Skype just got a whole lot easier to use on the iPhone and iPad thanks to an update rolled out for the communication app on Wednesday.
It means that all you have to do to call, say, Joe Blow, is tell your virtual assistant to “call Joe Blow.” Siri might ask you to check it has the right contact, but once that’s done it’ll place the call.
That’s right, all that time and energy usually spent tapping on the screen to open the app, followed by subsequent taps to select the contact and initiate the call, can now be a thing of the past. Your fingers will thank you for it.
“Your Skype contacts are closer than ever now that you can store them right in your iOS device,” the Microsoft-owned company said in a post announcing the new feature. “This means it’s easier to initiate a Skype video call, audio call, or even a Skype IM, without having to go into the app first.”
To make the process as slick and speedy as possible, go into Settings on your iPhone or iPad, tap on Siri, and then on “Access on Lock Screen,” and “Allow ‘Hey Siri.'”
The new update also means that incoming Skype calls will appear on your display just like regular iPhone calls, with a little note beneath the name just so you’re absolutely sure which service it is that you’re using.
The new features are currently limited to the consumer version of Skype, though Skype for Business users are promised the same convenient functionality by the end of October. You can grab the latest version of Skype (6.25) here or via Updates in your App Store app.
This latest update was made possible after Apple opened Siri up to third-party developers with the recent launch of iOS 10.
The move means a lot more functionality with Siri. For example, you can also ask the digital assistant to “make a call to Joe Blow” using WhatsApp (Joe might not be on Skype, y’see), as well as ask it to search for different kinds of photos in Shutterfly and Pinterest, book cars with ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, and make payments via Square Cash.
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