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Tip: Windows Phone Skype users can share location when asked 'Where are you?'

The most recent update to the evolving Skype client for Windows Phone brought location sharing, a useful feature if you use Skype for frequent peer to peer messaging.

Users can just tap the '+' sign and instead of sharing a photo, they can choose their position, creating a little map and a hyperlinked address within the chat. Tapping that address brings up a full-screen map and you can then use the up arrow icon near the top to send to the Windows Phone mapping system to get directions to the location.

Interestingly, the Skype team automated the process a bit too, as Senior Developer for Skype on Windows Phone Joel Shea revealed on Twitter:

"Any time someone asks "Where are you?" it will become a link so you can easily send your location!"

Indeed, when using the Windows Phone version (but not desktop), if someone asks 'Where are you?', it comes through as a hyperlink. Tapping it initiates the sharing, with permission, of your location. Sure, this is not a big addition, but it is little Easter egg features like this that can make Skype fun.

Regarding the fact it does not work on the desktop, this is likely due to the numerous new backend features not yet compatible. For instance, sending photos on mobile results in this message "This version of Skype does not support new photo sharing features yet." Instead of the file being saved, users are given a hyperlink to the image, which is hosted on the Skype servers.

However, a new version of Skype for desktop is evidently in the works, as shown a few weeks ago by Rafael Rivera on Twitter and seen in the above screenshot. Skype seems to be moving to another stage where the backend that runs the service is now uniform letting Microsoft create apps with the same experience across platforms.

Skype has the potential to be a unified, all-in-one messenger, and come 2015 that dream may finally be a reality. One thing is certain, the service is getting better.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

