Skype Unveils Free Group Video Calling on Android and iOS

This new features will allow as many as 25 people to share one video call on Skype on tablets and smartphones.

On Thursday, Skype announced that Android and iOS users in the U.S. as well as Western Europe could expect to begin making video calls involving groups from their tablets and smartphones starting next week.

The new feature allows users to have conversations in video with as many as 25 people at one time. Skype designed the two new views for video conference for groups.

The first gives users the opportunity to see one another on a grid and is designed for calls with 5 to 6 users.

A second active speaks looks shows a big picture of one person chosen by default, along with a small scrollable row of the other participants.

In that particular view, users can pin someone so that a large view of that person can always be seen.

Users can also change or remove whom they were pinned with during the conversations or remove the pin and return to the default mode of Skype that shows the person talking.

The update does not allow mobile to mobile groups where everyone is starring at the tablet or smartphone. It means as well that people who are out can still enter the group call if being held by those who using a computer.

Adding this group calling to the Skype on mobile devices is a very important thing to Microsoft as the software maker is facing intense competition form services such as Google Hangouts, which offer group video calling that is across different platforms and often times is pre-installed on Android operating systems.

Users outside Western Europe and the U.S. can expect that that the new device will be rolled during March.

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