Skype often with your smartphone? You’ll be pleased to know that starting today, you’ll be able to share your screen if you’re on a supported Android or iOS device, and that Skype’s mobile calling experience has been redesigned with simplicity and ease of use in mind.
“Skype has always been the easiest way to share your screen with others, and now we’re taking one of our most popular features on the go,” wrote the Skype team in a blog post. “Whether you have a last-minute meeting on the go, or your dad doesn’t know how to use his phone — screen sharing on Android and iOS lets you get it done from anywhere.”
To start sharing your screen (on the latest version of Skype on Android and on iOS devices running iOS 12 and up), start a Skype call, tap the “…” menu, and select the corresponding button. A single tap dismisses the call controls and kicks off a video call, while a double tap removes all controls. A subsequent tap brings the controls back, and in the newly redesigned “…” menu, you’ll also find shortcuts to features like call recording and subtitles.
The launch of screen sharing on mobile comes after rollout of a major Skype for Web update, which introduced high-definition video calling, a redesigned notifications panels, a revamped media gallery, and more. Skype for Web — which launched publicly in April 2016 — signaled a move for the Skype team away from edge clients to a cloud-first, distributed apps model, and coincided with a migration from a peer-to-peer networking backend to a centralized architecture. Case in point: Microsoft in November brought Skype to smart speakers and smart displays powered by Amazon’s Alexa assistant.
Skype, which has an estimated 1.55 billion users worldwide, competes with Facebook Messenger (which had 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide as of September 2017) and to an extent Tencent’s WeChat (which has more than a billion users). The Skype team’s efforts to stand out from the crowd haven’t been universally well-received — its Snapchat-like ephemeral stories feature and third-party extensions for Gfycat, YouTube, and UpWorthy were widely derided on social media. But others have achieved a measure of success, like the integration of Microsoft’s Cortana intelligent assistant and support for real-time captions and subtitles, along with tools such as the BotBuilder, which allows developers to build interactive video chatbots for Skype conversations.