Microsoft has rolled out a new update for its UWP Skype app, and it's quite significant. Insiders can now get translations for mobile and landline calls in real-time.
This works both ways, each recepient getting a detailed translation of the other's dialogue. The feature is still in its infancy, but it will get better the more you use it thanks to machine learning.
Naturally, you have to be on the latest preview build of Skype to try this feature. You also need either Skype Credit or a subscription so you can make landline calls. Microsoft is currently supporting nine languages, but thats is likely to expand in the future.
Though some of aren't quite there yet, it's mostly due to environment. Microsoft says that using a headset or high quality microphone will improve the experience significantly.
As always, the Skype team is looking for user input on this via the Windows Feedback app.
Skype Preview Changelog
Skype Translator supports most of the major languages, including:
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
The Skype team has also brought a number of other features to this build. You can now share video messages with offline contacts, mark conversations as read, and more. Here's the full changelog:
- “Introduce friends and family on Skype by sharing their Skype contact details
- Capture and share video messages with friends and family on Skype—even if they're not online
- Manage your conversations and save time by marking conversations as read or unread
- Don't miss another call by forwarding them to a mobile or landline*”
These new functionalities really bring a new aspect to Skype. When talking across countries, the platform has a significant advantage over regular calls. It will probably take a while for the translation service to get up to par, but its machine learning means its only up from here.