Skype is a free web meeting, video conferencing, and VoIP software. It works across mobile phones, tablets, computers, smartwatches, Xbox and Alexa. Having flexible pricing makes it one of the most popular online communication service providers currently available on the market. It offers a surfeit of communication channels which ensures quality. With its most affordable price tag in the industry, having a limited feature set doesn’t dent its popularity and consumption. Besides the free web calling, users can call mobile phones and landlines by getting Skype Credit or availing their monthly subscriptions. Skype's popularity surged because of their free basic service, providing VoIP and HD Video calling for free to users worldwide. Skype also offers business functionalities and features for an extremely small per-user subscription fee. The paid service allows for large scale conferences (up to 250 people), integration with MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook) and stronger authentication and encryption measures.
App Features and Capabilities
Audio and HD Video calling - Skype is known for its crystal clear audio and video calling capabilities. It’s advanced compression and Microsoft’s server strength makes Skype a reliable audio and video calling application
Call recording and Live captions - Skype recently added a call recording feature that allows you to record moments of your video or audio call. Furthermore, Skype has a live captioning system that automatically displays subtitles for the speech in the video. This is especially helpful for users with accessibility needs.
Smart Messaging - Skype allows you to instantly react to messages or images with fun emoticons and reactions. You can also @mention someone in the group chat to ping them with an important message. Smart messaging makes skype attractive to business and casual users alike.
Call phones - Skype allows you to actually call phones via their service. They charge competitive international rates to call friends who aren’t online or unavailable.
Screen Sharing - In Skype, you can easily share presentations, holiday photos or anything on your screen during a call with integrated screen sharing. Integrated screen sharing makes skype extremely attractive to business users. Presentation discussions and meetings can be easily held on skype.
Privacy and security - Skype ensures that your data and conversations are stored and transmitted securely with industry-grade end-to-end encryption.
File gallery - Skype allows you to easily look through files and images in your chat via a gallery. Every conversation and group has a gallery associated with it that allows you to quickly browse through files.
Skype numbers - Skype also allows you to get local numbers as part of their service. Skype Numbers are available in 26 countries/regions and you pay a flat fee for unlimited incoming calls.
Skype Translator - Skype has real-time translation inbuilt into the service. This makes Skype an amazing option for international conferences and meetings.
Caller ID - When you set up caller identification, your mobile number or Skype Number is displayed when you call mobiles and landlines from Skype.
Reliable video calling - Skype’s advanced compression algorithms and a large array of servers across the world makes it an extremely reliable service. With Skype Lite, video calls are optimized for low-speed internet connections allowing for easy access to a broad range of users.
Large conferences - Skype allows you to have 100+ people in a conference. You can set up large conferences but the quality of the call would depend on your internet connection.
Business centric features
Skype allows you to schedule meetings in the application. Skype would automatically remind you of the scheduled call. If you’re connected with outlook, then Skype automatically adds it to your calendar.
Screen sharing allows presentation discussions and inter-team conversations happen easily and comfortably.
Skype allows you to have live code-share where multiple people can contribute code together on Visual Studio
Accessibility features - Live subtitling makes Skype much more accessible to users with different needs. Skype automatically transcribes what’s being said onto the screen with startling accuracy and speed.
Caller ID, Voicemail and Call Forwarding - Basic caller features allow users to replace their standard calling service with skype. Caller ID allows users to view who’s calling them. You can even set up voicemail to redirect calls when you’re unavailable.
Calling phones directly - For a competitive price, Skype allows you to call phones internationally. This makes it very convenient if your friends and family are not online. You can save even more if you call specific destinations using Skype subscriptions.
Cortana - Cortana suggests smart replies or useful information based on your chat, like restaurant options or movie reviews. Cortana integration moves Skype to a new information age.
Powerful File Sharing - Share photos, videos, and other files up to 300 MB by simply dragging and dropping files into your conversation window.
Paid tiers - As mentioned earlier, a lot of the business features in Skype require a business subscription. Skype offers unparalleled features but it comes with a small fee.
Limited phone call support - Skype phone calling is only available in some countries and regions. This limits Skype’s feature set for many users.
Large internet bandwidth requirements for conferences - Conferencing with 10+ people on Skype is almost impossible to conduct because of the large internet requirements.
No service integration - Skype does not have any extensions or APIs to connect with other services. Doing so would allow Skype to compete with the likes of Slack and Trello.
Other Information to Know
Skype is blocked in many middle-eastern countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia. So some users in such countries may not be able to avail Skype's services.