Skype, which just got a top-to-bottom Windows Phone 8. The new app brings the same always-on functionality as the desktop version -- a feature that's even more powerful on a device designed for communication from the get-go.
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Skype calls are treated just like regular calls in the new app, using the same incoming call screen. However, you'll still be able to tell it's a Skype call thanks to a visual cue (a tiny Skype icon) and an audio one (the distinctive Skype ring).
The app is always working in the background even if you're using another app or the phone's locked. Of course, you can always choose to make yourself invisible on the Skype network, and Skype lets you limit who can call you even if you are visible.
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You also now get notifications via the app's live tile, just like the desktop version. No matter what size you've picked, the tile will display notifications -- with increasing detail the larger the tile (number of missed calls/messages for small or medium, message previews for large).
The app has the same clean, Windows-style layout as the other version, including the new Favorite contacts. It's also integrated with the Microsoft People app, letting you place a Skype call right from there. And when you connect your Microsoft account, all your friends on Windows Messenger become Skype contacts, too.
Baking Skype into Windows Phone was a no-brainer for Microsoft when it acquired the company in 2011, and now the app is finally where it needs to be: fully integrated into the software of a mobile platform, letting users receive and make calls through the service just like regular phone calls. Windows Phone, however, has tiny market share, but that could change with the introduction of Windows Phone 8.
How do you like what Microsoft has done with Skype on Windows Phone 8? Share your impressions in the comments.
BONUS: A Review of Skype for Windows 8
Skype for Windows 8
Microsoft has given Skype a makeover for Windows 8. The new app has a beautiful full-screen interface that combines messaging, group chat and video calls all into one.
This story originally published on Mashable here.