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Skype for BlackBerry 10 Review (Loads of Screenshots)

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In our review of BlackBerry OS 10.1 we showed off the Skype icon in the homescreen. This led to quite a few questions that I can now answer. :) Skype is going to come preloaded on the BlackBerry Q10 and allows for both video and audio calls. The Skype app requires BlackBerry OS 10.1 so it will only be coming to the BlackBerry Z10 a few weeks (~2-3) after the BlackBerry Q10 launch. For now the Skype app is actually an Android port but it does run very nicely on the BlackBerry Q10. There are only a few places where you have to use the back swipe or menu bar swipe to get around. On the other hand it does tie in nicely with the notification system and alerts you of incoming calls in the background.

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I had a chance to do a video call with Ricky to his Windows 8 PC up in Canada and the call went beautifully over LTE. We did notice that at one point the audio quality dropped when Skype decided our connection was not optimal and lowered the bitrate. Ricky reported that the video quality was HD sharp though the audio did get choppy at times. It even allowed for movement with minimal artifacts (slight blurring if you moved too fast)

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I was surprised by how fast the Skype app runs which may be in part to an improved Android runtime. Either way its nice to see. Sadly Skype does not tie into your contacts for you to call them over Skype but it does allow you to upload your contacts to see who has Skype and add them to your Skype roster.

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When I minimized the app things started going wonky according to Ricky but the call did not drop. It just lowered in quality and was not really usable. I guess that means you should have it running when making video calls. Chatting on the call worked nicely.

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You can also switch the camera to the back facing view for people to see what is in front of you. My major complaint was that the Skype voice calls did not allow you to pipe the audio through the earpiece and did not turn off the screen with the proximity sensor so I was not able to hold it to my head. Hopefully they fix that!

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You can access your contacts and dial out if you have Skype credits

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Overall I was impressed by how well this Android port worked on BlackBerry 10. Its not 100% but it does function and work quite well. Hopefully Skype will see the large user base on BlackBerry 10 and make their own native app. Let us know if you have any specific questions!

And some more screenshots… :)

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10 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Thanks, great review and thanks for pointing out what people were asking about the operational capability of Skype.
    It is very sad that this is a “promoted” app (pre-loaded and offered at launch) yet is is a port, probably just a BAR file with some tweaks ironed out.

    Basically, it is not much useful unless you want to call someone who has an a)Android, b)iPhone, c)WP, d)PC, where they can simply keep skype running in the background, just stand by without much battery or ram usage. We will never receive a call unless it is running in the foreground, and once it drops in 9th place, goodbye skype.

    I mentioned, BB should see what Google did with Google Talk and ask more and more developers to do the same thing.

    Skype does not need to see a huge userbase, they have been getting a lot of requests, tweets and emails. Sadly it did not happen with Playbook, hopefully it will happen with BB10. Come on Microsoft, we all love Windows Phone, show some brotherly love for BB.

    • There is a “secret background services” API that only certain developers have access to currently (think WhatsApp and others)
      That will all change hopefully in the summer. From what I hear it is pretty far along.

      • That’s nice. Is this Skype app developed and released by Microsoft/Skype or was it ported by BB without full support of Skype?

        The reason I am asking is because regardless of having the secret APIs or magical lines of codes, if developer did not even take time to release a native skype app, it won’t make a difference for them even if they are allowed to access the said API.

  2. Great news for devs wanting to test other apps. Skype is available for the Dev Alpha C :)

  3. whatever happened to oovoo???
    What happened to the 8-12 video chats the same time??

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