Skype plans to shutdown its Desktop API by year-end and expects all developers to embrace Skype URIs as the standard mechanism to integrate Skype functionality in their mobile, web and desktop applications. Come September, the Skype Application will be stopped, Chat functionality through the Desktop API will be disabled and users will be internally messaged about these changes.
The changes were communicated to the Developer community by Chris Andrews, Head of Skype Developer Program. Andrews has listed down key reasons as the number of Skype installs on mobile devices and the need to provide a unified experience while using Skype from other applications.
Developers will need to quickly adopt Skype URIs as outlined in the Developer note here. Instead of direct API Integration, invocation of the Skype URIs will result in the natively installed Skype Client taking control and presenting a unified interface for common operations. The Skype URIs are available for operations like audio/video calls, sending instant messages and more. Current support for Skype URIs is on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows (8, 7, Vista, XP) and Mac OS X. Linux desktop client is not yet supported.
Since Skype URIs work with the native Skype client, a Skype client must be installed on the user’s device with an active account. Moving to Skype URIs will also do away with the need to certify applications since all operations are proxied through the Skype client.
Skype is one of the most popular forms of communication. With user installs likely to increase and the fact that it could be across a range of devices, Skype found it imperative to provide a common experience to all users and Skype URIs is the way ahead. Developers who have employed the API have their task cut out for them.