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Skype has a brand-new web app, but there’s a catch

Skype has been around for years now. Unlimited free voice and video calls to anybody around the world is quite the draw and Skype has spawned a multitude of copycats and competitors since it first burst onto the scene. Even Skype’s regular phone call function, which enables you to pay cash to call landlines and mobiles has grown popular over time and again spawned competitors like Google Voice.

To use Skype though, you’ve always needed to download an app. On your phone, that’s fine, but on desktop, it is annoying. With powerful web browsers like Chrome able to do pretty much anything these days, most web services are available via web page, just like WhatsApp Web for example. Not Skype though, for Skype you’ve always needed to download an app, and an annoying app at that. That is, until now.

The new Skype for Web has arrived, but only on Chrome and Safari

At long last, Skype has finally released a web version of Skype. As long as you’re using Windows 10 or Mac OSX10.12 or higher and you browse the internet using the latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, you can now use Skype on the internet by going to web.skype.com. Once there, all you have to do is log in with your Microsoft account and you’re ready to make Skype calls, send messages, and more. This news of course, also means that you can’t use Skype for Web on other browsers like Firefox, Safari, or Opera.

A screenshot of the new Skype for Web
Image via: Microsoft

Skype for Web has an impressive set of features if you have the right browser. In the blog post announcing Skype for Web, Microsoft laid out the following features:

  • HD video calling — Experience HD in one-to-one or group video calling, now with call reactions.
  • Call recording — Capture special moments in a Skype call with your loved ones or record important meetings with colleagues.
  • Notifications panel — Grab a cup of coffee and catch up on what you’ve missed in your notifications panel. Click the bell icon to see reactions to your messages, @mentions in group conversations, or if someone quoted you — all in one central place. Just click a message in the notifications panel to jump into the conversation.
  • Find within conversations — You can now easily find messages in the current conversation by typing the word or phrase you want to find in the search box.
  • Chat Media Gallery — Looking for the link or photo sent a few weeks ago? The Chat Media Gallery makes it easy to find files, links, and photos shared in a conversation, whether it was yesterday or last month. No more scrolling through your chat history—just click Gallery under the chat name to see all the files, links, and photos in the conversation.

Microsoft has also compiled a list of expected FAQs about Skype for Web, which you can find here. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the there about when Skype for Web might be coming to other browsers. If you’ve been waiting to get rid of the Skype app for a while now but you don’t use Chrome or Edge, you can download one of the Skype for Web compatible browsers using the links below.

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