Skype is killing its smart TV app

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Skype, the Microsoft-owned video calling service, has quietly announced that it will no longer offer an app for smart TVs starting in June.

Confirmation of the shutdown comes via a support pagefirst spotted by the BBC — which explains that smartphones and tablets have proven to be a more popular platform for Skype users.

Over the years, users have changed the way they use Skype, with the majority accessing it from a mobile device – including when in the living room. We want to make sure we prioritize delivering the best possible experience to the platforms our users are asking for, which is why we’ve decided to focus our efforts in other areas while supporting key functionality on Skype for TV for as long as possible.

Skype became available for smart TVs back in 2010. The app was pre-loaded on some sets — such as those from Samsung and LG — and available to download on many others, including models from Sony, Panasonic and Sharp.

As someone who had used it in the past, I found that the app didn’t quite deliver on its promise — which sounds great in theory. The service was somewhat unreliable and tricky to set up, whereas picking up a phone or tablet and launching an app is second nature to people these days. Plus, there are many more video calling options, including nearly every popular messaging app and Apple’s own FaceTime service.

Skype’s smart TV app will no longer receive updates after June 1, but those who have already downloaded it can continue to use it. There’s no confirmed date for when the app will cease to work, but it is living on borrowed time.

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