but can't see it in the people hub and neither among the avaiable accounts list. I use a L920.
  • I had to open Skype after updating before hub integration would show up.
  • Love seeing progress and I hope the Skype team will start thinking WinPhone 1st. Missing:
    Attachments in IM
    Live Tile (not working for me)
    Notifications I really do hope they are baking in all of the features and functionality from Messenger. For now, I'll just make sure my lighting is set to make me look good on HD.
  • Try reinstalling the app and maybe your live tile will work again
  • This is great!!! love it
  • I can't see any update for my Samsung Omnia W :(
  • Only for WP8
  • When are we going to get an upgrade from this same used out banner style? Its starting to hurt my eyes now.. :P
  • finally! :)
  • I'm not seeing any intergration with the People hub since I need to adjust any settings?
  • @Sam: you could have called me to test it. it's 10:50am over here in Italy... :) hahaha
  • Video chat still crashes the app.. :/ Pretty pointless and very annoying :'( Lumia 820
  • works for me perfectly. Lumia 810. try a reinstall maybe?
    I was able to test video calls, normal calls, messages etc. All good. People hub integration is fine too.
  • OFFTOPIC: I see this happen on so many sites, but I didn't expect it on WP Central: the wrongly scaled screen of the Nokia Lumia 920. People who paste in a screenshot or image in the 920 use the tiles on the homescreen to determine where the screen ends, because the bezel is all black and it's not clear where the screen stops in the official press photos.
    The tiles however stop halfway the I in NOKIA, while the actual screen stops at the end of A in NOKIA. Also the screen is supposed to be closer to the NOKIA logo. This is a 4.3" screen (or even smaller and maybe 16:9) in a 920 body which has a 4.5" 16:10 screen :D This is more like the real thing: I know... I have nothing to do ;)
  • +1!!! I always had a feeling that some pictures of the 920 just looked off but I could never put my finger on it as to why. You just figured it out for me!
  • I had this feeling for a while too :) And now I finally took the time to determine if I was wrong or the internet. Guess the internet was wrong ;)
  • I'm at level 1 for photoshop :p I'll fix it going forward though. Thanks
  • Glad to help :)
  • The app crashes for me like within 5s of launching it after this update. Reinstalling didnt help either.
  • No update for me either on WP7.8
  • I'm not sure where to direct my anger, but I'm pretty sure its in Microsoft's direction. I can't sign into my account on WP 7.x or PS Vita due to the conversion of Live Messenger. Works great on Lumia 920 and Windows.
  • I can log in just fine on my laptop. Phone is another story.
  • But do notifications work, that is the real problem with skype
  • Keep em updates rollin ms i like this !
  • No video message yet
  • Im fed up with MS over this, I brought my HTC Titan in October 2011, by March the following year it was redundent.  It was released in September, now im seeing all the updates and best software heading to Windows Phone 8.  Not good support, even Apple wasnt this bad, might jump back across too, being a Windows Developer completely integrated in with MS I feel let down completely.
    Contracts up soon, MS might be losing one of there long standing fans.
  • Bye then....
  • Nooo. Please don't say that. Look, I know that the switch from 7.x to 8 has been a whole mess but I'm convinced that this was the only option they had for WP to make it into the mainstream. And I say that as someone still rocking a 7.8 device. I feel like you're contract is up soon and you should really consider sticking with WP because it's a great product. We'll get there. Try it. Think about it. Sleep on it. I hate seeing people go because we've build such an amazing community. I would certainly not let anyone go without a fight. ;) The fact of the matter is, technology sometimes moves faster than some of us feel comfortable with l. That's just how it goes, but it's all for the best. Eventually.
    Much love!
  • It would be nice if Microsoft products (apps) had all the same features and a few exclusive to the brand features as well... IJS
  • IKR
  • for some reason cant see all skype contacts in my phonebook I noticed it seems to be the ones I linked to my acutal contact before the feature was removed
  • Restart Phone after update if their is any problems whether it is missing some skype info from showing up or random freezing it just worked for me (vol down + power button until feel vibrate)
  • Still no Log out on my 920.
