A video posted demoing Skype for Windows Phone 8 features reveals the kinds of tight integration to the OS Windows Phone 8 Communication apps could be capable of.
Many UC industry watchers have noted that most UC mobile apps languish in app stores or unused on mobile devices because user’s need to run “yet another app” (or in Cisco/Jabber for iphone 4 more apps!) and the apps are not integrated tightly into the exsisting phone experience. In my estimation this is a very real and relevant problem that phone vendors/UC mobile apps need to overcome if they want their mobile apps to be more than items to check off on proposals and actually be used.
Skype for Windows Phone Nails Some of These challenges as shown below:
Incoming Calls Appear EXACTLY like a Windows Phone incoming Mobile Operator call.
This is not a push notification toast, but the complete incoming call experience you would expect from a normal phone call on a Windows Phone. The only difference is that the ringing sound is the Skype ring sound. (not sure if this is contact driven or phone setting or skype setting). The demo notes that Skype does not even need to be running to get this deeply integrated experience.
Skype Contacts are Sync’d to WP8 Contact List.
And there is a Skype Action on WP8 Contact Card which jumps you to a Skype IM.
Skype Group Chat/IM with Topic
Bring back Subject in Lync 2013!
Favorites (nothing big or surprising here)
Skype Contact List Includes WP8 Contacts as Well
This means that when you are in Skype for WP8 you will see and be able call phone number even if they don’t have skype (if you have phone calling skype credits of course) Not surprising considering Skype contacts will be integrated into WP8 contact List.
Live Tile: Last Message and Message Count
This is not something new for windows Phone, but it is new for Skype on WP.
Watch the video below:
Some remaining questions I would have about communication/UC app integration capabilities in Windows Phone 8:
- Will 3rd party developers be able to access everything Skype can?
- Will Skype/UC apps be capable of showing missed calls in Wp8 Phone Call History?
- Will Skype/UC apps be capable of having missed/ongoing IM conversations show up in “Messaging” Hub?
- Will Skype/UC apps be capable of pushing VoiceMail/MWI notification to phone tile?
- Will Skype/UC apps be capable of showing missed IM’s on Lock screen?
Once again: I think it is absolutely essential that UC apps on mobile platforms are DEEPLY integrated into the native mobile phone experience and not siloed apps with mere push notifications as integration point. It looks like Microsoft is definitely working in the right direction with Windows Phone 8 in this regard.
Thanks to WPCentral for tipping us to this development:
Ed Bott has some revelations about Skype for Win8 RT