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For some reason, Microsoft has removed its free voice-message feature from its Skype 5.0 for iPhone, a version that’s supposed to be five times faster and include a complete Windows Phone-style interface revamp.

A Skype representative has informed Skypers that if they need the voice-message feature, they should use another mobile platform. Even worse, Microsoft has already gotten rid of the previous Skype version that included voice messaging as part of the default feature set. There’s no turning back.

Skype voice messaging offered incredible conveniences for users. The Voice Messaging webpage states that “if you’re busy getting the kids ready for school or in back-to-back meetings, Skype offers a free voicemail service that can take a message for you. Listen to your messages and return any calls at your convenience.” Even the Skype website knows its worth.

Many Skypers are wondering what the point is of having the app on an iPhone at all if you need to actually go to a computer and install the desktop version in order to listen to voice messages. It makes little sense to remove such a basic voice feature on an application whose main purpose is to work with voice.

Luckily, you can manually replace Skype 5.1 for iPhone with the old version. If you synchronize your iOS devices with your desktop iTunes, the previous Skype version theoretically should be saved in your computer’s iTunes library.

According to iDownloadBlog, complete the following steps to retrieve the old version:

  • On my Mac which syncs with this iPhone
  • Go the folder containing the Skype .ipa file (i.e. Music > iTunes > iTunes Media > Mobile Applications)
  • Using Time Machine (backup), go to backup and locate backup from 2 weeks ago that had the last version 4 release (version number is 4.17.135)
  • Restore this to the applications folder on the Mac
  • Delete the current release from iOS device and from iTunes list of apps
  • Drag the “Skype 4.17.135.ipa” file back into iTunes
  • Sync the phone with iTunes

You can download Skype 5.1 for iPhone in the App Store for free. It requires iOS 7.0 or later. Unfortunately, if you’re an iPad, you’re stuck with version 4.17.3.

Microsoft has made other updates to enhance conversations, people, and favorites features on Skype, confirming that more updates will come with additional capabilities in the future. Hopefully, users will have access to voice messaging again very soon.

Aside from this major blunder, though, the new Skype interface has been completely changed. It is now much more user-friendly, with a focus on swiping navigation, and it adopts much of the same elements from the version on the Windows Phone. Thankfully, it doesn’t feel out of place on iOS 7.

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