    Maybe I signed in with a Microsoft account?
  • Use the Switch Account option, it logs you out.
  • It crashes on me everytime, not even able to make any call, message or check my profile settings...reinstalled doesn't help me...Lumia 920 without porticio update here, wonder is that the problem causing it???
  • I have avoided Skype because of the battery drain issues. Are they fixed yet?
  • There should be a FaceTime like integration. There is no need of an application called SKYPE. Come on microsoft .... that was the original deal, bake Skype into the OS (deeeeeper integration guys !!!) and you have not been able to achieve that even after 2.5 Years of Windows Phone existence. I am a Windows Phone fan, but i am not blind. Other OS's are making rapid progress, and we are still playing catching up. What we really need at this time is more frequent releases (6 month Schedule) and go one up on the competition. I own a Lumia 920 and really appreciate what Nokia is bringing to the Windows eco-system. But even they have their hands tied because of the Operating System weaknesses/lack of support. So please show some love to super users and bring the much needed features to the OS.
    Finally .....NO, i am not impressed with this release.
  • I think they went with the app because if they added new features, its easier to update an app. Harder to update if its integrated into the OS.
  • Microsoft hasn't had Skype acquired for 2.5 years!
  • Thats correct, my mistake. But thats not an excuse. Remember we are playing catch-up not the competition. I want Windows Phone to succeed and for that they need shorter release cycles to iron out all the issues/new features. I have a lot of patience and even then i sometime feel an urge to try Samsung Galaxy S4. I am sure many of you people here feel the same at times.
  • Nope.
  • I think Nokia and MSFT have to be nice for mobile operators. And that's why they are very slow with Skype integration. Due to business, not technical reasons.
  • Hi 5 Chris!!
  • According to Engadget the HD video calling is only for high end handsets.
  • I miss the ability to send SMS with Skype out, hoping for the next Update...
    Messages are not sorted right either, they do not get the correct time stamp. Disappointing.
  • Hey wpcentral, please put the os version in the article title. That way I know what I can skip. (which is becoming almost every app you review)
  • Some problem i am currently having with this version
    - when i am not in the Skyp app, someone called me on video call, it would direct me to the skype app, keep loading and loading for like 3 minutes, got disconnected. Some times it does go into the app, but do not get the call, i have to try video again.
    - If my phone get offline, (no Wifi, no data), any message during that time would not be populated. Everytime i reconnect to internet, the skyp app does not auto push the message. Keep waiting and waiting, no message for those offline interval. any message sent after im online is fine. I have to reopen the app in order to see the offline messaged. Weird, please fix MSFT
  • Reinstall it...
  • I have the same issue, it keeps connecting and ultimately the call is lost. This is one of reasons I feel the application is still not reliable and very usable.
  • Hmmm, there is no way to delete a Skype contact from the app?
  • great, now where is Facebook?
  • Just few days ago we came to know that MS will support WP7.8 until 2014 and now they releasing update for WP8 user only. Are they indirectly abonding Wp7.8 user?
  • Skype is 3rd party app and is not part of os and so has nothing to do with the support for wp7.8. That support reffers to bug solving and security patches
  • "Indirectly"? There's nothing indirect about it. Although Skype is not part of the OS, it's clear that MS isn't going to spend much time or money on WP7.8 users anymore. Except for security updates and bug fixes, I think we're done seeing anything new for WP7 from MS. This is just more evidence of it.
  • But skype is a MS product. Isn't it worth for them?
  • We already had all those features on WP7.x on my Nokia Lumia 900 this has always been part of the app, landscape and those features. Probably the HD video not because of the camera thought
  • Can we send files now?
  • YES we can we CAN SWITCH ACCOUNT now! YAY! i wanna thank you microsoft so much for adding this feature! we can finally LOG OUT! im so happy lol
  • Works better.  I wa able to finally receive a call from my daughters Nabi 2.  The thing is thought it still shows that I'm offline.  Also it still has to resume when relaunching the app.  it's a start in the right direction though.
