Last month, Microsoft had announced that it would be bringing group calling feature to its Skype app on Android and the iOS platforms. The company has now started rolling out the feature on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets in Western Europe and North America and the rest of the world is expected to get these features over the coming week.
According to the Skype blog post, making this announcement, the feature should be available globally by March.
Some of the features of this new update include HD quality video calling, group video calls, flexible interface which lets you choose your preferred view, and inviting anyone to a call.
The person calling you will be centre and full screen and Microsoft is using SILK Super Wide Band audio codec to ensure high quality audio. Mircosoft has worked with Intel to optimise SILK Audio specifically for Azure running on Intel processors.
The number of people in a group video call has been increased from 5 to 25. Skype also lets you rearrange the people on the video call according to your preference.
“You can flip between a highly immersive grid view that makes you feel like you’re in the same room, or you can switch to focus view where Skype automatically focuses on the active speaker, or lets you choose which participant to ‘Pin’ to the stage. The latter view works particularly well when you have a large group on the call,” says the blog post.
Another new feature added on is the option to invite people who may not be on your contact list to a Skype call as well. This feature was available only on desktops so far, has now been extended to iOS and Android devices as well.
“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’ll join your conversation by clicking on the link and if they don’t, they can join the group video call on a computer using Skype for Web,” says the blog post.