Android and iOS users have been enjoying their own respective versions of unified messaging for some time now. Well, truthfully speaking as part of team Android, I don’t think “enjoying” is the right word. More of a: love/hate relationship with Hangouts. I love it for what it should, and usually does; hate it for all the times it flails around like a squirrel on meth, screwing up all my messages and making random video calls when my pants are nowhere to be found. But I digress.A leaked beta of the new Skype for Windows 10 Mobile with unified messaging has surfaced.Click To Tweet
Last January, Windows announced that their Skype video/messaging application will soon be built into the native messaging app on Windows Phone. It looks like the development is moving along nicely on that front as a leaked beta has surfaced that users can download directly from the Microsoft Store and try out on any device running Windows 10 Mobile. We’re calling it a leak because you can’t find it through a search on the Microsoft Store, you need the direct link in order to be able to access it.
First of all, it is important to note this is ONLY available if you are running one of the Windows 10 Mobile builds. With that in mind, two thing will happen after installation:
- You will have actually have two new apps: Messaging Skype Preview and Skype Video Preview.
- You will get a prompt asking if you want to use the Skype Beta as your main messaging app, rolling everything incuding SMS into one mingled environment. This can be changed later if you don’t prefer this combination and continue to use Messenger and Skype as two separate applications.
Don’t worry, the beta does not overwrite the stock Messenger app and your existing messages will not be deleted. Once merged, you should start seeing all messages, SMS, and MMS in one place within the Messaging Skype Preview app.
The second application, Skype Video Preview, is closer to what the Skype app is presently. As the name implies, it will be used as streamlined video chat client. Tapping on a contact automatically initiates a video call. There are seemingly no messaging options so you will have to shift to the Messaging Skype Preview app for that.
With the final Windows 10 Mobile about to be generally available it’s reassuring to see that a very important piece of the OS ecosystem is on pace to be finished in time for the release. As with any Beta, there are bugs and crashes so approach the experience accordingly. Kind of like with Hangouts.
Any of you have a chance to try these apps out? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or find us on the social media site of your choice.