88 Comments
  • Like to see Skype come up to the levels of WhatsApp, when it comes to messaging...
  • IMessage, I want to text over a service like that. Only thing I'm envious of the iPhone for.
  • Exactly. Exactly what Microsoft should have been doing since they acquired Skype. 
  • Indeed
  • What's so good about iMessage?
    Seems to me that Skype is so much more... and universally supported, whereas iMessage is only compatible with iOS devices.
  • Wondering the same. Just saw some people on Twitter mocking how bad iMessage is and whether they should turn it on on their new iPhone.
  • Is there any chance of skype getting updated for better performance in 512mb phones? I frequently miss notifications about calls and messages, which only show up when i open it. and yes, i have allowed the app to run in background using battery saver. The app also crashes or freezes all the time and takes atleast a minute to resume. Most times, the resuming screen itself will crash. I understand the RAM limitation, but my sister's galaxy y is pretty weak compared to my 620, yet runs skype atleast without crashing. (though a bit laggy). Wonder why skype is better on a competing platform than on my native one. :|
  • Did the same to mine. Uninstalled and reinstalled back in the internal phone memory. Now it's ok. Just avoid micro SD for Skype..
  • Mine is like this since i got the phone, in Pre Nokia Amber. :/
  • It does seem restricted, and definitely be better if opened to all phones.
    Source: I have imessage.
  • I believe it comes down to seamless integration. No app, just switches from text to iMessage depending the receiver. If the receiver is on the same platform, then more features... no logging in, no work, just works. That is exactly how Skype should be integrated into Windows Phone.
  • Yep, I can't get my cell texts on my laptop. Which would be great! But Skype can't do. I only get skype messages or fb messages, but most people text me, but I don't have my phone all the time, and the times I don't I'm usually on my computer.
  • Hopefully, it can be integrated as well as imessage. Once that happens, Skype will automatically be superior to imessage because it can communicate with Skype across all platforms - something that message will not do.
  • imessage is proprietary and if you switch from an iPhone to an android then apples servers may still be transferring the messages as an imessage from your iPhone friends which you wont get any of the messages then on your phone. You have to make sure you turn it off before switching to a different OS.
    Also, it does work well for certain stuff like integration with apple products but causes problems as well. It's not that good.
    I'd rather have Skype be separate from the messaging hub. I would like it to be an alternative to texting and other services such as WhatsApp. I would like to have any messaging service (Skype, WhatsApp, Messanger(facebook messaging)) to be connected to these apps and be able to use them and message all your contacts from the messaging hub. I don't want direct integration but where apps can support using the hubs more, something like an extension.
  • Whatever happened to Room Service?
  • Hopefully Microsoft will keep a sharp focus on unifying Skype features across platforms providing a universal user-experience.
  • Nooo.... I have to go and find me a new cave and do my development. They will try to find and spy on my new developments for world domination of apps... Nooo... Yes I am trying to stay away from the zombies that are coming... Hint!! But for real this a nice update!
  • This is is awesome they keep improving Skype from the various improvements I have a lot of family into Skype who didn't like it before!
  • They should address the performance issues with Skype first.
  • Not sure it is an either/or type situation. Clearly they can improve performance and add new features.
  • They are adding new features, but the performance issues remain. The 'Loading...' and 'Resuming...' screens annoy me a lot. Then the app itself is very slow. I tried the iOS version on my brother's iPad and was shocked to see how fluid it was. That should have been the other way round...
  • If we can have both like right now that's great but if we need to choose then it is performance. There is no point in having tons of features if the application is too slow to use.
  • The 'Loading...' is a non issue really. If Skype had a splash screen, you would never see it, and would assume that it was faster, even though it would be the same.
  • This is like the same discussion with the Subway Surfers people. The resume/loading thing is due to this app supporting both 8.0 and 8.1. Do you have Windows Phone 8.1? Try running apps in the store that are ONLY for 8.1. Then compare them to 8.0 apps that can run on 8.1. The performance differences are significant. When enough users on are 8.1, the Skype team will likely have a rewrite of the app where it is 8.1+ only. Also, newer hardware helps. On a 1520, 930 or HTC One, the experience is not nearly as frustrating.
  • Ok, so I better wait for Skype to update to support WP8.1...
  • Daniel, WPC app resumes instantly on my WP 8.1. Are you saying on 8.0 it will behave differently? There's only one version of WPC app right?
  • The Loading.. is because there is no splash screen added to the app. Though its funny of all the develoeprs MS choose (or forgot) not to add the splashscreen. When in the SDK they have mentioned to add the splashscreen if you want to avoid Loading. I have tested both on Android nexus and 1020 and it takes about the same time. Around 2-3 seconds. If you want to compare with iPAd then compare the one on Windows store. It is fluid too. May have less features. But performance is very good. I use it every week and have found no issues. 
  • In all seriousness, while WP has gotten better these past few months we probably will have to wait until the next update to WP to really get the apps, performance and features we want.
  • Rafael Rivera... Do you remember Chevron's days?
  • I feel like I say this on every Skype article lol but.... Skype for Windows should be what iMessage/Facetime is for iOS and Mac. actually, Daniel, it seems you have some inside info based on your last 2 sentences of the article. Is 2015 bringing sweeping changes for Skype?! spill the beans
  • Nah, nothing insider. Just seeing the pieces align. Look at the new desktop version above and auto-downloads, combine it with Threshold and the backend changes that they've been doing and it is pretty obvious Skype is going to be much better next year. The Windows Phone app will become better for performance once it moves to a pure 8.1.x and higher build.
