You can now use Skype Lite app to send text messages (SMS) to your friends, the newest addition to Microsoft's app as it continues to push the reach of its slow-network friendly instant messaging client.
The company is not just enabling support for traditional text messages -- there are several instant messaging clients including Facebook's Messenger that do that -- but Microsoft is taking a step further. On Wednesday, it introduced SMS Insights, a feature that aggregates useful information from all your messages.
Much of the text messages we receive today are from our banks, phone companies, or promotional in nature. Then you have one time passwords (OTPs) from various services, and confirmation for movies and services like Ola and Uber. Then there is a lot of spam. How does one make any sense of them?
Microsoft says its SMS Insights uses machine learning models to determine what's important and extracts the relevant information. The important tidbits, accompanied by ways to quickly interact with them -- go to a link, for instance, are then presented to users at one place.
"We created SMS Insights for Skype Lite with the Indian market needs in mind. We know users in India receive a vast quantity of information via SMS, and it is very easy to miss important information or due dates. The new SMS Insights feature is built to help," the company said.
Microsoft ensures that the machine learning models that is using are running on the phone itself (instead of using company's cloud power), and are completely automated. It doesn't store any data.
"Microsoft does not read your SMS messages or store your SMS data on the servers. In addition, SMS Insights is enabled for users, only after they give SMS permission to Skype Lite app," the company added. The SMS feature is at present only available to Skype Lite Android users in India.
Launched earlier this year, Microsoft's Skype Lite is trying to solve problems users face with messaging that other apps aren't. Skype Lite efficiently works on slower-networks (2G). It also recently introduced Aadhaar verification, allowing people to ensure they are talking to authorised people.