Xbox One's Skype app can't enter snap mode for a video chat while gaming

It's one of the features that Microsoft showed off at the very first Xbox One press event back in May. At the time, the company showed how someone using the console could be playing a game or watching a movie and then receive a Skype call. As shown in the video above, the Skype app could enter snap mode on the right hand side, which meant that a person could take a video call while simultaneously playing a game or movie in the main window. (It's at the 5:50 mark).

Well, as it turns out, that part of the Skype Xbox One experience won't be ready for the console's Friday launch. The Next Web reports that the app will let people take a Skype audio call in the background while playing games or watching a video but the promised video snap mode to the right hand side of the screen is not functional yet.

There's no word on when this promised feature, and one of Microsoft's biggest selling points for the Skype Xbox One app, will be enabled. The article does say that there will be an update released for the app a few days after launch but aside from adding a way to use the Kinect camera to take a picture for a person's profile, it will just be for bug fixes.

The article also points out some other minor features that are not part of the Skype app yet on Xbox One, such as not being able to see which Skype contacts are online or offline. Again, many of these features are expected to be added in future updates.

Source; The Next Web

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49 Comments

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I can see where the problem might be, lets say you are playing a game that requires Kinect, then it would be hard for the camera to do both 1080p video for Skype AND also do it's Kinect magic. But maybe they can write some code that will allow the camera to do both, maybe your skype call will only be at 720p, but hey I wouldn't want to do Skype at 1080p anyways, too much lag.

In an age where consoles update online as regularly as windows does, does the notion of something not being available at lunch seriously causes enough news to merit this article? or is it because nothing else is going on that we must dwell on the inevitable fact that functionality will increase over time regardless.

I know that 99% of users are only going to use the Audio and not snap video during games, but there is no excuse for the Skype team blowing off another Microsoft platform based on their own politics or incompetence.

The whole Xbox OS model, and specifically the video model is designed to handle something like this easily.

Microsoft does NOT get a pass on this, and by that I specifically don't fault the Xbox or Windows kernel teams, but the management and Skype team.

There is just no longer any excuses for Skype's ongoing problems with meeting Microsoft platform goals. Microsoft has given them far more money and resources than they would have ever had without the acquisition and they have done nothing but quietly shine Microsoft on, and the management at Microsoft has let them.

This type of stuff is why Ballmer's departure can be a good thing.

Feel sorry for MS. Having to re-write their whole OS ideology with DRM which will of been a massive engineering overhead and now they can't get it fully complete on time. Can't win.

Not a loss for me personally but still a bummer.

JonnyLH said,
....

Sounds like someone doesn't know OOP or NT for that matter.
It's very modular.
The DRM re-engineering wasn't as difficult as you would like to believe.

I'm still happy they kept digital purchases. No Discs for this guy!

deadonthefloor said,

Sounds like someone doesn't know OOP or NT for that matter.
It's very modular.
The DRM re-engineering wasn't as difficult as you would like to believe.

I'm still happy they kept digital purchases. No Discs for this guy!

Yep, and it's a lot easier ripping out the DRM than it is putting it in.

Geezy said,
Can you take an audio call in the background while your game remains full screen?

Well, as it turns out, that part of the Skype Xbox One experience won't be ready for the console's Friday launch. The Next Web reports that the app will let people take a Skype audio call in the background while playing games or watching a video but the promised video snap mode to the right hand side of the screen is not functional yet.

True or not, its a tiny issue really which only effects a very specific use case (playing a game and wanting to snap a video chat - Christ I use Skype a lot and never use video chat as it is!), AND will be coming son if not at launch, no big deal.

I would imagine this being problematic due to some games using kinnect so there would need yo be some trade off or check performed, as kinnect follows you round (in software).

it could be that certain games will alter the zoom level and skype tries to fight it?

Umm.. This is just straight reporting/copying and pasting from TNW which has been known to be inaccurate once in a while. Did you demo it yourself, John?

If you read the TNW article, Microsoft didn't actually state that it's not included at launch, but the person writing it said that. Maybe it's something they'll activate on launch day or maybe the person just didn't know how to do it.

Something is not clear for me here. Is this only in a game or also when watching videos/tv etc..?

Since if this only when gaming then I can life with it. Not going to snap Skype when playing a shooter making my view smaller..

WTF Skype are doing ? Windows Phone is the last served platform with lacks of features, now they're late on a Xbox one killing feature... They could at least announces a release date. Do they know they are now a Microsoft part ?

I don't see this being reported in the Verge's review. I don't mean to sound picky, but did you actually demo an XB1, or did you just copy pasta, John?

Once again, that's why I won't buy a Xbox One or a PS4 until next year. Too much hardware problems and features missing. I have the feeling early adopters are beta-testing new consoles/ecosystems...

Without me, thanks

Ya I don't understand why anyone would line up for ANY product that's brand new. It's always best to wait it out a bit and then jump on whatever you want when it's ready.

That and the fact that I wouldnt buy any of the launch titles shown if they were $4.99 Steam sales, let alone $59.99 retail.

Worst launch day lineup for any consoles ever.

j2006 said,
Ya I don't understand why anyone would line up for ANY product that's brand new. It's always best to wait it out a bit and then jump on whatever you want when it's ready.

Because we, the early adopters, are providing the necessary feedback to the company to make the console work as it should before you jump in.

There is only a certain amount of testing MS (and game/app devs) can do.

It's a simple as opting into customer experience improvement program.

