This is not the paid service offered by Skype; rather it uses your smartphone. It is in preview by Windows Insiders and says it allows users to send and receive SMS and MMS messages directly from a Windows 10 device.
No need to reach for your phone, you can view and respond to new messages from your computer. It will also manage group messages and photo/video attachments with a single view of both SMS and Skype conversations.
Technically it is an SMS relay feature similar to Apple’s Continuity or Android’s Pushbullet. Microsoft has also announced a raft of new Skype features coming soon.
- Improved messaging – message sent status, copy and paste quoted messages, read/unread line indicator, preview a URL in chat, keyboard shortcuts, drag and drop of files and photos, drag and drop of URLs from browsers, and video messaging.
- Easier calling – start call or conversation from the profile page, group calls continue even when the initiator leaves, audio/video device settings, loudspeaker improvements.
- Additional Windows Mobile updates – transparent tile, video calls will default to the loudspeaker for video calls and improved back button navigation.
It is expected these will also roll out to iOS and Android versions.
Skype has changed a lot over the past year or so. What was a peer-to-peer system is now fully cloud-based. This allows all devices — Windows 10, Xbox, Linux, macOS, iOS, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Android, BlackBerry, Amazon Kindle/Fire, or even via a browser — to use it.
It has a huge range of features that are worth exploring.
It remains free for Skype to Skype video or audio calls, group calls (up to 25), and instant messaging. Skype Translator has been useful too.
It incurs costs for calling mobile and landline numbers (surprisingly cost effective), and you can get a fixed Skype telephone number and avoid landlines completely. I have been using this while travelling and where it will forward telephone calls to my Skype app on a smartphone (and vice versa).
It has enhanced collaboration tools such as screen share, file transfer and more.