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I hate with a passion the Skype client for Ubuntu. I use my hotmail inbox to send messages instead as a workaround to using that terrible piece of software that Skype is trying to pull. I am looking for a Skype client alternative that works just like Skype, but has better UI and actually receives messages when they are sent and when I log into Skype (not 30 minutes later).

Requirements:

  • I am mainly focusing on the text portion of Skype. I don't care so much about the video or audio calling
  • Must be able to send and receive messages
  • Must receive unread messages instantly upon login (this is the one thing that bugs the hell out of me about the current Skype client)
  • Must notify me of a new message
  • I must be able to set my status (online, busy, be right back etc)
  • Support for group messages
  • Support for Skype contacts

I am not looking for an alternative to Skype altogether but rather an alternative to the Skype client. I still want to be using Skype, without having to use the crap client the provide for Linux users.

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Not exactly meeting your requirement list (hence not an answer), but improving the UI a lot: I'm using SkypeTab, which at least removes the "clutter" with multiple open chats. As it just "hooks into the Skype UI", it's not really an alternative Skype client – but a huge improvement nevertheless. –  Izzy Jul 23 at 9:40
    
I think the delay receiving messages is due to how the Skype's network itself works. However you could try using an XMPP-Skype gateway, but anyway in a few days it will not be supported at all anymore. I would then recommend you to try moving to another protocol, XMPP for example which allows you to use any client on any OS on any machine and fulfil all your needs, except support for Skype contact (that's where a gateway is useful). –  piernov Jul 23 at 13:11

2 Answers 2

A few years ago I would recommend Google Talk with my heart, but ever since Hangouts was release, I can't say that anymore, since many features are gone, namely the busy/away states.

I would recommend trying Trillian. You can still add your contacts from other networks, but it has special features for your contacts that also use Trillian.

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"I am not looking for an alternative to Skype altogether but rather an alternative to the Skype client" Asker is not looking for an alternative protocol. –  Nicolas Raoul Jul 23 at 8:20
1  
Currently Trillian does work with Skype accounts - but that could change anytime –  Nick Wilde Jul 23 at 9:06
    
It stopped supporting Skype? :/ That's a bummer. I feel like too many clients are becoming closed these days. –  ecc Jul 24 at 11:37

Okay, the only way I found to do it is to install the plugin for Pidgin.

Unfortunately you still need to run the official Skype client in the background as the plugin interfaces with it somehow. But this seems to fit in with your requirements.

The only other way I have used Skype chatting with out using Skype itself is by using an online client, such as imo.im or plus.im

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