There's a long-running issue with Skype for Android where, in recent versions (since 2014 I believe), it very often ignores incoming calls and doesn't notify about messages when it is running in the background. There are many long (and often angry) threads about this on Skype's forums, for example: No incoming call and chat notification on Android KitKat (12 pages), Skype never rings on Android phone (9 pages), skype not running in background anymore? (4 pages), and many others.
From these threads I've extracted some clues:
- It used to be possible to fix this issue by downgrading to before version 4, but older versions now no longer connect, so this appears to be no longer an option.
- There is some mystery about why this happens, but there are claims that it's something to do with Skype's status changing to some kind of "inactive" status when it goes into the background after a period of inactivity (some sources say 15 minutes, some 5 minutes, some immediately on the Skype app window not being open), which, recently (but not in the past) results in Skype centrally not connect calls or messages to this user when this status is present.
- If this is the case, it happens even when the optional Skype notification tray status icon shows the status as being "active" - some comments suggest this icon doesn't update when Skype becomes inactive in the background
- There's a separate issue where Skype doesn't notify on a phone if you're active on a computer, but plenty of people report this problem even when they've confirmed they're only logged in on Android.
- There's a post from 2014 which suggests that background calls work if "Answer calls automatically" is ticked in Skype settings - but I don't like the idea of people calling me and instantly hearing the sound of the inside of my pocket (maybe I've misunderstood what answer calls automatically means?), and I imagine I still wouldn't know they've called unless I'm in a silent room
- A few users mention that turning on "sync group chat in the background" in notifications fixes notifications for calls and messages too (example) but this didn't work for me
- A minority of posters claim to not have this issue, suggesting there might be something to do with general Android settings that influences whether Skype becomes unreachable when it goes into the background.
- There's mention of 3rd party apps that fix this problem by keeping Skype active, thus preventing the status change. However I couldn't find any such examples that wasn't followed by a comment later suggesting it no longer works (and I can't find any examples now I look for it).
I've discussed this with Skype customer support, who were unable to help beyond establishing that it's nothing to do with my Skype app settings (notifications are on) or being logged in on another device. My main hope, therefore, is for some kind of 3rd party solution like the apps referred to above for keeping Skype active, or some general Android setting.
Non-rooted, Android 5.1.1, Skype 188.8.131.520, Sony Z3 compact. I'd prefer not to root but this issue is very important to me and if that's the only option I'd accept an answer that involves rooting the phone.
I'd prefer not to install a custom mod, but I'd consider it if that can somehow reliably fix this problem and give me reliable notifications and incoming calls any time I'm online and someone calls or messages me by Skype.