Skype Will Make Itself Less Noisy Thanks To New, Smarter Chat Notifications

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Skype this morning announced a change to the way its notifications will function, designed to keep the app from annoying you with beeps and buzzes across all your devices. These new smart notifications will instead only be sent to the device you’re actually using at the time, says the company, while your other devices, including PCs, tablets or smartphones, will remain silent.

Explains the company on a blog post, this process will continue until the moment you stop actively using Skype on a device, at which point all your devices will again receive notifications, so you won’t miss anything important. (And because if you’re not signed in and using the service, Skype wouldn’t know which device you’re actually on at the time, of course).

The change to smart notifications will only take place when you pick up Skype and begin writing or responding to a notification. Chat history, meanwhile, will continue to sync across devices, the company says.

To be clear, this new feature, which Skype is referring to as “active endpoints,” is only focused on chat notifications, not phone calls, as you may wish to answer a call on another gadget – like your phone - rather than the device where you were previously Skype chatting, like your computer or tablet, for example.

The feature also follows a series of improvements Skype rolled out earlier this year designed to reduce the noise with using Skype in this multi-device world. However, from my personal experience, the system still has a few kinks. When signing in for the first time in quite a while on one device, there’s more than a bit of a lag as your prior notifications roll in, which can be frustrating when you’re hoping to quickly chat, read or respond to a friend. Sometimes, too, I’ll randomly receive notifications on mobile while signed in that are out-of-date or from older chats from earlier in the day, which catches me off guard thinking that someone is asking for my attention in that moment.

At least with this update, Skype may quiet down about these sorts of things.

Skype says active endpoints are rolling out over the next few weeks and will require users to run the most current version of Skype on their respective devices.