Microsoft promised Skype group video calling for smartphones last month, and now it's rolling out to iOS and Android today. The software maker will start enabling the option on Skype accounts in Europe and the US today, and expects to complete the roll out over the next week. Microsoft says the feature will be available worldwide in March.
Microsoft is allowing up to 25 people to participate in a Skype group video call, and the person talking with be displayed in the center. Intel has worked closely with Microsoft to enable its SILK Super Wide Band audio codec to run on Azure cloud servers powered by Intel's processors, allowing Microsoft to offload some of the processing power required for such large conversations.
Alongside the group video calling roll out, Microsoft is also extending its Skype chat invitation feature to iOS and Android. This lets anyone invite people to a group conversation, and they can even participate in a video call using Skype for Web.
FaceTime still lacks group video calling
Microsoft isn't the first to enable group video calling on mobile devices. Google Hangouts has long supported up to 10 people on the same video call, but Skype's 300 million users means this is a significant addition. Apple has still not enabled a similar feature for iOS, leaving FaceTime as the only major video calling service to lack group video calling on the iPhone.