Skype preview for Windows Phone 8 gets HD video

The feature works on phones such as the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and Samsung Ativ S

The latest version of the Skype for Windows Phone 8 Preview has support for HD video calls on some phones and reinstated integration with the People hub.

In the version 2.4 release, Microsoft focused on increasing quality and reliability while also adding new capabilities, it said in a blog post Tuesday.

The new 720p video call feature works on smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and Samsung Ativ S. The feature is powered by the hardware acceleration capability of Microsoft's smartphone OS, the blog post said.

While not all users can get HD resolution, the overall video call quality has been improved for users who have lower-cost devices, according to Microsoft. The app determines the best quality available based on the speed of a user's connection. Microsoft has also added landscape mode for calls, and the ability to switch between front and back cameras.

In the new preview, all Skype contacts will again be listed in the People Hub. The integration with the hub was temporarily disabled in preview version 2.1 as it was causing issues with device stability, but those issues have now been fixed, according to Microsoft.

There are still some known issues that the Skype development team have to deal with before a final version can be distributed, including picture-in-picture not working during all video calls.

Microsoft isn't saying when a final version of the application is expected to arrive, but the improved preview can now be downloaded from Windows Phone Store.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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