More and more tech giants are trying to launch their products in India as India is potentially a huge market. And Tech giants who have already launched their products in India are trying to penetrate more in to Indian market by launching new products to suit Indian users. Recently we saw Google roll out ‘YouTubeGo’ an app that works effectively in areas where net connectivity is limited. Apple has planned to setup an iphone manufacturing unit in India later this year. Microsoft has joined in this list by launching a lighter version of ‘SkypeLite’ exclusively for Indian users.
‘Skype Lite’ a new low end and lighter version of the video and voice calling app developed for the Indian market was recently launched in Mumbai by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in India. The app is optimised to work better on 2G and ‘unstable network connections’ so that you are always connected with your friends, family and business. The App developed in Hydrabad for Indian Low end Phones has all the highlight features of Skype.
Most interesting fact about ‘Skype Lite’ is that it will consume very less battery power and it can run smoothly even on Old Android phones. As the app is developed for Indian market, the app is available in nine Indian languages Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Microsoft has integrated Aadhaar card system into Skype Lite for Aadhar based authentication to identify and verify people during a call.
Skype Lite not to be released in other countries
The new Skype Lite Android app developed for middle to low range handsets is now available in Google Play. As of now, Microsoft has no plans to release this App in other countries. Eugene Ho, Director of Product Management at Skype, said that millions of users are presently using Skype but a large proportion of these users are using low end phones and not iOS device. He also said “Not only that, although there has been a high speed 4G rollout in India,” Ho added, “you will still frequently find the speeds dropping to 3G or even 2G levels as you’re out and about, and these are still used in a wide part of India. That’s why we created Skype Lite.”
Important 7 features of Skype Lite you should know
The new Skype Lite App with less than 13MB size has all the important features of Skype, like instant messaging, audio and video calling. Let us see the Important Seven features of Skype Lite which may attract more users.
Works on 2G Networks
In India presently we don’t have much 4G service, and even the available 4G service is not stable as it switches to 3G and 2G quite often. Keeping this in mind Microsoft has developed ‘Skype Lite’ to run on 2G and ‘unstable network connections’. The built in ‘image compression’ feature decreases the data usage by compressing the image file you send through Skype Lite. Users can check the mobile data and wifi data consumed by Skype Lite. People who have tried Voice call and Video call in Skype Lite with 2G network has given a big Thumsup as the Quality of Voice and Video is very good.
Skype + Aadhaar feature
Skype Lite comes with ‘Aadhaar verification’ feature to verify caller credentials and legitimacy. During an online interview process, the interviewer can request for Aadhar verification. The interviewee has to enter the 12 digit Aadhaar ID in the app. An OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number linked with the Aadhar card. Once the OTP is entered and verified, the interviewer will be shown the requisite details. Once the call is over, all the verification data from the interviewer’s device will be deleted to protect the privacy of the interviewee. This feature can be used by government agencies for on call verifications.
Support for Older version of Android
Keeping in mind that most of the Skype users in India are using old Android device with less internal storage, Microsoft has designed Skype Lite App which consumes just 13MB of internal storage without compromising any highlight features of Skype. With launch of the new Skype Lite which supports older version of Android, Microsoft is expecting more Skype users from India.
Supports Regional Languages
Microsoft decided to support local languages in the Skype Lite app to bring more Indians into Skype family. Skype Lite supports seven Indian languages like Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu. This feature gives Skype Lite an edge over Whatsapp as Hike messenger is the only other competitor which supports more Indian languages.
Less Data consumption
As we Indians are more worried about the data consumption, Microsoft has introduced a feature called built-in-data manager to avoid unnecessary use of precious mobile / WiFi data. Skype Lite can detect promotional texts and spam texts and filter them out. And more over the app can also boast bots which consumes lot of mobile data.
Easy to handle in dark lights
Skype Lite is easy to handle even in night time as Microsoft has added a theme known as ‘Dark theme’ in the setting menu. When this theme is selected, the app background colour changes to dark making it easy to use in no light condition.
Set Skype Lite as your default dialler app
You can set Skype Lite as your ‘default dialer and messaging application’ on your Smart phone. Skype Lite displays all your SMS messages with Skype IMs and displays all Skype calls with your phone calls. The Contact section displays all Phone contacts along with Skype contacts.
We discussed with few Skype Lite users and most of the feedback is Positive about the UI, Speed and Other features. But we have to wait and see if the above listed features will get more users for Skype Lite. Its not an easy task for Microsoft as many Indians are more comfortable with WhatsApp which has Voice calls and Video calls along with Messaging.
“There are alternatives in the market, and our focus was to build something that is good enough to keep our users happy,” – Microsoft’s message to its users