1. danielbigham's Avatar
    Hey all,

    I'm just curious: Has anyone out there thought long and hard about whether it would be possible to make a Skype app for the PlayBook?

    If this seems impossible, what are the challenges that make it so?

    For example, I see there is a Skype developer page, etc, which makes me think there could be some possibilities, although I haven't looked at any of it in detail.

    And is a Skype app really something that people are clamouring for?
    06-12-12 09:48 PM
  2. danielbigham's Avatar
    I did a little more digging and signed up for Skype's embedded developer program. Taking a look at their documentation, they have a "SkypeKit Runtime" that would appear compatible with C++.

    So I'm confused. It would appear naively that making a Skype app for PlayBook should be pretty easy, so why hasn't it been done?
    06-12-12 11:16 PM
  3. spatialmongrel's Avatar
    You! Are the man to do it!
    kozmo68, yanicmb and menaknow like this.
    06-12-12 11:18 PM
  4. danielbigham's Avatar
    Aha...

    The license agreement says that mobile applications and tablet applications are forbidden.

    Such a shame that the SDK components to build an app are sitting there waiting to be used, but Skype forbids it.

    It's a strange world...
    06-12-12 11:35 PM
  5. danielbigham's Avatar
    Oh, too funny. The clause that prohibits tablet use:

    "f. Tablets: meaning any device that primarily functions as an all purpose personal mobile computer, has an integrated touch screen, operates by touching the screen rather than a physical keyboard and runs on the Android or iOS operating system;"

    Is it just me, or does this clause not restrict use on non-iOS non-Android operating systems!?
    spatialmongrel likes this.
    06-12-12 11:36 PM
  6. xsacha's Avatar
    Fring made a client that could do Skype video calls (two years ago) and released it on iOS, Symbian, Android. It was subsequently forced to remove this feature.

    Waste of time.
    06-12-12 11:40 PM
  7. janeka's Avatar
    If I were you I would give it up Alec already said RIM and Skype is working closely together to integrate skypes video chat into bb10. Pay close attention. There was a developer a long time ago that made a Skype app for blackberry "no video chat" how he made it not sure will have to look around for it and comeback. Maybe he's up to the task to bring a Skype app to the playbook.
    06-12-12 11:43 PM
  8. Shira3's Avatar
    In answer to one of your initial questions, yes, Skype is longed for! My closest friends and family are Skype users and none of the workarounds work for us. The website imo adds too much lag to be functional (some of us have marginal internet) and I haven't had much success with the conferencing apps (both quality issues and friends unwilling to change platform). So it's sadly back to the PC until we get either a browser Skype or app for the playbook.
    Last edited by Shira3; 06-13-12 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Typo
    06-13-12 12:11 AM
  9. greatwiseone's Avatar
    Yeah, I used the Skype video chat through fring and it was great. Too bad Skype forced them to stop using it. We just need to see if Skype is going go launch with BB10...I am not too optimistic, but one can only hope...
    as200 likes this.
    06-13-12 12:20 AM
  10. bldshd's Avatar
    It was just posted the other day that a developer from Skype attended BB10 Jam in California.. So imo things are looking more optimistic then they been.. Fingers crossed.. BB10 seems to be attracting alot of devs attention.. So lets hope BlackBerry makes the come back they deserve & need
    06-13-12 05:25 AM
  11. sjc1963's Avatar
    Oh, too funny. The clause that prohibits tablet use:

    "f. Tablets: meaning any device that primarily functions as an all purpose personal mobile computer, has an integrated touch screen, operates by touching the screen rather than a physical keyboard and runs on the Android or iOS operating system;"

    Is it just me, or does this clause not restrict use on non-iOS non-Android operating systems!?
    They must be evangelicals, they don't like any thing to do with touching
    06-13-12 08:59 AM
  12. Mercury's Avatar
    Hey all,

    I'm just curious: Has anyone out there thought long and hard about whether it would be possible to make a Skype app for the PlayBook?

    If this seems impossible, what are the challenges that make it so?

    For example, I see there is a Skype developer page, etc, which makes me think there could be some possibilities, although I haven't looked at any of it in detail.

