Last month, Skype announced that it would soon add support for free group video calling on iOS and Android. Now, the Microsoft-owned VoIP company has begun rolling out the much-awaited feature on iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.
High-quality video and audio
Skype notes that even on mobile devices, group video calling is offered in “HD quality” video and “crystal clear” audio, the latter of which is thanks to the company’s Intel-enhanced SILK Super Wide Band audio codec in its cloud conferencing stack. So you can expect to get high-quality video and audio for group video calls as well as for one-on-one video calls.
The interface for group video calling on Skype has been optimized for smartphone and tablet screens. It lets you choose to participate in a group video call through a grid view, a “focus” view where Skype automatically focuses on the active speaker, or a “pinned” view where you can “pin” a certain participant to the stage.
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How to start group video calling on iOS
Now that Skype group video calling is available on mobile, all you need is your iPhone or iPad to start catching up with your friends and family on Skype.
And with the launch of Skype group video calling on mobile, the number of video call participants has been increased by Skype from 5 to 25, enabling you to include more friends and family members to your virtual get-togethers.
To start group video calling, just initiate a chat in Skype for iPhone or Skype for iPad and share the unique conversation link via email, text, or your favorite social networking app with the people you want to invite to the call. You don’t have to wonder if they have Skype or not: If they do, clicking the link lets them join the group video call in the Skype app on their devices, and if they don’t, clicking the link lets them join the group video call on a computer using Skype for Web.
Rolling out worldwide
Note that Skype group video calling on mobile has just begun rolling out on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets in North America and Western Europe. Rollout to these markets is expected to be completed over the next week or so.
Skype group video calling on mobile is planned for full availability worldwide in March.
In addition to video calling, Skype offers messaging with support for sending photos, video messages, links, and location data.