Skype today updated its main Android app as well as its Skype Qik apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone with a slew of new features. You can download the new Skype for Android from Google Play and grab Qik from Google Play, Apple’s App Store, and the Windows Phone Store.

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Skype 5.3 for Android features a new bubble style chat layout (above on the left) that is more in line with Skype for Windows, Mac, and iPhone. It’s not just a new look, though; the company has also made the following improvements:

  • Catching up on an active conversation is now easier; chat will no longer auto-scroll to the latest as new messages come in.
  • Now you can change and view avatars for all of your group chats; just use the “Participants” option in a group chat to get started.
  • After signing out, you will now need to re-enter user name and password to sign in again. This will make it easier on those of you who use multiple accounts.

As for new features, Skype now supports emoji (above on the right) so you’re not stuck with Skype’s limited number of emoticons. Speaking of emoticons, if it’s the only content in a message, Skype will now display a large animated version. Last but certainly not least, this version also adds support for messaging via speech-to-text when connected to Android Auto.

Skype Qik 1.5 adds eight new effects that you can use while recording your videos. Once you open the viewfinder, you can select an effect to apply to your video; you can even switch between effects while you’re recording.

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On Windows Phone, just swipe on the viewfinder to cycle through the different styles. On Android and iPhone, you can tap the magic wand in the viewfinder window to display the effect options.

Speaking of iPhone, Skype also has a small update coming to its main app on Apple’s platform. It will be rolling out to the App Store “within the coming week” and will add more language support: Croatian, Slovak, Catalan, Vietnamese, Thai, Hindi, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Turkish, and Estonian.