  • cool. Don't you agree though, that Skype should really be seamless with Windows. I feel like it shouldn't even be an app. It should be default if messaging between 2 Windows Phones. like I said, like iMessage. It should be that powerful. Same with the video chat part of it. There are already millions of Skype users, there's already a base. I dunno, seems like a no brainer to me. I know it takes time but this process should have started years ago. Maybe it has and we don't know about it. please do pass this off to MS, if possible
  • All these tiny weener updates for Skype always... What on earth are they doing? Playing Minecraft all day at the office? Development goes so slow for what should be such an important app for Microsoft.
  • The apps can only do as much as the backend allows them to, that's why they're focusing on the backend first. These things take time.
  • Can someone explain to me why Skype is supposedly a universal app, but the Windows version can group video chat while the Windows phone version can't?
  • "Can someone explain to me why Skype is supposedly a universal app,"
    It is not a universal app, that's why. Your premise is wrong. If this was a true universal app, it'd be for WP8.1 and Windows 8.1 only. The phrase 'univeral app' has a loose meaning ("This app is available on phone and Win 8") and a strict meaning ("This app is the same code for both"). You're thinking it is the latter, but for now, it is only the former. Try Tweetium for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 and see what a true universal apps like. Think about it, the new 8.1 SDK introduced the ability to share 90% of the code between platforms. Skype for Windows Phone is not an 8.1 app, ergo it does not share the same code as the Modern version.
  • Then they need to stop using that universal app logo all over the place and have a different symbol for apps that share the same code. Using the same one for both just leads to confusion about what a "true universal app" (i.e. The ones that share 90% of code) is IMO.
  • "have a different symbol for apps that share the same code."
    Really? You want to start to educate customers about which apps have shared code? That is the most unfriendly consumer technical gobbledygook I have heard. Talk about confusion and complicating things. The phrase "universal app" is for developers, not consumers. When you see the icon, which is for consumers, all it means is 'hey, you can also get this app on Windows or Windows Phone', nothing more, nothing less. By this time next year, it will mean all new apps share the same code, but that is not for consumers to know nor care about.
  • And that's better than have the same name for two different things? I guess we can agree to disagree, but I think they could handle some of this stuff better.
  • Well, like I said, "universal app" is a term for developers, not people who buy Windows Phone, which is an 8.1 thing and going forward. We're all not on 8.1 yet, so the big sea changes have not happened, you can't cut off your legacy users yet. I don't blame Microsoft for putting an icon in the Store to tell you "hey, this company? They have the same app on our other platform too". That's just smart marketing. Sure, the technical details behind may be changing, but this not known to consumers.
  • universal doesn't mean same features, but code for phones, code for tablets/pc's and shared code combined
  • I just wish I would always get the messages people send me on time....instead of hours later.
  • +1020
  • Are you connected to the internet? ;)
  • I use Skype when my wife goes to the Bahamas every 6 weeks and it works beautiful and I got in on that free premium deal a few months back.... Love it.
  • Like everything Microsoft, too slow, Viber had already started offering video calls on Android and iPhone, with Windows phone soon to follow, Skype will be obsolete
  • There is actually no evidence to suggest Viber is catching up to marketshare with Skype, AFAIK.
  • True, but the point I was trying to make was that with the amount of resources Skype has, and how integral it is in the whole "microsoft mobile platform", one would think its development/progress would have been faster. I just picked viber as an example of a notable IM service out there that has evolved faster than skype has in recent times. Look at android's google hangout, or apple's facetime, (or whatsapp) Skype doesn't compare.  
  • "Look at android's google hangout, or apple's facetime, (or whatsapp) Skype doesn't compare."
    Well, sure. Skype has waaay more users than those systems. More to the point, those services were built from the ground up for a specific purpose, mostly mobile (Google's hangout, while an accomplishment on the backend, is a nightmare from a consumer standpoint; combined with their jamming everything into the Android message app, it's confusing as hell). What they are doing to Skype is akin to redoing your plumbing in your house. Then redoing the house. It's a huge undertaking, but since Skype has sooo many customers, it is worth it.
  • How Is Hangouts confusing as hell? You pick a contact, and it gives you the option to do text, video chat, or a phone call. I can't imagine it being any easier to use.
  • he does use on his pc for podcast. its terrible mainly to connect.
  • I don't get why such a big company like microsoft can't put in skype all the best of whatsapp, line, viber, messenger etc... They could have it done since wp7.8.... Wtf
  • "I don't get why..."
    Let me explain. For one, you're not an engineer who works on Skype's backend VOIP system, so you're speaking as a consumer, not someone who actually has to solve real world problems with the system. This puts you at a disadvantage because you just do not understand how it all works. Two, it is well known that the old Skype was built to be a pure VOIP system for desktop computers. That is how the backend node system was built. The landscape changed, and mobile is now the big thing. Skype was not meant for mobile, and there are a lot of things that need to be done to get it there. Three, when Microsoft bought Skype, all the apps across platforms were coded uniquely and differently, making backend updates staggered for commercial releases of the software. Microsoft is both completely changing how Skype works in the background, while redoing all of its apps too, all without bringing the system down to its knees. Fact is, it is complicated. It is easy to type "why such a big company like microsoft can't put in skype all the best of whatsapp, line, viber, messenger" but it is another to actually make that happen. Viber was built from the ground up to be what it is; Skype is changing jobs midstream.
  • Sorry i still don't get it... Why line and viber were doing so well and skype not...