    And is a Skype app really something that people are clamouring for?
    Well considering RIM is making an integrated Skype to work in conjunction with the contact list AND the video chat... No need to try to make an app...
    06-13-12 10:17 AM
  13. jamesjmunro's Avatar
    I looked at this with various members of the CB community. There are just too many roadblocks from Skype (MS?) themselves to do it. Plus side is the high hopes for BB10 + Skype integration.
    06-13-12 10:31 AM
  14. noelito4three's Avatar
    Well considering RIM is making an integrated Skype to work in conjunction with the contact list AND the video chat... No need to try to make an app...
    really hope that this will sooner rather than later.
    06-13-12 10:42 AM
  15. CairnsRock's Avatar
    Well considering RIM is making an integrated Skype to work in conjunction with the contact list AND the video chat... No need to try to make an app...
    Factual or rumored?
    06-13-12 11:05 AM
  16. diegonei's Avatar
    If I were you I would give it up Alec already said RIM and Skype is working closely together to integrate skypes video chat into bb10. Pay close attention. There was a developer a long time ago that made a Skype app for blackberry "no video chat" how he made it not sure will have to look around for it and comeback. Maybe he's up to the task to bring a Skype app to the playbook.
    Sorry, I missed that. Could you please point me to the source of that info?

    Much appreciated.
    06-13-12 12:18 PM
  17. zethaaron's Avatar
    Skype integration in the video chat app is something we're all HOPING for, and unless you can show me a source, no, Alec Saunders DID NOT say that Skype was going to be integrated into video chat. All we have so far are rumours. xsacha found reference in the PlayBook OS to several different IM programs, including Skype, however we don't know RIM's plans.

    Funny that the Skypkit tablets section omits other operating systems, also they say you can't use mobile devices, then go on to define mobile devices as something with a cell tower connection. Two pretty solid loopholes to me! :P
    06-13-12 12:33 PM
  18. btgdelta's Avatar
    I have a russian video source from a demo of the new cascades interface for playbook where you can see some skype icons in contacts and messages, so it is a strong indicator for what BB would like to have.
    06-13-12 02:40 PM
  19. zethaaron's Avatar
    There was a big thread about that when that video came out, however it's been disregarded as there was much more convincing evidence before the PlayBook came out (i.e. the image of Skype in App World), which came to nothing.
    06-13-12 02:50 PM
  20. danielbigham's Avatar
    Just fun fun I've explored the technical side of building a Skype app for PlayBook. (as opposed to the legal side)

    Skype has a great API to be used for embedding into consumer electronics, such as TVs. It costs $5 to sign up, which I did.

    What Skype provides is in two parts:

    1. A compiled program called "skypekit runtime", which needs to be run on the device that is going to make a skype call. Skype provides binaries for various platforms, such as Windows, Linux, etc. They also support various processor architectures, including armv7, which the PlayBook uses.

    2. A C++ API that can be used to connect to and use the skypekit runtime. Since the API is written in C++, it is perfect for use by an NDK app.

    What I tried was taking the C++ API and compiling it along with a simple NDK app that uses the API to connect and login to Skype. There were some unresolved compile issues that I bypassed by commenting out those lines of code.

    - <sys/shm.h> seems to be missing on QNX: Relates to using shared memory.
    - semctl, semop, semget, etc, seem to be missing on QNX
    - There were some ".i" files that Eclipse didn't seem to understand. Not sure if these are needed -- seemed to compile without them.

    Aside from the above, I got the Skype API and sample app compiling.

    However, in trying to run the "skypkit runtime" app on the PlayBook, we get:

    $ ./skypekit

    Process 98910370 (skypekit) terminated SIGSEGV code=2 fltno=11 ip=000d18dc ref=7f1ffff8
    Memory fault (core dumped)

    Boo!

    The skypekit runtime I'm using is compiled for Linux armv7, so perhaps that would be a dead end anyway. I have no idea how similar/disimilar Linux and QNX binaries are, etc.

    So that is probably the end of my little experiment unless someone has a suggestion for how to move forward with the skypekit runtime binary...
    spatialmongrel likes this.
    06-13-12 07:09 PM
  21. zethaaron's Avatar
    You clearly know more than I do so I wish I could help but, perhaps someone more knowledgable can?
    06-13-12 07:46 PM
  22. danielbigham's Avatar
    Another dev clarified that not surprisingly one cannot run binaries compiled for Linux on QNX.

    One last thing worth playing with is running the skypekit runtime for Windows on a desktop machine and having the PB app connect to that, although the skypekit runtime for Windows appears to be voice-only.
    zethaaron likes this.
    06-13-12 08:01 PM
  23. zethaaron's Avatar
    Ahhh, similar to how one can use netflix on the PlayBook through a PC client. Interesting. Thanks for looking into this!
    06-13-12 08:28 PM
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