Given its flexible nature, Android has always allowed apps to continuously run in the background as long as they desire in the form of services. It’s something that decreases the waiting time for launching apps that need to be active all the time (like instant messengers), but on the flip side, it also affects the battery life of a device. Skype, the popular VOIP and instant messaging app, has long been one of those apps that have negatively affected battery life on Android devices, but according to Skype’s developers, that should no longer be a concern.
With the latest update to Skype for Android, the Microsoft-owned company promises that users can now leave the app running on their device “all day without negatively affecting battery life.” Improvements to the background service have no doubt been made, but Skype has also decided to temporarily turn off instant notifications for messages in group chats to help negate the impact in battery life, though the option should go back to being on by default in the future once Skype gets around to optimizing it. That’s not to say you can’t enable it now – you’ll need to head into the Settings » Notifications menu and check the “Sync group messages in the background” box, but you won’t be able to accuse Skype anymore if your phone or tablet’s battery suddenly takes a turn for the worse.
The update also brings a few other changes, including a workaround for a bug on Android 4.4 KitKat that “caused a runaway process when the camera was synced in the background” and a fix for audio and video calling for tablets without Bluetooth, and also enables the listing of a user’s Windows Live Messenger contacts in the default contacts view and not just the “All contacts” view. Of course, the battery life improvements are the biggest takeaway here, so go ahead and update Skype from the Play Store so you can start keeping it active in the background without the fear of waking up to zero battery on your phone or tablet.