Skype Is Everywhere – Even Oktoberfest!

Last month, Munich’s famous Oktoberfest opened its doors for the 180th time. On the first weekend thousands of lassies and lads came to visit and drank more than a million liters of beer and consumed 9 whole oxen.  

The Munich Beer festival counts more than six million visitors every year, but since many Oktoberfest fans cannot make it to the Bavarian capital city, they joined the Oktoberfest digitally – via Skype. Here are some ways Oktoberfest attendees brought friends and family to beer tents via Skype:

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  • Let’s not forget about the traditional music that puts people in a good mood immediately. Video messages captured the atmosphere, so folks at home could take part and enjoy beer tent classics like DJ Ötzi or Wolfgang Petri.

P.S. Don’t forget to watch out for your smartphones! In 2011, an unbelievable 390 pieces were found when tidying up.

 

Top 4 Dorm Room Decorating Tips

As a longtime resident of New York City, Pippa Lord knows a thing or two about living in small apartments. She also knows a thing or two about how to decorate a small space and transform it into a “home.” As the founder of the online magazine sousstyle.com, she strives for “the imperfect perfect” and connects with the new generation of homemakers who may not be married, have kids or a mortgage but still want to invest time and effort into making their home’s tasteful. By Pippa’s definition, there’s no reason that a small apartment or dorm room shouldn’t be a home too. Pippa sat down to share her top 4 dorm decorating tips over Skype. Check it out and discover the true potential of your dorm room:

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Setting Our Course for the Future of Skype for Windows Phone

Skype is all about bringing people together whenever they are apart. A big part of this mission is ensuring that we deliver the best possible experiences to the devices that you use each and every day.

Microsoft has the best platforms to enable us at Skype to build excellent experiences for our users. Over the past year, we’ve made a lot of progress bringing Skype even closer to the devices and services from Microsoft. Whether it’s Snap on Windows 8 allowing you to do something else on your PC while having a video chat, Group Video Calling on Xbox One or powering Chat for Outlook.com, Skype is becoming an increasingly integral part of Microsoft devices and services.

Earlier this year we outlined Skype’s Mobile Future, where our work on Windows Phone has been leading the way in a number of key areas. Skype for Windows Phone was the first Skype mobile app to have HD Video Calling, the new Modern user interface and be always on and power efficient. The Windows Phone 8 platform is gaining good momentum in the marketplace and at Skype the vast majority of our Windows Phone base and usage is on Windows Phone 8.

Just recently we released Video Messaging for our Windows Phone 8 app, enabling you to record and share messages, even when friends and loved ones are not available for a call. As we look ahead to the future, we are focusing all our efforts to bring great experiences and improved performance to Windows Phone 8, building on the capabilities of the platform. As a result we are not planning to release further updates to Skype for Windows Phone 7. However the Windows Phone 7 app will remain available to download in the Windows Phone Store, so users can still keep using the core Skype experiences, such as Chat, Voice and Video Calls.

We’re excited to be working on even more great experiences for Skype for Windows Phone which we can unveil in the future. As always, stay tuned and keep watching our blogs for updates and news where we’ll let you know when more good stuff is on the way.

For support on Skype for Windows Phone 7, you can go to our Skype Community pages here.

Skype for iPhone and iPad, version 4.12.1

Today we’re pleased to release Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad, version 4.12.1. In this release we’ve focused on call quality and accessibility improvements, in addition to incorporating your feedback and adding a new ‘Join Call’ button for group voice calls.

Latest improvements:

✓ Join group voice calls from your iPhone.

✓ Voice and video call quality improvements.

✓ Accessibility and dial pad improvements

✓ Get help by accessing FAQs from the app.

✓ Fixes for iOS 7, Skype Number call notifications, and video calls on iPhone 5S.

Supported Devices & Operating System:

Skype for iPhone version 4.12.1 supports: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (3rd generation), iPod Touch (4th generation), iPod Touch (5th generation)

Skype for iPad version 4.12.1 supports: iPad, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), iPad (4th generation), iPad Mini.

iOS 5.0 or later is required on all devices.

We recommend that everyone upgrades to the newly released Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad applications from the Apple App Store. We’re always looking to improve your experience on Skype and pay close attention to your feedback.  To get the latest news and tips, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or join us in the Skype Community.

Known issues:

Category Description Workaround Device
iOS 7 After the device restarts, Skype doesn’t automatically start until the user has unlocked the device using the passcode User should unlock the device after restart which will automatically launch Skype
Notifications Notifications are not received on iOS device after logging in on a Windows or Mac client Check to see if Windows / Mac presence is set to Do Not Disturb
Credit Balance Credit balance doesn’t update after Skype credit purchase Restart the app and navigate to Profile to update balance
Audio No sound after calling a contact Restart the client
Audio Intermittent audio is played through Bluetooth headset Restart the call
Notifications Chat / call notifications do not always appear (i.e. if you after the call was ended by the remote side while the iOS app was in background) Restart the client

Skype Pre-Release Arrives on Windows 8.1

Skype pre-release arrives on Windows 8.1 – enhancing your everyday experiences. 

