Skype for iPhone gains link previews, Apple Watch app adds replying with dictation and more

Skype for iOS web link previews iPhone screenshot 001

Microsoft-owned Skype today issued an update to its free-of-charge iPhone application in the App Store, adding a few enhancements related to chatting on both your handset and the Apple Watch.

Web link previews are now available in your chat, courtesy of Skype 5.13 for iPhone. When you paste a URL into the chat window, the mobile application will now provide a preview of the website similar to Facebook.

Previews are available when you send or receive a web link and support video content, blogs, news websites and many other types of web content.

Skype’s iPhone app already includes a WatchKit extensions for Apple Watch compatibility, but its feature set leaves a lot to be desired.

For instance, why can’t I reply with dictation?

Thankfully, the Skype team has addressed many complaints. Starting today, you can now reply using speech-to-text, start conversations with your favorite Skype contacts and manage incoming calls, all on your wrist.

When a new message hits your wrist, the Apple Watch app will now offer you a new option to dictate a reply. In addition to speech-to-text, Skype for Apple Watch also supports canned responses and the full set of emoticons.

Skype for Apple Watch Video calls

Another new feature: Skype Favorites.

As you might have guessed, this section is for accessing contacts on Skype that have been favorited. Just tap on a contact to see their information or start chatting right away. To favorite a contact, go to Skype for iPhone app, swipe to Favorites and tap Add Favorites at the bottom of your list.

Skype for Apple Watch Favorite contacts

Lastly, Skype for Apple Watch will now alert you of incoming calls, not just messages. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to conduct Skype VoIP calls directly on your wrist due to limitations of Apple’s software development kit for Apple Watch development.

Skype for Apple Watch Video calls

“If you answer, your call will simply handoff to your iPhone for you to start chatting,” the team notes.

The 79.1-megabyte app requires an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 7.0 or later and supports Apple Watch on compatible iPhones with iOS 8.3 or later.

Download Skype for iPhone free from the App Store.