Skype for iOS beta adds ability to share your iPhone and iPad screen with others

Skype has announced that it is planning to roll out screen sharing to its iOS and Android apps soon. The feature is currently included in the Skype Insider betas. Microsoft did not announce a public release timeframe but features usually roll out within a couple months.

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The new feature does what it says on the tin; you can send a live broadcast of your iOS device screen to the other people on the current video call. This works in the background so you can navigate between other apps on your phone and continue the Skype call with screen sharing enabled.

You may be wondering how this works on iOS where the app sandbox model typically prevents access to system functions like access to the screen buffer. However, since iOS 11, Apple added official live broadcasting API that lets third-party apps register as broadcast extensions and interact with the Screen Recording feature.

Users can start a broadcast with the Control Center screen recording button, or directly from inside Skype using a iOS framework button. Apple’s ReplayKit framework presents the same standardized interface that clearly explains to the user what is going to happen, and recording only begins when the user explicitly confirms that they want to start the broadcast.

Once the system picker is dismissed, iOS sends audio and video samples to the broadcast app extension, which Skype then uploads and transmits to the other people in the current conversation.

Screen sharing is in the Skype beta now and should be available to everyone later in the year.

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