  • Shows offline for me too but received messages ok from my friend during a test. Also doesn't show my friend as online while the messaging hub does. A fair way to go.
  • I gave the previous version a try a few days ago and it caused my phone to freeze every few hours. I think I'll stay away from this one.
  • My phone just rebooted by itself. I never had this problem post-portico update. Only thing new i did was update Skype that intergrated with Peoples hub. Guess the dreaded problem is back.
  • is there a way for the app to only show skype contacts?  it shows my entire "people hub" contact list.  I only want to see the 9 or 10 skype video contacts i have.
  • No push noticication???
  • Push notification works now perfect :-)
  • Yup, Toaster notification is working.
  • Still missing some calls when app isn't running.  Also, is anyone having problems calling an iphone user, it hangs up immediately on mine.
  • Hangs up on iPhone users? That's a feature, right? ;)
  • Doesnt work for me, crashes when trying to login with Microsoft Account.
    And gives network errors when logging in with Skype account lol (wifi works just fine).
  • So Skype works well, however I get so sick and tired of being forced to integrate my contacts together, I have deleted the program from my 920 again because this was what I didn't like the first time around. Give me the option to mingle my contacts don't shove it down my throat,
  • So it looks like its working for now in the background if I first open the app and then suspend it which is an improvement as I had no background useability at all before.
  • My Windows Phone 7.8 got 2 updates. Now its 7.10.8862.144 .Dunno if others got the update already.
    HTC Titan here.
  • Has anyone checked their people hub and its integration? The folks I have already in my people hub got the Skype link of their accout, but the people hub replaced the mobile numbers of my contact with the +1 +11 country code BS and now I can't call these folks without editing the phone numbers!!!!!! What a mess.
  • Toast Notifications don't work for me, I have tried reboot the phone, reinstalling the application and still nothing. 
    I have tested it over wifi and 4G network
    Roger Lumia 920
  • I still only get a call through if Skype is on screen or in the background while using the phone. Lock screen or screen off I get nothing unlike on Android?
  • Thought it already had these
  • STILL missing voicemail support.
    Am I the only person who has that and cares?
  • For all those who are enjyoying the Peoples Hub integration.....Is there a way to merge all the duplicates? You know not by doing it one by one. Coz a lot of my conacts duplicated and I'm not sure how everyone can deal with that mess.
  • Skype messenger STILL DOES NOT WORK on my Lumia 920.  I use Skype regularly, not just for video calls, but for chat purposes, and it is unbelievable that this feature is so badly implemented.  If it doesn't work, why even bother to include it?  And I'm sure that can't be reasuring to the people who rely on Microsoft Messenger, and are being forced into Skype.
    Same thing with xBox Live.  Terrible implementation.  These are Microsoft services for Christ's sake.  They should work close to flawlessly, yet I find myself using third-party messenger apps because the Skype service is so terrible.
  • Tried it again, drains battery horribly (920), uninstalled.
  • Test post.
  • I got my Lumia 920 on Tuesday (on the update release date) so I can't comment on the previous version. But this version is a total mess. After installing Skype, my front camera randomly stopped working, it just wouldn't switch between rear and front camera in both, normal camera mode and Skype app. I left my phone charging over the night, and couldn't wake it up in the morning (had to use a soft reset). After uninstalling Skype, everything's working fine. This is just a massive shamble, shame on you MS!
  • I would appreciate if we are able to send Facebook messages through Skype as we are not able to send offline messages from the messaging app.
  • I don't understand why this app has to suck so bad, they need to start with a simple functional chat app, that works as good and as fast and clean as SMS messaging does. Then voice, then video, then bells and whistles. The current version of Skype on wp8 is a joke for those of us who actually use it. It so bad I'm carrying my android around just to Skype chat. WTH? Come on Microsoft, its not like you just bought Skype yesterday.....