Review: Skype for Windows RT – rating (3/5)

Skype for Windows 8/Windows RT

I like Skype and I using it on all my devices, but I have to say that implementation for Windows RT is the worst version ever. The main problem are Limitation of Windows RT and Metro apps, but Skype Team (Microsoft) could make it better. Actually I have feeling that this is some Beta version and hope that next versions will work much better. Let’s first see what is good

Video and Audio

Video and Audio quality is great – I have feeling that is even better then on my desktop computer. No special configuration is required, just installed Skype, using default settings and everything was configured as expected.

User Interface

Skype user interface fits in standard Metro Applications with standard Skype-Blue color. What disturb a bit is a some kind of “commercial” on the left side where Skype inform you that you can use it for non-free calls to. Anyway, it is free, therefor something like that is acceptable for me.

I like favorites section but it could have smaller tiles – for Desktop platform is ok, but for Surface they are to big.

Settings

In Skype for RT there are standard Settings, you probably will never need to change. There are configuration of default audio and video devices, privacy settings and option to enable automatic answering of incoming calls.

Problems

At the end, some problems I have found when using Skype on my Surface:

  • incoming calls are delayed - I receive call on my desktop computer, and sometime the Surface start to ring half hour later. Seams that Microsoft notifications are providing this delay and that this is the general problem of Windows RT, but Skype=Microsoft and without real-time ringing for incoming call Skype is not so useful application.
  • message notifications are not coming – probably because of the same reason, when I receive new message I get it too late or I don’t get it at all
  • displacement of the video - sometimes I’m getting displacement of the Video in my Skype – video is located only on the left upper corner and is not covering whole screen. Rebuilding connection helps.
  • sporadically crashes – it happens when I change applications and/or I do react with Skype – switch between conversations, check other user profiles etc… nothing dramatically but it could be a bit more stable
  • background mode – Skype is working nice in background, but swiping application with you finger down is not minimizing but it is closing application – if you do that, you go Offline. Actually you have to press “Start” button for minimizing Skype and to allow it to work in the background.

Conclusion

Skype is great app, but for surface it still not working as it should - anyway, I’m still using it and I hope that some of the next updates will fix all problems I have with it and that Skype has potential to be the Top 10 app for Surface.

From ms-surface.net, 3 out of 5 stars (for now).

 

2 comments on “Review: Skype for Windows RT – rating (3/5)
  1. Mike McGuire says:

    On a Lenovo Ipad Windows RT – been trying to use Skype for the first time and I keep getting an error message regarding the microphone. Anyone had similar problems? If so, how did you fix it?

  2. Macer says:

    I agree with all these problems. I also ran into HUGE problems when merging my Skype and new outlook.com account. The contacts I would add would randomly disappear due to a conflict between the old Skype and new outlook.com accounts being merged and not knowing how to handle it. This because especially problematic with outlook.com only accounts.

    The ringing is another HUGE problem. I have actual Skype phones with a networked base for wireless. They will ring instantly. Thirty or so seconds later my Surface will start ringing (after the call has already been answered or dropped). I think the problem is the method that MS uses for its sleep mode on the Surface RT. It is incredibly restricted. The multitasking is as well. If you background an ssh app for a long enough period it will die. If you put the screen to sleep everything dies because they limit CPU cycles so ridiculously low that it becomes nearly impossible for the Surface to do anything.

    I got the arm model because I wanted the “always-on” that you find in most arm based mobile devices. MS really screwed up with their implementation of battery control tho. I’d rather lose an hour of battery than have something that is non-functional.

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