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Skype for Android 3.0 tablet overhaul sparks bug reports

The update to Skype's app for Android tablets brings a revamped UI and audio, but also reports from users of dropped calls and crashes in the Microsoft-owned VoIP service.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Skype has redesigned its Android app to work better on tablets, but some users are complaining that the update is affecting performance.

Skype for Android 3.0, released on Tuesday, has been built to take advantage of the extra screen real estate offered by tablets, the company said.


"With so many now using tablets to make video and voice calls with Skype, this latest version is optimized to scale to your tablet's bigger screen, so you can experience Skype on a larger display wherever you go," Derek Snyder, head of mobile product marketing at Skype, said in a blog post.

The redesign has a two-column layout, with frequently used Skype options (such as contacts, calling and messages) on the left and an active call/video stream on the right.

However, a number of users have complained in reviews section of the app's listing on Google Play that the redesign doesn't let them use the app in portrait mode for smaller tablets like the Nexus 7.


"Why no portrait Google Nexus 7? What a disaster update. How can I downgrade? Please help," a user named 'Jeffrey' wrote.

Others reported a slow-down in performance, or strange behaviour such as inverted video streams, dropped calls and crashes.

"The video chat is impossible to use for communication, data sent back and forth is so slow that it is not very probable you can get a glimpse of the person you are trying to talk to," wrote a user called 'Can'.

"Also, whenever I sign in, leave Skype open and then return back to see which contacts are on, the app just simply crashes. In order to see them, I need to login again. This is not good," Can noted.

Skype for Android 3.0 introduces support for its own wide-band audio codec, called Silk.

"Silk was designed to capture the richness of human speech. It copes well with the often varying speeds of internet connections, ensuring that the audio quality is always the best it can be," Snyder said. "That way, Skype will deliver the best possible audio on your tablet, even with a shaky connection."

Microsoft — owner of Skype since May 2011 — earlier in November it will start merging the Skype service with Windows Live Messenger. As part of this move, the new Skype app allows users to log in using their Microsoft credentials.

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