  • Skype is 11 years old and it has over 50 million simultaneous users, plus 1/3 of the international call market share. Comparing it to Viber and Line is ridiculous, as that is like pointing out how a startup is faster than a multinational conglomerate. Sure, it can be true, but the conglomerate wields much more power.
  • Viber is slow on WP 8.1. It takes lot of time to load the contacts, I'm not sure if its due to 512mb on L720 but Skype on the other side seems to be faster in loading, whereas the messages are not synced and delivered on time (sometimes). The calls don't connect even if the user online.
  • Sounds like Microsoft may have been better off NOT buying Skype, and just creating their own service like iMessage, instead of having to restructure and alter everything. 
  • Skype's value is assessed in it reach, universality and customers. Fact is, it is doing very well:
    "In January 2011, after the release of video calling on the Skype client for iPhone, Skype reached a record 27 million simultaneous online users. This record was broken with 29 million simultaneous online users on 21 February 2011, and again on 28 March 2011 with 30 million online users. On 25 February 2012, Skype announced that it has over 32 million users for the first time ever. By 5 March 2012, it had 36 million simultaneous online users and less than a year later, on 21 January 2013, Skype had more than 50 million concurrent users online.[66] In June 2012, Skype had surpassed 70 million downloads on an Android Device."
    For international call market share, Skype has jumped from 2.9 % in 2005 to a massive 34% in 2012. Yet, you are advocating them giving that up and starting over? Hmmm... let's leave some of these decisions to Microsoft ;)
  • I find this response most interesting. I stated that I thought Microsoft "might" have been better off not purchasing Skype in order to make a more seamless messaging process, and not having to restructure the entire product, both back house and front. You decided to describe that Skype has made tremendous gains in use and clients. HOW, in any way, has that made it easier, more seamless, for Microsoft and the user? It doesn't. Their value? Yes, it makes them money. I wasn't, nor was anyone else, referencing how financially viable they have been. The topic has always been how poor the implementation has been on Microsoft's own mobile platform. Don't be absurd by tossing up stats that are irrelevant to the practical topic... application utility and superiority from other processes like iMessage. I was not, in any way, advocating that Microsoft needed or should be "giving up" what they did, purchasing Skype. I merely stated that perhaps they shouldn't have in the first place. "Let's leave it up to Microsoft." with a wink? How about you try to be less condescending.
  • Rafael Rivera > Long Zheng
  • I can't join in group calls yet, unless someone calls me. Need improvements.
  • This appears to be another BAD implementation of Skype, its one way!? Works when the question is asked to my Nokia Windows, but when I send the same question it does not work on an Android handset? With the phones next to each other I have to travel 0.5 km, thanks to BING. Not sure but RIM might have a better product, although it is not available for WP?
  • The way I see it: you guys complain if Windows Phone gets a feature after iOS and Android. You guys complain when Windows Phone gets a feature first. Regardless, you guys complain a lot, lol
  • +1! Couldnt agree more with your statement!
  • Given I happen to be the odd one, how does the feature become useful? Its a fact the majority use other platforms. I'll try to update droid and check again, in the meantime I shall keep zii.
  • I don't get your point. You complain that you have a feature ahead of other platforms? Wow. get a life.
  • The one feature I'd like is being able to access Skype voicemail in the WP and Modern apps as it's frustrating to use the desktop version just to listen to them.
  • OMG ground breaking feature added to skype!
  • Where's the update?
  • It came last week. First sentence "The most recent update..." as in past-tense.
  • Thanks Dan..!
  • It's ok they implement all this photo sharing stuff with links etc, but I would rather have the option to send files directly just like it does on desktop, and the best one at that actually better than it was on wlm since it is a truly direct p2p connection and can even pause and resume, that's incredibly useful for a mobile device which depends on wireless connections
  • Do you really think MS not aware about the fact you cannot send YET files through the skype app on wp??
  • I prefer native 3G calling instead of Skype.... Msoft should add this vital function on the next Denim update.
  • But skype for windows phone is totally horrible
  • Work great for me, whereas it doesn't work at all on a friends Z10.
  • It's not stable
  • Works great on Lumia 620+ cyan + update 1
  • make the app stable. rewrite,revamp the app
  • I guess as WP and rt will devs will work more on single apps. so,maybe updates are waiting coz of threshold.
  • clearing of chat history on the phone is a must, they just keep on coming back, i can't i be given choice to permanantly delete/clear chat history that i no longer want.
  • I've just tried and : a) It doesn't work in Finnish (yet) (Missä olet?) b) In French, it works with "où es-tu ?" (where are you) but not with "où es-tu, chéri ?" (where are you darling?) or "où est-ce que tu es ?" (where are you, more colloquial). I do love Skype and agreed, the service is getting better. And it's nice that, unlike many other messengers, our ID is NOT our phone number (=privacy + I can use the same account on my Surface 2, Lumia 1020 and even my Linux-run PC)
  • It's not getting better. I'm using Skype (voice call & cam) but all I can hear is static and we cannot even understand each other and the camera was not even opening up. Take note that I have a 21mbps internet connection (DSL). I'm using Skype on my laptop.
  • Skype never worked properly on my 730 since the move to Msoft. Pls invest more tine in rectifying back bone issues rather Than useless time with un useful updates .
  • Not really related to the article but I can't help but notice the Redlands,CA address on the picture.  I live in redlands and this area seems to be mostly iphone and Note users so I'm suprised there was someone somewhere in this city that actually had a windows phone.
  • Skype will be a unified messaging app when Skype for Windows phone can integrate Facebook Messaging like the desktop version. Then we can have "One experience on every device" like Microsoft promises.
  • Skype will be a unified messaging shop when the Windows phone client integrates Facebook messaging like the desktop version. Then we can have one experience on every device"
  • I meant to say Unified Messaging App, not shop