Skype announced a series of updates a few weeks ago and today they have finally started to roll out group video calling on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets.
The new features for Skype Group Video Calling are for Western Europe and North America. Skype said they expect to complete the roll-out to these markets over the next week or so.
Skype also stated that they plan to be fully available worldwide in march.
“Soon, everyone will have the freedom to enjoy totally free group get-togethers anytime, anywhere – and with anyone they want.” Said a representative form Skype Blog.
Skype has been slowly adding new features to their services, such as integrating group video calls with Microsoft’s mobile email and calendar application for mobile phones. You can now schedule a call and add it to your calendar, while also being able to schedule that same call in Outlook from Skype.
Skype also revealed last month that they will stop revealing your IP address to the world. In the latest update to Skype you can download here, Skype user’s IP address’ will automatically be hidden as default in the latest version. Skype says this update will keep your IP address hidden from other Skype users, and will prevent people from obtaining a Skype ID.
Some new features of the latest update for Group video calling are:
Super Clear HD Quality
Skypes Group Video Calls are now in HD quality and optimized specifically for your device. Providing a natural feel to the call.
The audio is crystal clear, Skype says thanks to their SILK Super Wide Band audio codec in their cloud conferencing stack.
To make this they partnered with one of Microsoft’s biggest clients, Intel, which allowed them to enable and optimize SILK Audio.
Bringing Everyone Together
Nobody gets left out now that group calling is available on all platforms.
Skype stated whether you are on a laptop, desktop, mobile or tablet, everyone can be a a part of the fun without having to plan and schedule.
Skype has also increased the number of people who can join in on a group video call from 5 to 25.
That’s quite a large group to share a video call with. I hope the video and audio quality can keep up with the amount of people on a 25 person video call.
You can now Flip between grid view that makes you feel you’re int he same room, or you can switch to focus view where Skype automatically focusses on the active speaker, or let’s you choose which participant to “Pin” to the stage.
Skype said that the last view, the “Pin” option works very well when you are in a large group
Inviting Anyone To A Call
You can now talk with anyone, and add them to a pre-exiting group conversation even if they are not on your contact list.
All you need to do is start a chat on your iPhone, iPad or Android and share the unique conversation link however you want – via email, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter or Facebook.
If they have Skype they will join your conversation by clicking the link, and if they don’t they can just join on their computer using Skype for Web.
You can download the latest version of Skype here.