Microsoft has released a new update for its Skype app on Android devices, and the messaging app is now the latest to gain support for Skype bots. If you're not familiar with them, Skype Bots were introduced earlier this year at Build 2016 and Microsoft describes them as "artificially intelligent programs that can do many useful things like search for news, summarize web pages, play games, and more."
Here is the full changelog of the new Skype for Android app:
- New Skype Bots available to make your life easier, more productive, and fun
- Various other fixes and improvements
To get started with Skype bots, you will first have to add them to your Skype contacts list, and there are two ways to do it:
- From the "Recents" tab, you can tap the floating action button and then tap the bot icon
- From the "Contacts" tab, you can tap "Add contacts" and then select the Bots icon. You will be able to add bots by choosing from the list or by using the search field.
Once you're done, Skype bots will appear in your Contacts lists and you will be able to chat with them just like you do with your friends. You should probably not expect Skype Bots to be super smart, but they're an interesting way to interact with online services in a more "natural" way, and some them can actually be quite entertaining (the Spock and Murphy bots come to our minds). You can get the full list of the available Skype bots over here.
As a reminder, Skype bots are currently supported in Skype for Windows and Mac, Skype for Web, Skype for iOS and the Skype Preview app for Windows 10 devices. However, bots are still only available in Australia, Canada, UK, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore and the US for now. You can download the latest version of the Skype Android app from the download link below, let us know in the comments if you already tried Skype bots.