Skype for Windows 8.1 updated; contacts can now be added via people page

It's been a while since there's been an update to the Skype app for Windows 8.1 but this week Microsoft has released version 2.5 of the Modern UI app, which includes some new features.

The Skype blog reports that version 2.5 now allows users to add contacts from the people page. Microsoft says, "To add someone, just select the icon below, type in a name, email address, Microsoft account or SkypeID". Contacts can still be added to the Skype app from search or by swiping the command bar.

The new version also allows users to view which folks from their people page are currently online via Skype, as shown in the screenshot above. The list can be seen even if the user has less than 20 contacts. Finally, IM sounds for any current conversations on Skype are turned off by default, although this can be enabled again by going into Settings and Options; this also won't affect sounds that will be made by new IMs.

Microsoft is currently working on Update 1 for Windows 8.1 but at the moment, there's no word on if there will be any major changes for the Skype app when it is released; Skype was put in as the default messaging app for Windows 8.1 when it launched in October.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Why anyone uses the Metro version at all is beyond me. Like all metro apps, it is either useless, utter cr@p or missing a great deal of functionality.

They finally fixed the syncing issue too!!!!!! (i.e. old convos used to show as unread messages on other devices).. yayyyy!

That took way too long to add that. Though they really need to prioritize truly integrating Skype into the Microsoft ecosystem like Messenger was. Messenger worked flawlessly, Skype still doesn't sync People hub contacts properly or show status indicators in other Office apps properly, old convos still get shown as unread offline messages, etc. Don't get me started on the giant ad in the convo window on the desktop app now.

Messenger >>>>>>>>>>>

jimmyfal said,
Installed it poked around, received text 10 minutes after the Skype desktop version, uninstalled it.

Damn so this is not fixed yet? bummer...

Skype is almost unusable as an instant (lol) messaging service. The longest I've had to wait for a reply is now just over 3 days.

Almost daily, it'll take 10-15 minutes to receive a message. Is getting me in trouble with my girlfriend who thinks I'm ignoring her all the time!

They took away the MSN instant messenger and expected us to start using Skype as our instant messenger about a YEAR ago. In that time, Skype is basically unusable as an IM client unless you are willing to face the fact that some messages may not come, in a timely fashion. Something I was able to do 15 years ago using ICQ. So am I a little "not positive" because Skype in conjunction with MS the largest software developer in the world can't get the IM to work properly after all this time. I wait usually patiently, but this is getting ridiculous. I'm sure the whole Skype infrastructure is still being rebuilt and all, but maybe they could have had it all working properly BEFORE taking away the MSN Messnger, just a thought.

I'm reading this latest update was supposed to cure all that... I'll give it another try and see if Skype rings on all my devices after I already pickup on another. Fingers crossed...

I've never had a problem sending/receiving IM's in Skype. I'd look to your network. And I've never heard of anyone waiting 20 min or 2 days. Yes, Skype is used by millions per day and it's horrible like you say.

Still no fix for not receiving IM notifications unless you open the app first. Calls come through fine after a reboot without launching the app. IMs do not.

What's strange is how the Skype apps for non-MS platforms end up getting features before MS' own platforms do! I think the Skype team has never integrated properly with the rest of the company.