Microsoft has released a new app called Skype Lite for Indian users. It is a redesigned version of the native Skype app and has been optimized to run better slower mobile networks. It is a free to download and use app and is available only on Android devices for now. Skype Lite’s icon looks inspired by Facebook Lite app and uses a similar white background with the blue coloured S letter inset in the middle. Users can login to Skype Lite with the same username and password that one uses with the Microsoft Outlook or Xbox Live account, for example.
How is it different from Skype
The purpose of the Skype Lite app is to allow Indian users to carry out video calls and chats even when their phone’s mobile data is running at 2G speeds. What makes it better than the native Skype app is its smaller footprint—it takes up only 51MB after installation which is almost half of what the native Skype app takes.
It also provides the flexibility to make regular calls using analog signals and send text messages from the Skype Lite app. The option to make non VOIP calls and send and read text messages is not available on the native app.
Skype Lite also allows user to compress images before sending them. It reduces mobile data usage during VoIP and video calls made to other Skype and Skype Lite users. The option to auto download received media files only when the device is connected to Wi-Fi can help user minimise wastage of mobile data.
User-friendly despite the many features
The app has very different interface from the native app where you can only see your Skype contacts. Whereas in Skype Lite you can see your text messages, calls logs, contact details on the home page itself. Despite the presence of many options and sections, the app’s interface doesn’t look cluttered or confusing.
The app also shows data usage statistics where user can keep tab on data used over both mobile broadband and WiFi.
Is it worth a try?
As of now you can use the app in English, but soon it will be available in seven regional languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. Microsoft is also working on bringing Aadhaar integration to the app by June 2017 as an authentication tool to identity unknown callers. How and in what manner it will help users is still not clear, though. Skype Lite looks like an attempt by Microsoft to make Skype more popular with mainstream users looking for a single app for sending text messages, voice calling, VoIP calling, video chat and carrying out group chats or individual chats, while the native app continues to cater to professional user base.