Elias Pelcastre

Skype´s Group Video Calling for mobile works great, but only if you have an iPhone or iPad

It’s over two weeks since Skype opened a beta pre-register to access the new Group Video Calling (GVC) on mobile devices. Checking my email, I saw the invite was sitting on the “Promotions” tab – good that I always make sure I never miss a message, even if labeled as ads.

Skype´s requirements are pretty straight forward: the latest version of the app on a tablet or phone and friends with the newest version of the app installed on their mobile devices.

At first, I tried calling me, myself and I – the three coolest people I know. I used my iPad, with the Skype ID that got access to the beta, my iPhone, and my Android-OS Moto G Turbo smartphone with two newly created, separate accounts.

Using my iPad, I video-called my iPhone and then tapped the “+” icon on the top right. Skype rang the two people and then automatically hang up to create a group call. From there, all I had to do was head to the group chat in “Recent”, and tap the telephone symbol.

Both iPad and iPhone had a video option when I tried to call, but the Android device was missing it. The Moto G Turbo could still display two video-call windows, but the iOS devices just showed an empty box with the name of the Android user.

I decided to call eliaspelcastre.com’s Leonardo to test the feature thoroughly, and I´m glad to report the iOS trifecta worked; it took two iPads and one iPhone to use GVC.

Now, I can´t say for sure the feature works on Android, but the Moto G Turbo is a relatively recent model. That’s just another blow to Google´s mobile platform.

The call with Leonardo went almost without glitches; I first called from my iPhone and iPad, but as the two were close, the noise was unbearable. Not Skype´s fault.

Calling from two separate rooms, and a third person in one of those rooms made the call enjoyable. The audio and video were clear and didn´t suffer any interruptions. You can mute your mic, flip between rear and front cameras, and exit the call. The main “party” has to remain connected; otherwise, the group call stops.

Granted: the call only lasted for 10 minutes, but at this point I reckon GVC would crash faster than you could say `superkalifragilistikexpialigetisch’ on video.

I would still need more time my Skype´s latest feature, but right now I´m happy it made it through a relatively short call.