Secret Skype: Best Skype apps

Welcome once again to the Secret Skype section of our Skype Week on Pocket-lint. As part of five things you may not know you could do with Skype, right now is where we discover that Skype has an SDK and, yes, therefore a bunch of apps all of its own, many of which are well worth a download.

So, to guide you through yet another app store, here are the best five Skype apps to get you started. Enjoy.

IM translation - Clownfish for Skype

Not everyone speaks English and that’s something that developer Bogdan Sharkov was well aware of when he came up with Clownfish for Skype. Clownfish is a real-time, online translator for your instant messages. Type in your native tongue and the plug-in will automatically translate for the recipient’s home language.

On top of that there’s also text-to-speech functionality as well as a spell checker and a bunch of other features. Clownfish works with the desktop version of Skype for both Windows and Mac OS. It’s free and works with Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch and English plus some 50 other languages.

Record your calls - Messenger Plus! for Skype

Recording both video and audio calls between you and a friend or relative can provide a lasting reminder of special events. There are a few apps that offer this kind of service but the best of the bunch appears to be Messenger Plus! for Skype. But it does have a couple of drawbacks.

The first is that it only works on Windows. Mac users must look elsewhere. The other slight sticking point is that both parties on the call need to have Messenger Plus installed for recording to be possible. If none of this is a problem, then you’re ready to enjoy this free app with its unlimited recording times.

Manage your IM - SkyHistory

The old Yesterday - 7 days - 30 days - 3 months options of chat history are all well and good on the standard Skype desktop interface, but if knowing what someone said to you and when is important, then you need a proper IM manager and SkyHistory is the Skype app to go for.

You can define which contacts’ histories are logged; bookmark individual messages or delete them; customise the layout, the font, the size; and export the whole lot when you’re finished.

Music messaging - On Air

On Air offers something very simple and not particularly integral to the core Skype function. That said, it’s extremely good and probably the first of these apps you should download. What it does is automatically detect what music you’re listening to and display it as a bubble at the top by your status.

The person at the other end of your chat or call can then click on the bubble to discover more info about the song and artist, including lyrics and music videos. Simple but effective, and - sorry Mac people - it’s Windows only.

Quick calls - click.to

If you’re a stickler for efficiency then click.to is a must have app to download for Skype. It’s a plug-in that detects phone numbers in emails, on web pages, PDFs, documents and pretty much anywhere and allows you to convert them to Skype phone calls in one click.

Do standard PC Ctrl+C copy shortcut on a number and click.to asks if you want to call it with Skype as well as providing other intelligent further use, including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Wikipedia and more. It might not sound amazing but try it for a few days and you’ll soon change your tune.



>