Microsoft's Skype chat syncing improvements go live

In November, Microsoft's Skype product manager Jeff Kunins said that the team was working to have chat messages sync up on all of the platforms that it supports. Today, the company said in a new blog post that goal has now been achieved as part of an overall update on the VoIP service.

The update on the Skype blog states, "You can scroll back on your mobile phone to see the conversation you had on your laptop just as easily as the chat you had with your best friend on your smartphone about a recipe." Push notifications are now being used to let Skype users know when they get a new chat message and any chats made by users to offline Skype contacts can now be seen as "read" later on.

Microsoft says that they are also working to improve the performance of its Skype clients in terms of load, start up and resume times, along with changes that should allow for better battery life when using the apps on mobile devices.

The near future will see even more chat enhancements, according to Microsoft. That includes only seeing one notification on the device that someone might be using, instead of multiple devices that might be owned by the same person. The future will also see the Skype Favorites contact list sync up and roam across multiple clients.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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27 Comments

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I noticed when I log on through other devices, they stopped downloading unwanted history Thanks for the fix!

Before it wouldn't stop bothering me downloading old history despite turning it off in the settings on all my devices.

Finally! Skype is a complete mess right now, but good to see they are starting to focus on some of what I feel are some of its weaker points

No surprise, but not working on WP7.8. Thanks again MS.

In fact, even the list of available people is different.

As much as I dislike it, when Messenger was abandoned all my contacts moved to Skype. For me, I was having the problem of messages being delivered from people up to a month late and it felt like one of the selling points of the messages hub of Windows Phone, and even Windows's 8's Messages app was pointless.
But, by that point everyone had moved to Facebook chat anyway so we regained what was lost from messenger and the vast majority of us I assume already had accounts.

There are a few people who have Skype too, but these days it's not worth using unless you want to make a free call across the world.

I don't represent the user base at large, but I suspect most people have simply switched to a different IM platform of their choice when forced switch anyway, more so when the one they've been moved off from has more functionality then the proposed replacement service.

Even though I recently got a Windows Phone 8, I'm still not wanting to use Skype due to the problems I had with it on 7.8. It's dead for me now.

All this does is remind me of how grossly premature the killing of Windows Messenger was, and how poorly this whole thing has been handled.

Microsoft should be running away with a "better facetime than facetime that is also a better Yahoo IM than Yahoo IM" by now, and they're just ... not. Not even close.

By the time they do get there, will it even matter?

That's some excellent news. What was the point of killing live messenger if Skype didn't support offline messaging. Glad it's fixed.

There are still two major issues with the metro Skype, IMO:

a. you cannot sign in with your Skype account, only MS account.
b. if you sign into windows with your MS account and not a local one, you cannot sign out of Skype.

The one thing about skype that always annoyed me is that linked with a different Microsoft, what a pain in the ass. Let us link skype with a bunch of different accounts.

Metro version of Skype needs fixing. Hate that I can't log on using my Skype details. I have to use my MS account. This makes registering from their site and a Facebook account useless.

I hope they fix the notifications on my iphone, ipad, android and PC if I'm having a conversation with someone

I forgot to add I hate signing into skype on my xbox one as it just floods me with old messages. I don't need that MS please don't do it

Yeah not sure how they can do this, unread Skype notifications on wp8 if I am using the modern version in Windows is syncing better though.

SuperKid said,
Yeah they don't need to notify my iPhone if I am taking on my desktop! Once that is sorted then it will be perfect!

It's sometimes not that easy: maybe you are using your computer and then you walk away for a while with your phone. Where do you get the notification? Probably the computer, which is on but you aren't using in that exact moment.

Hangouts does that and while it's a nice feature it sometimes feels like the app should rather not try to be clever.

ichi said,

It's sometimes not that easy: maybe you are using your computer and then you walk away for a while with your phone. Where do you get the notification? Probably the computer, which is on but you aren't using in that exact moment.

Hangouts does that and while it's a nice feature it sometimes feels like the app should rather not try to be clever.

There is however one small thing they can implement, when I'm having a conversation on my laptop I don't need my Phone to vibrate every time I get an answer. Let it vibrate once, then be quite if I receive messages from the same person and havn't read (as I'm reading it on my laptop) the previous message. Now it just keeps vibrating, if you have several busy conversations at the same time, the Phone never stops notifying

ichi said,

It's sometimes not that easy: maybe you are using your computer and then you walk away for a while with your phone. Where do you get the notification? Probably the computer, which is on but you aren't using in that exact moment.

Hangouts does that and while it's a nice feature it sometimes feels like the app should rather not try to be clever.

Would be nice for them to see your mobile devices not moving and know that you've been on your desktop. If your mobile device moves outside of a small geofence it starts getting notifications. Also, a "mute for 10 mins" would be useful too... let the user control it.

George P said,
Step in the right direction, just need the rest of the sync abilities talked about at the end of the post.

they could use the latest interaction as a sign of what is being used, so i message back to someone on my phone and the notification is set to phone, then i start to use my pc and as soon as i start to type or scroll or anything it switches back, then i reopen skype on phone and scroll etc and it switches back.

what i mean is it doesn't necessarily need a list to indicate usage.

a scenario whereby you message someone on pc the walk away with phone but don't use it would bring a problem though, so maybe have a system where if last interaction was pc send initial notification to all, then set notifications based on the device that was used to acknowledge it.

the thinking here is you always have your phone but not always your pc, so if in doubt always notify phone as well.

What I assumed they would do is to notify all devices like they do at the moment because they don't know which one you're going to use next.

But when you do start using a particular device, it would then go and cancel the notifications on all the other devices and update the positions to where conversations have been read.