Microsoft published an update for the company's Skype extension for Google Chrome that introduces Gmail, Outlook and Twitter integration.
The browser extension has a so-so rating on the Google Chrome web store. This can be attributed mostly to the fact that it is probably not what users expect it to be when they installed the extension.
All the extension did up until now was to allow you to use share functionality to share sites you visited with Skype contacts. The only other feature was to launch Skype for Web with a click on the extension icon.
The update for Skype for Google Chrome improves the functionality of the browser extension.
Microsoft's blog post on the official Skype blog highlights the changes. Basically, what the update brings along with it are options to include Skype call links to messages, calendar events, or on Twitter.
The extension supports Gmail, Outlook and Twitter only at this point. You can add the "join my Skype video call" link to emails on Gmail or Outlook, and do the same for Google Calendar or Outlook events.
Note: Outlook in this context refers always to Outlook.com, the web based messaging service, and not Outlook, the desktop application.
The Skype extension adds a new button to the interface of the service that users can click on to add the call link to the message.
It works similarly on Twitter, only that you may add the join link to your Twitter messages directly.
Chrome users who have installed the extension already may have received the update already. Anyone else may download the extension from the Chrome Web Store.
The Skype extension is also available for Firefox. Microsoft makes no mention of the Firefox add-on in the announcement. A quick check on Mozilla's AMO website indicates that the add-on has not been updated. There is also no update in the review queue right now.
The extension may have its uses for die hard Skype users. If you use Skype throughout the work day, you may find the option to add Skype chat links to your emails or events on Gmail or Outlook useful.
It is of no use to you if you use different services however. I suppose it is easy enough to generate the links manually, to paste them manually into messages. This way, you'd avoid having to install the Skype extension for that purpose which requires permissions to read and change all your date on the websites you visit.
Now You: Do you find the functionality of the Skype extension useful?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.