Skype or Shyte?
Marketplace says it was release 25/2/2012. What gives El Reg?
Microsoft has delivered the first version of Skype for Windows Phone. Available through the Windows Phone Marketplace, the free app eats up 6MB of space and works on devices from version 7.5 and higher. Since releasing the beta in February, Microsoft has added the ability to make video calls in portrait mode along with friend …
What wasn't mentioned in the Reg article, or the Microsoft press release, is that Skype on Windows Phone doesn't run in the background.
Windows Phone doesn't have proper multitasking. Instead, it has half-baked app tombstoning, which usually fails and causes apps to freeze.
Because Skype on Windows Phone can't run in the background, it's useless. If you're doing anything else with your phone, you will not be notified of an incoming Skype call.
So now, everybody. Won't you agree that Windows Phone is a complete and utter joke. To add insult to injury, current Windows Phones won't get any upgrade to Windows Phone 8.
Except of course, Microsoft can choose which applications can run inn the background and favour it's own software, just as apple did (or still does(?)) on the iPhone.
Many current Android phones don't get updates and Apple will EOL models - not sure what your point is there.
Tango does it just fine, including receiving calls when as a background app or when the phone is locked. Why Skype think this is beyond them is a mystery.
And no, I won't agree that it's a joke. Mine is fine. It fails to annoy me, it doesn't crash and it does everything that I want from my phone. Are there fewer fart apps? Yes. Is this a bad thing? If you're an "IT^ specialist" who likes fart apps, probably. Not for me, though.
I don't know why you've been marked down because it's an observable limitation of Skype on Windows Phone. The app runs quite nicely in the foreground but it is utterly useless if you intend to receive calls.
Windows Phone doesn't permit multitasking for standard applications so when Skype is not in the foreground it is suspended. The closest thing WP has to multitasking is periodic background agents and these only run once every 30 minutes rendering them completely useless for Skype.
The sad part is that Microsoft don't see in a hurry to change this stupid restriction either. There was a recent Windows 8 blog entry stating that Metro apps in Windows 8 would suffer the same limitation. I can understand why default they might enforce this behaviour but there should be a way for apps that wish to override it to do so even if the user must grant the app special permission.
Compare and contrast to Android where not only can you run apps in the background if you like but VOIP apps such as Viber can even override the default dialler so the VOIP is integrated seamlessly into the phone experience.
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The "smart" part is not about UI design or any other interface design. Smart basically referred to the ability to install extra native software or extend the functionality of the device through software.
Dumbphones have a limited feature set that can't be improved through third party software.
Window Mobile came out of PocketPC which was providing a pocketable version of Windows in the mid 1990s. All Microsoft did was add a phone at a later date.
I use Skype on linux. I can make and receive calls (with or without video) perfectly well. I can send text messages, call PSTN phones, make conference calls and use it anywhere in the world I can get a net connection.
So what doesnt work properly? The windoze version may have more bling and lots of useless flim-flam to impress the 'I want shiny things' crowd but is also more resource greedy and bloated - rather like MSN. At least the linux version is stable.
Wonder how long it will take Microsoft to realise they can safely build Skype into the core software stack. As a minority market share holder there's no risk of ending up in court answering competition charges.
Until they do that Skype will be too expensive on battery and too unreliable at accepting incoming calls to use, even if Microsoft let it run as a service with enhanced execution privileges. Before Android started adding specific support VOIP apps were pretty flaky and power draining. Better multitasking wasn't enough.
Now that native SIP has migrated right into the core Android OS the power penalty is acceptable (and having an open choice of SIP provider is pretty nice too). Skype on WP still has a long way to go to catch up.
Johnny Homeuser doesn't need to. The app his provider supplies will talk to the SipManager API for him and it will just work well. End users don't need to know that SIP's integrated to gain the performance benefits. Whereas no depth of knowledge will help them make Skype work better on WP7.
Slightly smarter users might notice they can just enter the account details without installing anything and it will probably work better than the shoddy excuses for SIP software I've tried ;)
1 : I have a Nokia N9. Have to say, it is excellent. Same basic hardware as a Lumina / WP thing, but, Meego / Harmatten just bloody works. And skype works wonderfully well, foregruond or background, as does SIP.
2 : Skype in a browser ? Nice idea when you are not using your won machine, but for those of us on Linux it does feel....well, pointless.
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