Windows Phone Skype and Facebook updates coming soon, lockscreen app in testing

Microsoft is always looking to enhance its Windows Phone platform and on occasion, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore takes to Twitter to provide an updates on the current status of many highly requested items. To that extent, Belfiore gave a small update about Skype, Facebook and the lockscreen app that was first showed of at BUILD 2014.

Skype and Facebook updates will be arriving in the near future as they are currently in development; the lockscreen app is currently in testing and should hit the 'preview' stage soon. Typically, Microsoft releases a preview of the app (beta) and then pushes out the final build a few weeks later. According to Belfiroe's tweets, that is the same plan for the lockscreen app as he said "New lock screen app-- probably a couple weeks as beta for 1GB devices. A bunch of us are running it now, working on polish. dev-preview next".

It's important to note in his statement that it would appear that Windows Phone devices with less than 1GB of RAM will not be able to run the lockscreen app.

As for Windows Phone 8.1, the code is done and Microsoft is currently testing the update process which is needed to bring all existing Windows Phone 8 devices up to 8.1. Seeing that there are quite a few different Windows Phones out in the wild running Windows phone 8, there are a plethora of scenarios that must be fully vetted before the code can be pushed down to handsets.

Based on previous leaks for a market in Europe, it looks like the target to push out Windows Phone 8.1 will be around the middle of Summer. You can check out the roadmap here but know that it was an internal document and the timelines are subject to change. More so, this is for one market in Europe, so the US may have a different schedule too.

The good news here is that Microsoft is still continuing with its theme of transparency. While not the most detailed update about the progress of the apps or the 8.1 release, at least the company is providing some nuggets of information. 

Source: Joe Belfiore

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I recently switched from Android (being with the platform for over 5 years) to WP, and I don't regret it. Yes, Android has some features that I miss on my Lumia, but overall, I find the quality of the apps that I use is much higher.

Sure, there may be more apps to choose from on Android, but given a particular type of app, you will find one good one, and another nine that are rubbish in one way or another. Smaller choice on WP, but you tend to find they are of higher quality.

Of course there is still a lot of garbage to filter through, but overall as a platform, I have no regrets for switching. I sold my Xperia Z and my Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, and moving across to the Win ecosystem. The only thing I still hold onto is my Google mail/calendar/cloud accounts.

Having switched from iOS to Android to WP, I have to strongly disagree. I've never experienced any crashes or lags on the apps I use on WP compared to those others. You obviously never used it as a full-time phone with that comment.

What are the possibilities of skype not being complete crap after this update? Fingers crossed.

The music app update has made it a lot more usable on my phone, let's hope the trend continues.

Well .. I can tell you that it will disappoint everyone who hoped that the messaging integration of Skype would end up together with the messaging of sms and facebook. seriously this is a big annoying thing that they removed the whole idea of a messaging hub where it is essential nowadays with so many different communication ways to centralize conversations rather than decentralize them in every fricking app

-adrian- said,
Well .. I can tell you that it will disappoint everyone who hoped that the messaging integration of Skype would end up together with the messaging of sms and facebook. seriously this is a big annoying thing that they removed the whole idea of a messaging hub where it is essential nowadays with so many different communication ways to centralize conversations rather than decentralize them in every fricking app

I would have loved the same Messaging Hub, but with the capacity for developpers to add themselves there. Seriously, do I need 5 apps for messaging?

just like the People hub with facebook except that I don't need to wait 10 seconds clicking a picture until this bloody app opens up showing me the picture the peoplehub already loaded for me

I thought they were clear as to why hubs were removed, they couldn't be updated without an OS update. Unless they can turn that around quickly and have the opportunity to update them like an application, I doubt we'll see them return any time soon if ever.

Chances are....very small.

Skype on WP is a Stinking Pile.

It has two 'options', no dark theme, and doesn't even offer the same number of Status options as the Desktop software. And that's just the tip of the stinky iceberg.