Once Skype went to the video chat app, but these days are long over. With the advent of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Duo and others, many users do not see a reason to have yet another app on their phone when it has the same functionality. But some people still depend on Skype, whether business or custom. This number may shrink further in Android: We receive reports that the Microsoft app automatically answers calls to some users, possibly allowing callers to capture them in adverse circumstances. Worse, Skype is often used as a tool today, with many remote-controlled workers using it to check in at their office. You don't want your boss or clients to see you in underwear – it's yours to decide which ones you think are worse.
Normally, you can enable or disable an option that is appropriately called "Automatically answer incoming calls." But for the affected users their phone's behavior does not change and turn on at all. Calls are always answered automatically after calling a couple of times.
To be clear: Off is the default position for this switch.
One of the first reports of the villain auto-responses appeared in Microsoft's support forums in January 2019, with the affected person indicating that it has already been the case for some weeks. Even suggestions from other forum members such as deleting cache, deleting data and reinstalling the app didn't work. Instead, a rather unexpected sinner was found for many who experienced the issue: wearables. When users interrupt their smartwatches, both Skype and Samsung Gear will not automatically answer calls anymore. There may also be other issues at hand as not everyone reported using laptops.
While I wonder why anyone ever wants to use a feature that automatically answers incoming calls, Microsoft gives some good reasons: it is a means of checking your pets while you are out or on vacation or an alternative to a dedicated baby monitor (though I think there are better solutions than Skype calls to both).
I'm sure most users will not have this feature on their primary phone however – its potential for massive privacy invasion is just too significant and since it involves other people snooping on you while you might Speaking of them, it is worse than Google's audio listening event back in 2017. If Skype was still a more widespread product, this could have affected even more people – and every person affected is too many.
Fortunately, Microsoft is already working on a solution. Forum members report that the latest Skype preview app solves the problem for them. If you experience the problem, you can download beta from the Play Store or over to the APK Mirror.
And no, it's not a bad April Fools joke from us. This is serious.
Software update requirements fixer
Microsoft has released a Skype update for the Play Store containing the note:
Bluetooth issue resolved – we have fixed a problem affecting a subset of users It may have experienced that incoming calls are automatically answered.
Although we were not previously convinced that this was specifically a Bluetooth problem, the spread of accidental automatic response behaviors and associated wearables certainly fit that description. If the gltichen had affected you, hopefully this new update will put things right.