You may soon make calls, send texts, manage contacts through a Skype app

Skype
prykhodov/123rf
Skype wants to be your smartphone’s new control center.

A couple days ago, the video-calling platform quietly released a new app it’s calling Skype Mingo, and it’s much more than a tool to help you have face-to-face conversations with friends halfway around the world. Rather, it’s an attempt to turn Skype into your default app for all your major smartphone functions, including calling, texting, and contact management.

According to Google Play, Skype Mingo is still in its alpha testing phase, as the video-chat tool begins to double down on its attempts to bring SMS relay (the ability for Windows 10 users to send SMS through their PCs) to Android users, MSPoweruser reports. While SMS relay has yet to be made available in Mingo, the app does make Skype the default for communication on your phone — that means you can make and receive phone calls, send and receive SMS messages, and organize your contacts, all through Skype.

The app features a familiar interface — one that looks an awful lot like Skype (without totally being Skype). It features a blue-and-white color palette, and of course, also boasts all of Skype’s functionality, including its various chatbots. That means you can find flights via Skyscanner or Hipmunk, tickets via Stubhub, and nearby hot spots via Foursquare.

Moreover, Microsoft notes in the Google Play store, Mingo is “small and fast,” and “optimized for speed,” and gives users “a rich set of features in a small, easy-to-manage package.”

Microsoft has remained relatively tight-lipped on Mingo’s future, with a spokesperson noting, “As part of the ongoing improvements to deliver the best Skype experience possible, we are always innovating and occasionally test out new features and functionality. We have nothing more to share at this time.”

Mobile

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Mobile

No cash. No talking. What goes next? Welcome to your ‘app-tive’ digital life

Bank of America's 2018 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found mobility has changed our lives. Mobile tech influences how most of us communicate, meet people, build relationships, and handle money as we move toward a cashless society.
Mobile

The Motiv smart ring is coming to 20 more countries and physical stores

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Wearables

Everything you need to know about Garmin’s GPS watches and trackers

Garmin jumped into the GPS smartwatch and fitness tracker market five years ago and has built a portfolio of devices that rivals competitor Fitbit. Here's your guide to the latest and greatest fitness devices that Garmin has to offer.
Mobile

Sharp doubles down on the notch trend with Aquos R2 Compact

As if one notch wasn't enough, Japanese manufacturer Sharp unveiled a new smartphone that has two -- one teardrop style notch at the top, and a bigger notch at the bottom. Here's what the world's first dual-notch smartphone looks like.
Mobile

Verizon has made its first 5G video call … with a phone that’s already out

Verizon has announced that it has successfully made its first video call, using a smartphone that's already available: The Motorola Moto Z3. To make the call, Verizon used the 5G Moto Mod.
Mobile

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Product Review

With style and feature upgrades, Misfit's next-generation Vapor 2 gets it right

Misfit’s next-generation smartwatch, the Vapor 2, packs built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and more, into a beautiful design that starts from $250. We take a closer look at the company's latest device.