Skype Restores People Hub Integration In Latest Windows Phone Update, Adds HD Video

Skype released an update today for Windows Phone, which restores the “People Hub” integration (Windows Phone’s fancy address book) that had been disabled in January due to bugginess and performance issues. Though today’s blog post from Skype doesn’t directly address the Hub’s former problems, it does hint at them by saying that the new release focuses on “increasing quality and reliability.”

wp8-video-call-2The renewed People Hub integration means that you’ll again be able to see your Skype contacts listed there on Windows Phone 8 devices, and you can kick off Skype conversations from users’ profiles without first launching the Skype app.

The other big news in the Skype update for Windows Phone 8 is support for HD video. The company says that it has improved the video calling experience for all users, offering VGA video on lower-end handsets and 720p HD on the higher-end devices like the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X, and Samsung Atvi S, for example. The app will now intelligently determine video quality based on the speed of your current connection.

Landscape mode is also now supported during video calls, as is support for switching between front and back cameras. Based on user feedback and requests, Skype added the ability to switch between accounts, too.

Other bugs fixes are listed in more detail here.