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Skype update adds floating window capability on Android tablets


Floating apps is one of those Android features that has been around for a while but that most developers have ignored for some reason.  While Samsung and Google have toyed around with some floating functionality in certain apps such as Youtube and Pop up browser, it just has not become as commonplace as it could be.

A search for floating apps in the Google Play store will bring up various multimedia and browser apps that let you simultaneously surf the web while you chat or watch videos.  It's one of the advantages that Android tablets have over the competition with the closest equivalent being desktop Windows or the "snap" functionality on the Metro portion of Windows RT.  It's a desirable and necessary function for multitaskers and saves time due to not having to switch between full screen applications all the time.

Enter Microsoft with Skype 4.5 for Android tablets.  While Skype originally developed slowly on Android when it was an independent company, surprisingly it has done a great job of updating for Android since they were acquired by Microsoft.  I absolutely hate having to switch between full screen apps when video chatting and honestly I am shocked that Microsoft beat Google to the punch on its own platform in offering this floating window capability that even Hangouts does not provide.

In addition, (as per Microsoft) version 4.5 has several bug fixes and quality improvements, including:

  • Improved Video Instant Messaging functionality overall, including fixes on latest Samsung phones
  • Added compatibility for the Hudl tablet
  • Fixed crashes on the Nexus 5
  • Drop down filter selections on the people tab are now persistent
Tablet users may also quickly jump from one letter to another in their contact list by pinching the contact list to zoom out to an alphabet and then tapping on the letter (or number / symbol option) to jump to that section. It may be faster than scrolling depending on how many contacts you have.

Source: Skype blog

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