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The company says it has “redesigned Skype to be much more natural and intuitive,” although it will take a few weeks for users to determine if that really is the case. While this is mainly an update to the look and feel of the mobile app, Skype has still gained “a bunch of new capabilities to make it even more delightful to use.”
The new Android design is “inspired by” Google’s material design mantra, but doesn’t adopt it completely. Skype specifically says that the app is easier to use on Android phones, but doesn’t mention Android tablets.
Skype for Android has also received a floating action button, which is a common user interface element in Android apps nowadays. In short, it lets you start a new conversation (video call, audio call, chat, or video message) from anywhere in the app. Messaging has also been improved to better show you how many unread messages you have.
The new iOS design improves navigation to get you to your conversations faster. You can use swipe gestures to quickly make calls and easily manage your messages, and it’s now easier to share photos, web links, emoticons, and your location while you’re on a voice or video call.
Unlike the Android update, the update for iOS includes tablets. The iPad app has gained all the features found in its iPhone counterpart. You can share your location, send large animated emoticons, see web link previews, send and receive photos, interact with notifications, automatically add contacts from your address book, and start a group chat or a group voice call.
Multitasking in the app has also been improved. It’s now easier to switch between your call and chat screens to share photos, web links, your location, and more while you talk.
Both apps have received enhancements to search. Skype’s search has never been stellar, but the company said it should now be easier to find what you’re looking for: Use the new Recent tab to search your messages, contacts, and groups.
Android and iOS updates aside, Skype says it is “working hard on the new Windows Phone 10 mobile.” Yes, I’m not kidding:
Someone at Microsoft really needs to send Skype a memo that Windows Phone is being succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile. Sure, Microsoft’s rebranding efforts are confusing — it’s ridiculous to go from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone to Windows 10 Mobile in such a short time. That said, calling it “Windows Phone 10 mobile” is just embarrassing.
Update: Skype got the memo.
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