In its long-term crusade to fix Skype, Microsoft today announced four new features it is testing via the Skype Insider program for Android and iOS: integrated camera, find panel, in-call reactions, and messaging reactions. You can try the new functionality by downloading the Skype Preview from Google Play or by applying to become a Skype Insider via Apple’s TestFlight.
As you might expect, Microsoft wants to have a small number of its users try these feature before introducing them to the rest of Skype’s userbase. The company is also promising that “new enhancements and features” are already in the pipeline, though without revealing details or a timeframe.
First up, the integrated camera means you can swipe to quickly capture something, as well as adding emoticons, stickers, and annotations, and then share straight in the chat. The new “find” panel, meanwhile, lets you share links, news, sports results, restaurants, the weather, videos, and more without leaving the app.
As for reactions, you can now add emoticons, text, and even photos to your video calls in real time. Any message from your contacts can also be replied to with multiple reactions.
And since this is basically a beta, feedback is paramount:
Of course, while you’re having fun with our new features, know that this is a work in progress, so we’re hoping to get your feedback. Simply tap the heart icon on the main screen while on Skype Preview and you will be able to send your comments to our team, helping us shape the future of Skype. Making Skype better for you is what drives us so we are very excited to listen to what you think of these new additions.
While it’s great Microsoft is pushing the envelope with Skype, the company really needs to address the syncing issues across its apps before adding new features. Launching Skype on my PC or phone almost always results in a slew of ancient notifications, making me less and less inclined to use it.