In its latest update for iOS, Skype, the world’s most popular web-based call app has integrated CallKit and Siri functionality.
CallKit is a new API for developers, announced earlier in the year. It allows third-party call apps to seamlessly allow their users to make audio calls via the built-in Phone app rather than the service’s standalone app.
Users of iOS 10 on an iPhone or iPad will be able to install the latest Skype update and not only make integrated calls without using minutes from their cell plans (rather, using cellular data if out and about, or Wi-Fi if near a hotspot).
Furthermore, the update also arrives with Siri integration. Many third-party apps are now able to access a more open Siri, and with Skype’s ability to now communicate with Apple’s virtual assistant, users will be able to activate Siri and request it to make a call via Skype, as long as the app is installed and the contact information is contained within.
That means users of the app can now make calls either via the Skype app, via the Phone app, or via Siri.
Here’s the key updates in Skype 6.25:
- Use Siri commands to quickly start a Skype call
- Answer Skype calls from your lock screen, just like a regular phone call
- Seamlessly store your Skype contacts into the contacts list built into your iPhone
- Pay for Skype Credit in Israeli Shekels
- Invite your friends to Skype directly from the contacts list
- More easily differentiate between your contacts and bots in the contacts list
To use Siri to make a call, all you have to do is activate Siri then ask it to “call <insert contact name> via Skype”. If the person is on your Skype contact list, Siri will attempt to make the call.
With the CallKit integration, if you’re on iOS 10, then when users call you, the standard Phone interface will pop up. To make a call via your Phone app to Skype contacts using the same interface, simply pull up the Phone app, find the contact, and if they have Skype there will be a button you can tap to make the call.
Skype is a desktop and app-based platform owned by software giant Microsoft and allows users to make video and audio calls to other users for free, but also allows a cheaper way to make phone calls over networks to other countries.