Today, we released a pre-release version of Windows 8.1, and with it a first glimpse at a pre-release version of a fully built-in Skype app. We’re thrilled to share this preview with you so you can experience for yourself the first-ever, fully integrated Skype on any Windows 8.1 device.

With Skype built-in, you’ll never miss a message. Now, not only will you be able to view your missed calls and instant messages, but you can answer calls directly from your lock screen. And on the Start screen, you’ll be able to choose how you want to respond, whether answer a call with video, audio or decline and send an IM instead.

We began this journey with Skype for Windows 8, by making it possible for you to call anyone from your People app and pinned favorites, and share your photos and files directly from SkyDrive. Now, with Skype for Windows 8.1, you can click to call directly through Internet Explorer, which makes booking a restaurant reservation a faster and more productive experience.

Windows has always helped you do more – be it for work or play – and Skype helped to keep you stay in touch. Now together, with Skype and Windows 8.1, with app-to-app launching capability, you can communicate while getting more accomplished. In Windows 8.1, Skype will automatically move to the side when you select any link in Skype or shared item, enabling you to do more while you chat. You can also snap Skype and adjust the size of the window, so whether you’re watching a show, listening to music, playing a game together or co-editing a document, you can do more while staying connected to those that matter to you.

We look forward to continuing to improve the Skype experience on Windows 8.1 in order to deliver the best experience to you, our users.

Most Interesting Places for Skype Calls

From our own backyards to places all around the world, we use Skype for a taste of life from every corner of the planet. Check out some of the most interesting places Skype has been used.

At the North Pole

Although he didn’t see Santa, Mark Wood called from the icy tundra of the North Pole to transport children virtually to a place they’ve only heard about in Christmas stories.

Trekking to the South Pole

On a solo expedition, Mark Wood trekked through snow and ice to make a Skype call from the bottom of the globe – the South Pole.

On a US Navy Submarine Off Coast of Hawaii

Deep underwater in the USS Louisville, a U.S. Navy submarine affectionately known as “the slugger,” Commander John Safer, made a Skype video call to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” while submerged off the Hawaiian coast.

Inside an Airplane Restroom

In a rush to file a story, MSNBC reporter Mark Halperin visited the only private place he could find while 30,000 feet in the air – the airplane lavatory. From there, he used Skype to conduct the world’s first airplane interview with MSNBC’s “Up Too Early.”

On the Back of a Horse

While riding a horse on his ranch in South Dakota, former Kodak CMO Jeffery Hayzlett conducted a client meeting via Skype, right in the great outdoors. Never a stranger to unique business encounters, Hayzlett was visiting his ranch between writing his book and appearing as an advisor on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.

Sailing the Indian Ocean

Aboard a ship in the India Ocean, the non-profit organization Unreasonable at Sea uses Skype to connect mentors and entrepreneurs to classrooms in countries around the world.

Delivering a Conference Keynote Remotely

Stormy weather tried to stop the late Elizabeth Edwards from delivering a keynote address to the Personal Democracy Forum in 2008. Undeterred, Mrs. Edwards turned to Skype to ensure a memorable appearance live from her living room.

Attending a Film Festival While Under House Arrest

Under house arrest in Iran for trying to screen his “banned by the government” film, director Jafar Panahi made a surprise appearance at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic. With the help of his daughter, who was at the festival, Panahi appeared on screen via Skype to address the assembled crowd.

In Hospital Delivery Rooms

Now a regular occurrence, members of the U.S. Armed Forces regularly turn to Skype to take part in once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like the births of many of their children. Two great examples are the heartwarming stories of Sergeant Theron Scott and specialist Brock Howland, who both witnessed their children’s births while stationed in Afghanistan.

Skype Around the World

The world sometimes seems like a really small place – with just a click of a mouse we can be on a video call with a friend across the world. Or in less than a day, we can get on a plane and be on the opposite side of the globe.

But even though the world feels small, there are still almost 200 countries in the world – a big number. Is it possible to call every one on Skype? One man, Mark Malkoff, decided to find out. Take a look:

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Skype 6.7 for Mac

Today we have released a new version of Skype for Mac. We are continually focusing on ease of use. With this release we focused on optimizing your search experience.

Fast, deep search results

Search in Skype for Mac has been completely overhauled. Finding the right conversation is now faster than ever. From the toolbar, just enter a term in the search field and it will return a menu of the most relevant conversations. From the same menu, you can also use the Search Messages action item to explore your complete conversation history. Just double-click on a message to jump directly to it. Finally, adding a contact and calling phone numbers straight from search is more discoverable and easier than ever.

We’re always looking to improve your experience on Skype and pay close attention to your feedback. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or let us know what you think by posting your thoughts and feedback to the Skype Community.

