Skype for iOS Enhanced With Multi-tasking Features

The newest version of the app for iPhones and iPads helps mobile users better juggle their Skype conversations with other tasks.

Skype for iOS

Skype 6.6, released this week for Apple's iPhone and iPad, helps multi-taskers manage their audio and video calls a little better.

In a Nov. 23 blog post, Microsoft announced that its Skype developers have "made it easier for you to get back to an active Skype audio or video call from your instant messages or contact list. Simply tap the active call banner to jump straight back to your call."

For those that prefer Skype's text-based chats, notifications now alert users to new messages. "Additionally, when you're in an instant message conversation, you'll see an unread message counter at the top of the conversation. Just hit 'back' to see what you've missed," said Microsoft.

The update also brings phone number, date and address detection to Skype instant messaging.

"In Skype 6.6, you'll notice that phone numbers, addresses, times and dates are now highlighted. Simply tap on the highlighted text to start an action," instructed the company. Tapping on a highlighted address, for example, takes users to Apple Maps while highlighted phone numbers will launch a Skype call.

Similarly, the app now makes it easier for users to schedule meetings and events.

"Tapping on a highlighted date or time will open the calendar app. We'll automatically set up the event using the details from the chat to speed things up for you," stated Microsoft. "We'll also add a Skype chat URL in the calendar notes, which is perfect if you're setting up a call reminder—just open the event and tap on the chat URL to get straight back to your chat."

Staying true to the software giant's new "mobile-first" product strategy, Microsoft has been steadily piling on the improvements to both the iOS and Android versions of Skype.

Skype 6.6 follows last month's update, which added support for 3D Touch, one of the most swoon-worthy features found in new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Owners of the Apple's fast-selling smartphone can press harder on the Skype home screen icon "for quick access to our most used features—search your Skype contacts, start a call or chat, and access the Skype dial pad," said Microsoft in an Oct. 28 announcement.

Last week, the company released Skype 6.11 for Google's Android mobile operating system. The updated app includes a new conversation management toolbar that appears when users "long tap" a contact or chat in the Recents tab, allowing them to delete, mark as read or mute notifications.

In addition, Skype 6.11 for Android includes new search capabilities that delve into the content of conversations and allows users to save video messages. Group chat support has been added to the app's sharing options.

"Share photos from your photo gallery directly to a Skype group conversation. Additionally, in group chats, you can tap on images and files to forward them to another contact or group," stated Microsoft on Nov. 18. Users can also now forward Mojis—short, embeddable video clips—to individual Skype contacts or groups.