Skype for Windows Phone shows background processing limitations

Skype for Windows Phone shows background processing limitations
We tested the beta release of Skype for Windows Phone a couple days ago and found it to be a generally positive experience. We did note that the app lacked integration with your existing contacts, and more vexingly there was no evidence of Skype working in the background – that is, when you would like to be able to receive a Skype call but also do anything else on your phone you are plum out of luck.

Today Skype confirmed to The Verge that this isn’t a bug in the beta release, but a limitation of the Windows Phone platform. While Windows introduced limited support for background processing with its Mango update, it’s not enough to allow Skype to actively receive calls. Skype further indicated that they are currently unable to use a push-notification to launch Skype, the way some other WP7 VoIP apps do. It apparently takes too long to process the push notification, launch the app, and set up the call to be practical.

As a result, the final version of Skype will launch without the ability to receive background calls, and it will stay that way until Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) lands near the end of 2012. This shows there are still some big limitations in Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system – Android has supported background processing forever, and iOS added it in version 4, so the Skype app on both of the dominant platforms can easily receive incoming calls.

This probably isn’t a “make or break” issue for many users, and we don’t want to cast an unnecessary pall over an otherwise solid and innovative OS, but it does show that Microsoft’s mobile platform remains a work in progress more than a year after launch, as they still scramble to add some basic functionality to WP7.

Does this confirmation impact how likely you are to use Skype on Windows Phone? Or does it not seem like an important limitation to you? Let us know in the comments below!

source: The Verge



1. refreak

Posts: 29; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

i wonder if all the good things are to come with the apollo update... Why did microsoft come up with mango in the first place..

2. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Yes I agree Windows Phone is a big work in progress that will get better with time.

3. titoandres

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

I think they're are following the standard developer process of an app. Adding features as you can verify they work perfectly. That's ok. But they are not any developer team, and there's a lot of rivals out they are arriving late. If windows phone it's not ready in a few period of time, they will build that name, and it will stick with them forever. I hope that's not what will happen and we'll have more OS to choose = better choice for consumer :)

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Unless it is an architectural limitation.... Time to look for WP8. WP7 was only a placeholder to keep MS in the market as it were.

5. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Considering that it took apple about 4 years to get background processing (and even then pretty limited, mostly suspending apps in the background and giving others some processing power but not much), and that Android was designed as a pocket computer and therefore natively came with support for background processes, I can understand why WP7 doesn't have that all ironed out yet. With the integration of Windows8 and WindowsPhone8 I think that there will be some significant increases of potential for the WP platform, bringing it closer to a computer-esque experience yet still providing the wonderful smoothness and intuitiveness that WP is known for


Posts: 81; Member since: Feb 17, 2012


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