Skype may have recently launched a major update to its Skype for iPhone app, but one rather basic feature went missing – the ability to listen to voice messages. A subsequent update to Skype for iPhone 5.1 still hasn’t fixed the problem.

In a support thread on the Skype site, community manager Claudius provided what must qualify as one of the most unhelpful response ever to complaints by users:

Voice message playback is not supported in Skype 5.0 for iPhone. Please use Skype on another platform to listen to your voice messages …

While there is no official way to downgrade back to version 4, where voicemail is supported, one user posted the following instructions for a clunky workaround. This will, however, only work for those who backup to their Mac rather than to iCloud:

  1. On my Mac which syncs with this phone, went to the folder containing the Skype .ipa file (i.e. Music->iTunes->iTunes Media->Mobile Applications)
  2. Using Time Machine (backup) went into backup and located a backup from 2 weeks ago that had the last version 4 release (version number is 4.17.135) and restored this to the applications folder on the Mac.
  3. Deleted the current release from my iOS device and from iTunes list of apps.
  4. Dragged the “Skype 4.17.135.ipa” file back into iTunes.
  5. Synced the phone with iTunes.

So far Microsoft has not responded to comments in the thread pointing out the absurdity of an update which removes such a basic feature.

Update: A Skype spokesperson provided the following comment regarding the issue…

“We introduced several new features as soon as they were ready with Skype 5.1 for iPhone. We’re already hard at work addressing your additional feedback so we can bring you more features in order to provide the best possible experience for our users. As always, please keep the feedback coming and help us create the best Skype experience for you.”

Update 7/7/14: Today Skype shared in a blog post that version 5.2 will reintroduce voice message support.


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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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