Skype Introduces Bots to Android App

The latest update to Skype is rolling out in the Play Store and with it comes bots.  The messaging, text and video call app now has a wide selection of automated services that can be accessed to play games, give you information and help you with tasks throughout your day.  There are dozens of bots to use within Skype and they are accesses from the floating menu at the bottom of the display, the same you use every day for IMs, video calls and phone calls.  Now when you open up the menu you will see the option to chat with a bot.  This new feature is in build 7.13.0.708 for those keeping score at home and if you have Skype installed, you should get the OTA update over the course of the next day or two.

While the addition of bots – and lots of them – is the main feature change in this update, Skype also has done some under-the-hood tweaking of the app.  Most of these are aimed at improving the stability and performance of the app but what exactly was addressed is not disclosed in the Release Notes.

Bots in Skype for Android
Bots in Skype for Android

If you haven’t used Skype or aren’t familiar with it, here is a run down of the main features of the app.

  • Talk face to face with a video call.
  • New group video calls with up to 25 people.
  • Free voice calls to anyone else on Skype. Add up to 25 people on a group call.
  • Message your friends in an instant and add up to 300 people to a group chat.
  • Call mobiles and landlines at low rates (Skype to Skype calls are always free).
  • Share photos, video messages, your location and add emoticons and Mojis to your chat.
  • Skype’s available on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and Macs. Now it’s even easier to stay connected to friends and family – no matter the device they’re on.

I have been a Skype user for years and just looking at that least of features above gives you an idea of the uphill battle Google has with Duo and Allo.  Not saying they can’t make it happen but Microsoft is clearly a few steps ahead of them in this particular game.

The app is free in the Play Store and you can add funds to your account so you can make international calls.  More details within the app.