Skype has become synonymous with video-chatting with friends and loved ones in far away places. You find a quiet place in your house, pull out your laptop, log in, and get the video chat and life-updating going.
But now the Windows-owned company wants to start competing with the mobile messaging apps out there with an upcoming iPhone redesign, according to a 9to5Mac report.
In short, the redesign is all about nicer design, group communications, smoother juggling of communication modes, and better notifications.
The iPhone version’s new design moves away from the classic bottom tab bar in favor for the Windows Phone-like swiping between their contacts list, recent contacts, and favorite people.There are also quick-action buttons at the bottom (voice calling, video calling, options panel, etc.) for easy access. When Skype updated its Android app last summer, it also got a very Windows-like look.
The app is also designed to make it easier to communicate with groups. Its easier to create a group chat from the chat button, and photos are easy to grab and share with a group — you know, when you’re sharing those embarrassing pictures from last weekend’s party…
And lastly, notifications: Not only does the new iPhone app have in-app notification banners so you can see your messages without leaving your current screen, but there’s also notification syncing between devices (meaning, reading a message on your phone will get rid of the notification on your iPad as well, for example).
Lead Skype designer Guilherme Schneider told 9to5Mac that the team is aware of the newly announced interactive notifications changes in iOS 8, though he declined to share any specifics on what Skype is thinking of doing.
Schneider also said that iOS was the last platform Skype updated, which means that it gave it its full attention.
“We created this version with very high standards and went the extra mile to make sure we were proud of every design component we included,” he said.
Although an iPad redesign is in the works, there are no announcements planned for the time being.
Skype is planning on rolling out the new design sometime next week.