Microsoft has pushed out an update for its official Skype for iPhone app this afternoon with a new feature that allows users to host group audio calls directly from the smartphone. The new feature, a first for Skype on smartphones, enables users to turn a chat, audio call or video call into a group audio call with up to four people.
To host a group audio call simply requires tapping on the new call button in the bottom navigation bar. When you are in a group audio call, the number of participants in the conversation is displayed in the top bar. Tap the navigation bar to see the active participants in the call or any contacts that are in the group but not in the call.
Another feature that the host of the group call has is the ability to selectively remove people from the call without ending the current call entirely. In other words, none of the participants will have to reconnect to the group conversation after an individual is taken off the call.
Adding people during a call is a simple process that involves tapping on “add participant” and selecting the people from your contacts list.
Skype for iPhone also received a few accessibility improvements, including new messages being automatically read out from anywhere in the app and the reliability of this feature being improved. You can now also delete recent conversations using the VoiceOver rotor.
According to the Skype for iPhone changelog, a number of general improvements were also made to the app. That might include active endpoint notifications, which is functional on my personal iPhone, although Skype still appears to be in the process of rolling out the feature to all users.
Skype version 5.4 should be available now on the App Store as a free update for iPhone.
Let us know what you think of the new features in the comments section below.