Wouldn’t it be nice if Skype can run on a Raspberry Pi? Then this pocketed sized single board computer will function like a mobile phone. In fact, this thought is not new, a project was already done in 2012. Although Skype can compile on Linux operating systems, it does not compile with an ARM processor that runs Linux. In this video, Skype is not installed on the Raspberry Pi, SkypeKit is used instead. What is SkypeKit? In short, SkypeKit is a collection of API’s, which allows developers to access in order to make audio/video calls on embedded devices. By using SkypeKit, the developer will have a “headless” version of Skype, meaning the Raspberry Pi has the functionalities of Skype, however, without GUI running on it.
In 2013, Microsoft decided to kill its SkypeKit and replaced it with Skype URIs. Skype wants developers to embrace Skype URIs as it believes that will allow the developers to access Skype via various platforms: mobiles, web and desktop. The action is driven by the growth of Skype on mobile. However, it requires the Skype client installed on the devices, and it switches the focus to the Skype client when any Skype functionality is triggered. The SkypeKit enabled the third party applications to communicate with Skype network, but this was discontinued in the end of 2013. It is said by Chris Andrews, head of Skype Developer Program, that the SkypeKit was ceased in order to improve the overall Skype experience, which will significantly benefit Skype users across all platforms, especially mobile devices. Personally I don’t think it is a good idea to cease SkypeKit, it prevents the developers from embedding Skype into their own applications. Switching focus from the developer’s application to Skype client obviously is more complicated than embedding the so-called “headless” version of Skype into the developer’s application.