I can't wait until this thing is released so the news page isn't flooded with posts about a rushed plastic box not doing everything it's supposed to at launch. At this point, those who are going to buy it are going to buy it, end of story.

yeah I think we have all heard enough stories about a rushed plastic box that doesn't have everything supported at launch. after suffering through it with the ps4, this is just getting old

trooper11 said,
yeah I think we have all heard enough stories about a rushed plastic box that doesn't have everything supported at launch. after suffering through it with the ps4, this is just getting old

And not only that, but not a single feature is a big deal. It's silly little things that will be added within months of launch more than likely...

John Callahan, anything positive you'd like to let us know about XB1 or are you just doing dirt today? Just wondering is all.

uxo22 said,
John Callahan, anything positive you'd like to let us know about XB1 or are you just doing dirt today? Just wondering is all.

It's news FFS, so he's reporting it.

Would you rather people who wanted to know had no idea until they turned the thing on?

software update can always fix certain feature. so i'm not fussed at this point.
few days till xbox one launch, i think everyone want positive news outa from xbox one after what happened to the ps4.

Kenny Kanashimi Chu said,
software update can always fix certain feature. so i'm not fussed at this point.
few days till xbox one launch, i think everyone want positive news outa from xbox one after what happened to the ps4.

Agreed. And where were all these "Missing Feature" articles about the PS4... Out of the box, that doesn't play DVD's, you need the day one update... Shouldn't there have been 6 news stories about that? Or would that be silly? LOL

Randomevent said,

It's news FFS, so he's reporting it.

Would you rather people who wanted to know had no idea until they turned the thing on?

How about reporting on the lack of hardware failures? I haven't seen one review yet where they discuss a single piece of kit that didn't work or had issues related to the HW. Granted that it is not out to the masses yet, but the PS4 had number of preview units with issues. To date MS has none. That in of itself is an accomplishment in my book given the complexity of what they have built. Updates will come that address these minor issues. The basic functionality is there, it just needs some refinement.

uxo22 said,
John Callahan, anything positive you'd like to let us know about XB1 or are you just doing dirt today? Just wondering is all.

wait until he hears that the xbox one will not play halo 5 without a post day one update update....because you know, MSFT never updates their consoles.

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. And where were all these "Missing Feature" articles about the PS4... Out of the box, that doesn't play DVD's, you need the day one update... Shouldn't there have been 6 news stories about that? Or would that be silly? LOL


Day one update vs "Sometime in the first half of 2014" or even "sometime in 2014"

Good thing Microsoft is a reputable SOFTWARE COMPANY, and it can be patched in...

These, "not ready for launch" articles are getting old quick (every site seems to have 3 of them a day it seems)... The 360 on day one and the 360 as we know it now are night and day from each other.

These "not ready at launch" always get worded like this is the way it's gonna be for the next decade...

Showan said,
Good thing Microsoft is a reputable SOFTWARE COMPANY, and it can be patched in...

These, "not ready for launch" articles are getting old quick


Agreed. They're laughable. I would be embarrassed to post such nonsense...

Showan said,
The 360 on day one and the 360 as we know it now are night and day from each other

Difference being that Microsoft hadn't promised anything for the 360, so it wasn't missing anything at launch. The problem with this and not being able to stream on Twitch.tv is that Microsoft used both as a sales pitch for the console and neither of them will be available for launch.

uxo22 said,
I agree, why do these companies release these damn things if they are not ready...SMH

miss out on holiday sales, or launch with Skype not able to snap. hmm...tough decision.

Ian William said,
Why can't Microsoft get its act together?

Um.. Have you seen Sony's release? A lot of stuff is missing on the PS4 as well and will come in a future update. Both companies rushed too much. They should have just delayed the release by another week or so if that had been the case.

At least Microsoft is doing it unlike Sony. I like the new features even though not all are ready for day one, I'm just glad to know that it will be coming.

uxo22 said,
I agree, why do these companies release these damn things if they are not ready...SMH

It's the norm these days. Rush the product out, fix it with patches/updates.

Ian William said,
Why can't Microsoft get its act together?

I have to agree that Microsoft needs to get them reigned in ASAP. They let Skype remain autonomous which was a mistake.

Too many of the people at Skype didn't like Microsoft and hated the takeover, and have been doing whatever they could do to undermine projects along the way.

It wasn't until just the last couple of months with the reorganizations at Microsoft has the Skype teams stopped pushing back against Microsoft and accepted that they are truly going to be using Microsoft's messenger server architecture and putting development resources into supporting both the legacy Skype clients and new technologies.

Skype was supposed to be running better on WP7, never happened with complaints about the APIs they wanted. Microsoft's WP team even created a whole new subset of call integration APIs specifically for Skype and other VOIPs to use, and the Skype team still took months after WP8 to get the integrated WP8 features added to the client.

XBox360 Video Chat was to be integrated with Skype, but they offered excuse after excuse, and again even after Microsoft altered the XB360 App API set for Skype, and then gave the ultimate excuse that they would have to dedicate development for the XB1 to get it on time to give up the XB360 version.
**Which is why if this story is accurate, there is NO excuse for the Skype Team.

They just recently gave MS Account users the ability to create a 'Skype' based login, so they could use older Skype clients, and this was to have been completed over a year ago.

There is NO excuse for this, and Microsoft should never have let them run on their own after their initial track record.

Skype is a mess and they have ****ed away their autonomy.

Its a defect but its not a showstopper. Not launching Xbox One because you cant snap your Skype is a very stupid reason not to launch.

Ian William said,
Why can't Microsoft get its act together?

Development takes time. Software tends to add features through releases...