Microsoft unfathomably removes voice message feature from remastered Skype for iPhone

Skype 5.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 004)Skype 5.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

If you’ve updated to Microsoft’s five times faster Skype 5.0 for iPhone featuring a Windows Phone style interface revamp, you can no longer use the software’s free voice message feature.

And rubbing salt into the wound further, a Skype community manager advised folks who need the feature to use another mobile platform.

Not only is this a huge blunder, the removal of voice messaging is inconveniencing customers with a dedicated Skype Out number…

From the Skype Community webpage (via 9to5Mac):

Voice message playback is not supported in Skype 5.0 for iPhone. Please use Skype on another platform to listen to your voice messages.

The problem is accentuated by the fact that Microsoft has removed the previous Skype version which used to include voice messaging as part of its default feature set.

From Skype’s Voice Messaging webpage:

If you’re busy getting the kids ready for school or in back-to-back meetings, Skype offers a free voicemail service that can take a message for you. Listen to your messages and return any calls at your convenience.

A user with an annual Skype subscription and a Skype number rightfully complained on the Skype Community forums:

If I need to go to a computer somewhere and install the Skype application on that computer, just to listen to my voice messages, what is the point of having the Skype app on the iPhone in the first place?

Is there anything you can do about Microsoft’s unfathomably stupid move?

Skype 5

Turns out there is, kinda.

Folks who can’t live without Skype’s voice message feature can replace Skype 5.1 for iPhone with the old version manually. Assuming you synchronize your iOS devices with desktop iTunes, the previous version should be saved in the iTunes library on your computer.

A Skype user has provided the following instructions:

  • On my Mac which syncs with this phone, went to the folder containing the Skype .ipa file (i.e. Music->iTunes->iTunes Media->Mobile Applications)
  • Using Time Machine (backup) went into backup and located a backup from 2 weeks ago that had the last version 4 release (version number is 4.17.135) and restored this to the applications folder on the Mac
  • Deleted the current release from my iOS device and from iTunes list of apps
  • Dragged the “Skype 4.17.135.ipa” file back into iTunes
  • Synced the phone with iTunes

Is Microsoft treating Skype’s iPhone users as second-class customers?

I don’t think that’s the case.

Removing such a basic feature on a permanent basis makes little sense. Moreover, Microsoft has already updated Skype 5.0 with enhancements to People, Favorites and Conversations, with the team confirming that future updates will enable additional capabilities.

That being said, bringing back voice messaging is a matter of “when”, not “if”.

Download Skype 5.1 for iPhone free in the App Store.

The app requires iOS 7.0 or later.

Skype for iPad remains stuck at version 4.17.3.