Skype for iOS adds push notifications, two-way HD video calling & more

17 January 2014, 10:41 am EST By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

The popular Skype messaging and video chat service has just updated its iOS app, adding many new features and enhancements to improve the overall experience.

Skype has dedicated mobile apps for all major platforms, but the iOS version now has some neat new additions to up its game. The most notable new feature consists of push notifications, which means that messages will now finally be delivered in real time. To achieve this, Skype uses Apple's push notification network. Messages and notifications will now show up not only in the dedicated notification center, but also on the lock screen. This will, of course, require users to keep themselves logged into the app.

"With this version, all your chat messages will now be pushed to your iPhones and iPads using Apple's push notification network," Skype announced in a new blog post on Thursday, Jan. 16. "This means we can deliver your messages in a timely way which will then show up in your notification center and on your lock screen as expected. As long as you are signed into Skype, your private (1:1) chat messages will be delivered just like any other push notification."

It's worth highlighting, however, that the app currently offers push notifications only for private chat messages. The company is still working on adding group chats to the network as well, so for now the push feature is only available for one-on-one messages.

Aside from the added support for push notifications, the latest Skype for iOS, version 4.14, adds some other features and enhancements as well. Such additions include two-way HD video calling, which is now supported on the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina display, as well as some minor layout changes on iPhones and iPads. The update also removes the offline timer setting in order to improve the push notifications experience.

The new version of Skype for iOS is now available for download for free from the App Store. Find the iPhone version here and the iPad one at this link. The app will work on iOS 5 or newer, and supports the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 3, 4, and 5, and all iPad generations. 

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