Microsoft updating Skype for new Kindle Fire tablets, iOS 7 devices

Microsoft updating Skype for new Kindle Fire tablets, iOS 7 devices

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out new Skype updates for Android tablets, including the new Kindle Fires, as well as for iOS 7 devices.


Microsoft has updated Skype for Android and iOS over the past few days, with coming support for new Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets, as well as current support for Apple devices running iOS 7.

Skype for Android version 4.4 is for Android tablets of all kinds. The biggest change, according to an October 8 blog post, is that tablet users "will now see a new interface that puts conversations first, displaying your most recent calls and chats." The post adds that the new update benefits from the "total rewrite of version 4.0" for phone users.

Microsoft's post notes that with "good network conditions," Android tablet users can get up to four times the video resolution of previous versions. Kindle Fire HD and HDX users will still be able to make use of hardware-accelerated HD quality video, Microsoft execs said. Non-Kindle Fire users can get the 4.4 update starting today in the Play Store. Kindle Fire users will be able to get the update "later this month."

On October 7, the Skype team rolled out version 4.13 of Skype for iPhone and iPad. The new release provides a "refreshed look" for iOS 7, plus improvements to accessibility, audio and video calling, according to a blog post. The update is available in the App Store as of Monday.

Speaking of Skype, Microsoft's Skype team is promising to fix some of the more annoying problems with the service that affect users on all platforms. 

The team is working to "synchronize chat message status across all of your devices so you will know the current status of all of your chats on every device you use to interact with Skype." Hopefully, this will eliminate duplicate and lagging messages sent via Skype instant-messaging. Microsoft is promising this synchronization will be rolling out "across clients over the next few months."

Topics: Unified Comms, Android, iOS, Smartphones, Tablets


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • You have to admire what theyre doing

    I'd like to bet there'll be XBox One framework for Android and IOS before long.

    From what I can make of it, MS are building a global 'megacomputer'. A distributed supercomputer with each of us having a core, or node, in our homes. We get local access to massive computing power, global realtime communications with translation, and inline gestural control. They get monthly subscription, revenue from games and virtual merchandising and most of the build cost back by selling the cores to us versus building a server farm big enough to handle the load.

    That in itself is pretty sneaky, especially when the system also absorbs your current consoles, video and hifi equipment and integrates tablets, phones etc. And not just Windows tablets... It looks to me like they aim to own the playground and allow their old competitors to compete in it - and make as much money as they like too.
    • Why connect Skype with Xbox?

      What Microsoft are doing with Skype is continuing the work of the company they purchased, that already had Skype multi-platform and integrating it more with Microsoft back-ends and services. Nothing to suggest the Xbox stuff will have the same fate, because it is probably too much tied to Microsoft's own platforms already.

      If one wants to be successful, they should learn self discipline and self control. Not everything that flies is edible.
      • Easy

        Skype is a multi-platform communications architecture thats a direct rival to XBox One Live services. XBox will run Win 8 and as I said, integrate tablets, any tablet and not just Windows.
        Just joining the dots, it looks to me like MS no longer view competition as a threat but as supporting infrastructure to what they are building.

        You're quite correct, integration of backend service is key to that. They already have Skype on these platforms and are updating it to provide more features - one of which is compatibility with the XBox Live service. What better way to sell an iPad if you can use it to control your XBox, everyone gets paid and MS take the glory.

        That wasnt me that flagged you btw.
      • I just had an email

        from XBox updating the feature list, and inviting me to reserve one.

        Some of the features listed are 1080p Skype, with 4-person group chat and live calls that can be snapped to the side of games. It would appear Skype is the replacement messaging transport on the new system so games designers dont have to engineer it into their games anymore.

        I'll be damned, the devils daughter is a thing of beauty...
  • Good to see Microsoft supporting others

    It's good to see Microsoft supporting other platforms such as Kindle Fire HD.
  • Reduce memory requirements

    I have an older Android (Huawei 7" with 8GB of memory and uses Android 2.1). Even after "factory reset" plus OS update, installing Skype fails because of lack of storage space in core memory (512MB). And that is after deleting certain start-up applications that aren't needed but loaded for convenience. Even though the device allows for a micro SD card, Skype won't run from it.