Apple Has Removed Skype From App Store in China to Comply With Local Law

Microsoft has confirmed that Skype has been "temporarily removed" from the App Store on iPhone and iPad, according to a statement given to The New York Times.

Apple told The New York Times that it was forced to remove a number of voice and video calling apps from the App Store in China to comply with laws in the country.
We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.
Skype has been unavailable on the App Store since at least late October, according to users on Twitter and other websites. The service appears to function normally still for users who have already installed the app.

Skype is the latest victim of China's strict internet filters, colloquially known as the Great Firewall. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Microsoft wouldn't comment on why Skype is also unavailable on at least a few major third-party Android app stores. Many of Google's services, including Gmail and YouTube, have been blocked in China for several years.

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Skype Launches Redesigned Desktop App With Cross-Device Functionality Between iOS and macOS

After first redesigning its iOS app and previewing a new update for Macs and desktop computers earlier this year, Microsoft has announced that its new Skype desktop software is launching today. The next-generation Skype desktop software is built to emulate the redesigned mobile application, which launched in June with an emphasis on media sharing and social networking features, although the iOS app's Snapchat-like "Highlights" feature isn't on Mac at this time.


The new Skype Mac app connects across devices to the iOS app, and includes customizable themes, an organizable chat list, and cloud-based file sharing. A new "notification panel" lets users catch up on missed messages in one place -- including reactions, @mentions, and quotes -- and you can jump directly to these notifications by clicking on them.


A new chat media gallery has been implemented as a place users can quickly find shared content including media, links, and files. Add-ins can also be introduced into each chat, ranging from GIF-based applications to event scheduling, sending money, video sharing, and more.


When in a video chat or a text conversation, users can send reactions to express how they're feeling, and set status updates to let friends know when they aren't available. In total, Skype said that the goal for the new update is to help its users increase personal and professional productivity, while also unifying the Skype ecosystem across devices.

To download the new features, Skype said that anyone with automatic updates enabled on Mac, Windows 10 November Update (2016) and lower, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Linux will receive the update as it begins rolling out today. To download it manually, users can visit Skype.com.

Tag: Skype

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Skype Launches Redesigned Desktop App With Cross-Device Functionality Between iOS and macOS

After first redesigning its iOS app and previewing a new update for Macs and desktop computers earlier this year, Microsoft has announced that its new Skype desktop software is launching today. The next-generation Skype desktop software is built to emulate the redesigned mobile application, which launched in June with an emphasis on media sharing and social networking features, although the iOS app's Snapchat-like "Highlights" feature isn't on Mac at this time.


The new Skype Mac app connects across devices to the iOS app, and includes customizable themes, an organizable chat list, and cloud-based file sharing. A new "notification panel" lets users catch up on missed messages in one place -- including reactions, @mentions, and quotes -- and you can jump directly to these notifications by clicking on them.


A new chat media gallery has been implemented as a place users can quickly find shared content including media, links, and files. Add-ins can also be introduced into each chat, ranging from GIF-based applications to event scheduling, sending money, video sharing, and more.


When in a video chat or a text conversation, users can send reactions to express how they're feeling, and set status updates to let friends know when they aren't available. In total, Skype said that the goal for the new update is to help its users increase personal and professional productivity, while also unifying the Skype ecosystem across devices.

To download the new features, Skype said that anyone with automatic updates enabled on Mac, Windows 10 November Update (2016) and lower, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Linux will receive the update as it begins rolling out today. To download it manually, users can visit Skype.com.

Tag: Skype

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Skype Brings Next-Generation Mobile Experience to Desktop in New Mac Preview

Skype today announced the release of a preview version of its next-generation desktop software, which is designed to emulate the redesigned mobile experience that it released in June.

The new version of Skype shares design elements with the mobile version, but it has been created for the desktop's larger screen. Microsoft calls it the "most expressive Skype ever" with livelier group chats, real-time screen and photo sharing, and more.


Skype's redesign features a new notification panel that displays mentions and message reactions, allowing users to better keep up with conversations.

There's a new chat media gallery for keeping track of photos and documents shared in a chat, and group calls feature in-call reactions with emoji that can be shared.


Skype Preview is available immediately for Mac users via the Skype Insider website.

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You Can Now Send Money With PayPal in Skype App on iPhone and iPad

Skype today announced that users across 22 countries can now send money with PayPal in its mobile app for iOS and Android.


Skype said the person-to-person payments feature is rolling out today in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Where available, users will need to link their PayPal account to their Skype profile. In a chat, users can then swipe right, tap Send Money, and complete the near-instant money transfer process, which is handled by PayPal. Both the sender and recipient must reside in one of the 22 countries supported.

PayPal within Skype will support currency exchange as usual. If a user is sending funds from the United States, for example, to someone in Europe, the user will have the option to send money in euros if preferred.

The feature will require the latest version of Skype for iOS, available as a free download on the App Store [Direct Link]. However, users receiving money can have any version of the Skype app installed.

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Skype Reveals Redesigned iOS App With Chat Bots and Snapchat-Like ‘Highlights’ Feature

Microsoft today introduced an enhanced, all-new version of Skype for iOS and Android devices that puts an emphasis on chats, chatbots, camera features, and its own version of Snapchat's Stories. The update comes with an overall change to Skype's visual design as well, with the company stating that it's decided to focus on allowing personal user choice to dictate how sections of the app look, including the ability to customize the app with your favorite color.

Skype's home screen now sits with a "Chat" window on launch, and users can easily swipe to the Camera and new "Highlights" feature, which is an extended version of Stories. Here, users can take a picture or video, decorate it with emojis and text, and then post it to their Highlight. After posting, content is available for a full week instead of just 24 hours, and only users who follow you can see your Highlight. Specific individuals and groups can also be sent a Highlight before it's posted.


Skype has also introduced Facebook-like reactions to both chats and Highlights, allowing users to select emojis to react to messages, pictures, and videos without having to text. In a talk with TechCrunch, Skype didn't balk at admitting it was inspired by Snapchat Stories, pointing out Facebook's own argument that the "Story" model is a format that can be used by anyone in the industry and isn't owned by Snapchat.
Highlights are Skype’s own take on Stories – something the company readily admits. “It’s like Facebook has said,” says Amritansh Raghav, Corporate Vice President of Skype, referencing remarks made by Facebook’s VP of messaging David Marcus, who recently argued that Stories “is definitely a format, the same way the feed is a format.”

Raghav agrees. The feed is now commonly used in a range of apps – even those that aren’t personal social networks, like Microsoft’s business communications service Yammer. “There’s a new medium that has risen,” he says of Stories. “When you think about this new way of interacting, [we want that to be] available also in this application.”
Microsoft is also introducing its smart assistant Cortana into Skype, providing shortcuts to users in texts and suggesting quick responses. Other bots, or "add-ins," include Gfycat, Giphy, MSN Weather, Bing, Polls, Expedia, Stubhub, BigOven, YouTube, and Upworthy.


Less emphasized in the update are Skype's traditional video call features, although they have received a few overhauls as well. Users will now be able to send large emojis over video chats, as well as text messages, stickers, and photos that appear as an overlay on the screen. Skype said that in the future it plans to introduce gaming features into video calls and the ability to synchronize and watch streaming videos together, rumored to begin with videos from YouTube, similar to Google's own UpTime app.

The Skype update launches on Android first today, and is set to roll out to iOS devices in about a month. Mac and Windows devices will receive the update sometime within the next few months.

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