Resolved issues:

Category Description
Calling Skype hangs when closing application during an active call
Calling Cannot hang up call with Shift+Command+H after Skype restarts
Conversations Messages sent to a Facebook contact show up multiple times

Known issues:

Category Description Workaround
Generic On Mac OS X 10.7, Skype sometimes crashes when clicking on profile pictures or file transfer icons. Update to OS X 10.7.5 or later

Volunteer localization of Skype for Mac has been done by:

 

Bulgarian: Nikolay Filipov

Brazilian Portuguese: Fabio Roselet

Chinese (Traditional): Penny Yang, Teresa Yeh (PChome)

Dutch: Alexander Henket

Estonian: Triin Tähema

French: Jean-Pierre Kuypers

German: Claudius Henrichs

Norwegian: Kenneth Stevenson

Polish: Bohdan Zielinski

Portuguese Portuguese: Francisco Miguel Ferreira

Spanish: Carola Clavo

The “Impossible” Family Portrait is Suddenly Possible

Hair styles may come and go (remember the Rachel?) and clothes can be ‘so cool’ one day and ‘so over’ the next. But some things are forever, like lasting family memories. A recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive online found that Americans crave more of these images. At 49%, nearly half wished they took more family pictures and 75% said displaying family portraits in their home was very important to them.

Photos evoke memories. Most of us can look at a picture and remember the tiniest details from the day; like the itchy collar of your shirt or the little brother who refused to stand still.

In our fast-paced world, though, many of us are separated by long distances and pulled in a million different directions by our crazy, busy schedules. One in four Americans (24%) say they haven’t taken a family portrait in the past few years because most or all of their family members lives far away.

But not every family member is the top choice for a snap. The poll also found that more people preferred to include pets in their family portraits over their in-laws, step-parents and other extended family!

Now the family portrait is getting a major make-over. Contemporary photographer John Clang has found a solution to bridge the distance and allow more frequent photos—even for families scattered all over the globe. That sister in Japan you only see every few years? She can now join the rest of you in a photo. Your cousin serving in Afghanistan? He’s in.

“With technology like Skype, I can assemble family members separated by time and space,” says Clang. “This gives them a moment to be together for a family portrait and a memory that will last a lifetime—something unheard of 10 years ago.”

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Why not share your story to win an “impossible” family portrait of your own? We’re asking you to tell us how your family stays in touch whenever you’re apart. Whether you’re using Skype for weekly catch-ups with the parents, to be present for loved ones’ major milestones or simply to surprise relatives from afar, we’d love for you to share your story with us.

The most compelling and original submission will win* the chance for your family to have its’ very own John Clang portrait and a trip to bring you and your relatives together. Visit www.skypestaytogether.com to tell us how your family stays in touch via Skype and discover more family moments. We can’t wait to hear all the ways Skype is helping your family stay together!

*No purchase to enter. Open to legal residents of the 50 US (+D.C.) 18+. Ends July 22, 2013. Prize paid in the form of a $10,000 travel certificate. See full Official Rules for details.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Skype from June 25th–27th, 2013 among 2,074 adults ages 18 and older. It is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Skype Passes 100M Android Installs and Launches Redesigned 4.0

Just recently, we reached a major milestone. Skype for Android is now installed on over 100 million phones worldwide. And we’re so thankful – reaching such an achievement would be impossible without the support of our users, and we continue to put you and your needs at the heart of everything we do.

Today we’re bringing 100 million of you a step further on our journey into the future. Last week we discussed how Skype’s Mobile Future demands a modern design that puts conversations first, focuses on quality & performance, and delivers a common set of experiences across multiple platforms and devices. Today, we’re excited to deliver in two of those areas with the all-new Skype for Android 4.0.

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Modern design, putting conversations first.

We started to reimagine what Skype would look like back when we launched our Windows Phone 8 app late last year. Our focus was simple: we wanted to deliver an app that makes your interactions easier and puts conversations first. Our Android team saw this great work and wanted to deliver an equally bold, beautiful, and modern design in this latest Skype for Android release.

We’ve completely redesigned Skype for Android to be faster and easier – especially when you’re trying to fire off a quick message. Everything is at your fingertips. As soon as you open the app, you’ll notice the clean new look listing your recent conversations – just tap on one to catch up and reply. When you tap or swipe over to the Contacts or Favorites tabs, tapping on a person brings you right into a messaging window so you can start a conversation. And from there video calls, voice calls and everything else are just one tap away.

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Increasing performance and quality.

Skype for Android 4.0 has all the features you use and love, but is a whole new app… literally. We didn’t just give Skype a makeover, we rebuilt it from the ground up to be faster and more reliable. We went beyond design and fundamentally changed the way Skype was built, focusing much of our effort on stability, performance, and load time.

This release is just the beginning. We have more updates in the coming months and year ahead to make Skype for Android even more reliable, reachable, and mobile-friendly. So keep watching, and we’ll keep you up to date as we roll out further improvements.

We’re always looking for ways to improve your experience and pay close attention to feedback provided by our community of users. To get the latest Skype news and tips about how to make your experience with Skype better than ever, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or join us on the Skype Community.

What’s Your Dad’s Best Joke?

As we gear up for Father’s Day, we’d like to celebrate all things dad, including their… shall we say unique sense of humor.

Whether your Dad’s jokes make you laugh or groan, submit one of his best, along with a photo of you both together to our Facebook app. We’ll be highlighting our favorites throughout the week, so don’t miss out!

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Click here to enter yours now.