Microsoft is making Skype a key product within the company and the firm has just revealed how it plans on improving it on rival platforms, as non-Windows operating systems are still a priority for the software giant (although that might be frustrating for Windows Phone fans).
Android, for instance, is receiving lots of love from Microsoft and Skype is one of the apps that keep getting improved here, with the company now planning to bring its SMS Relay feature on this platform as well.
Available on Windows 10 Mobile, SMS Relay is a feature that integrates Skype into the operating system and allows users to send an SMS to someone in their contact list using Skype and not via carrier (obviously if the contact uses Skype as well). If Skype is not available, the OS automatically switches to carrier to send the message.
This is a system that’s very similar to how iMessage works on iPhones, and Microsoft is now planning to expand it beyond Windows, with the company announcing today that it will be soon available on Android as well.
No details have been provided, but the plan is clearly to make Skype an essential feature of any Android phone, and given the partnerships that Microsoft has with several Android phone manufacturers, don’t be too surprised if the application becomes integrated by default on a number of devices.
There are no details as to when SMS Relay could become available on Android phones, but this undoubtedly creates an important opportunity for Microsoft to conquer the mobile market beyond its own Windows platform.
With SMS Relay, Microsoft can also bring closer non-Windows mobile operating systems and Windows 10, as Skype users would thus be able to always keep their messages in sync on smartphones and PCs using the company’s messaging app. Skype Preview will also get substantial improvements in the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update in early 2017, so Microsoft is aiming big this time.