Skype lands on Vita as Windows Phone version disappoints

The PlayStation Vita get Skype today, while the Windows Phone version is out of beta. But which features are missing?

It's a Skype double-whammy! The popular Internet-calling software has landed on the PlayStation Vita , while the Windows Phone Skype app has been bumped out of beta. But without much success...

Those of you who own a Vita can now rock up to the chunky console's PlayStation Store and download the app for free. The good news is that both voice and video calls are supported, and the app runs in 'background mode' while you're playing a game.

That means you should be able to pause the knuckle-knackering gaming action to take a video call from your gran, before leaping back into the game. Handy. Skype warns some games will shut off connectivity though, preventing incoming Skype calls from getting through, and some programs won't be able to pause while you chat to family members on the other side of the world.

As a supposedly cutting-edge console, I'm a little disappointed that it's taken this long to get a desirable app like Skype onto the Vita. Still, it's good it's arrived -- let me know in the comments whether the app itself is any cop.

Wonky Windows Phone version

Microsoft's also bunged the official Skype app onto its Windows Phone operating system, marking the point where the software is no longer in beta.

Not everyone is happy though, and rightly so. PCWorld reports the app won't work unless your phone has 512MB of RAM and is running on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. That rules out some more modest cheaper Windows Phone devices, though word via Engadget is that the Nokia Lumia 610 is safe.

Worse news is that unlike the Vita version, the app doesn't run in the background. So if you've got anything else open, Skype calls to your phone won't get through. You'll need to actually have the app running on-screen before it's any use. Earlier reports from The Verge peg this as a limitation of the operating system.

This is a huge drawback in my book, especially as Microsoft owns Skype -- you'd think the two companies could cook up something a tad more useful.

Have you used the new app? What do you think? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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