Skype now has Windows 8-like Snap mode for Android tablets

While Windows 8 and 8.1 allow for more than one Metro app to run on screen at the same time via Snap mode, the same thing cannot be done with many Android devices. Today, Skype put in a Snap-like mode for its Android app, which will allow tablets that run on Google's OS to take a video or audio call but still run other apps on the side.

While this new feature is meant to be just for Android tablets, the official Skype blog says that smartphones that download the new 4.5 version of the app will still see a message asking for permission to draw on top of other apps when a call comes in. The blog says, "We apologize for the inconvenience," which would indicate that this might be modified in future versions.

Additionally, the new Skype Android version allows tablet users to jump quickly from one letter in a contact list to another. The blog states, "Just pinch your contact list to zoom out to an alphabet and tap on the letter (or number / symbol option) to jump to that section. It’s a whole lot faster than scrolling." Again, this feature is just for Android tablets.

The change log says that the new version improves Video Instant Messaging functionality and has fixes for the newest Samsung phones. It adds compatibility for the Hudl tablet, fixes crashes when the Skype app is used on the Google Nexus 5, and the drop-down filter selections on the people tab are now supposed to be persistent.

Source: Skype blog | Image via Microsoft

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12 Comments

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Not sure how this is better usability wise than simply adding it to the notification panel, as an expandable notifiation. Seems like they are doing it just because they can.

Drawing on top of the other app isn't the same as snap though, it's just a 1/3rd overlay that will block part of your app in the process.

AsherGZ said,
But IIRC, Samsung Tab and Note allows you to snap two apps side by side doesn't it?

Since that isn't available on every Android device, even Samsung's, most likely the version of TouchWiz on those must be responsible.

As someone who has worked on an Android app before. I can only imagine the nightmare adding this feature in must cause. Ugh I cringe just thinking about it.

It is entirely possible to do. I'm not saying it can't. What I am saying is that Android is so fragmented and buggy that it must have been a nightmare to implement.

Makes sense to me, Apple uses their UI on Windows apps to advertise the benefits of their platform, MS is doing the same.

Yeah... I don't think the apps expect to be resized so it probably would cause some issues if it forced the app to condense.