Mar 19th, 2014

Skype Android tablet

A new upgrade is headed out to Skype for Android today that should quell some annoying battery concerns users have had. Skype acknowledged the latest versions of their app may be a burden on most Android phones’ battery life, and have come up with a decent temporary compromise while they work on finishing a complete code rewrite that changes the core technology behind Skype’s messaging service.

Specifically, the Skype team noted that push notifications in group messages as it is currently implemented is a huge drain on battery life, and so they’ve disabled push notifications by default. Of course, they note that there are many people who use group chat and realized not many people would be happy with the lack of push notifications, so they’ve included an option to enable it in settings if you so choose.

That’s a temporary band-aid on an issue that deserves a proper fix, but Skype wants you to know they’re working on it. They say they’ve drawn up a way to instantly deliver group messages without additional battery impact, though the feature is not quite ready for public consumption. It will be available “in the near future,” though.

Skype has also included a workaround for the Android 4.4.2 KitKat camera bug that would initiate whenever the app called on the camera in the background, which in turn introduced additional battery strain. The KitKat bug has yet to be fixed at the core, but considering Skype’s app was the main one causing this bug to rear its ugly head often this is a nice quick fix until we can get proper updates.

Other changes in this upgrade include fixes for audio and video calling on tablets without Bluetooth, as well as listing your Windows Live Messenger contacts in the default view (as opposed to only showing them in the All Contacts view). The app is ready to be downloaded in the Google Play Store right now, while those with Kindle Fire devices can expect it to hit the Amazon Appstore later this month.

[via Skype]