Microsoft has finally gotten the hint: Skype users on Android and iOS aren’t exactly bowled over by the Windows Phone-centric user interface on the current app. While unifying the design and UI across all three platforms was perhaps an easy move for Microsoft development wise, it went against UI design conventions already established for Android and iOS devices.
Microsoft has seen the error in its ways and is coming back with two brand new Skype apps, each tailored specifically for Android and iOS users. “We’ve redesigned Skype to be much more natural and intuitive, and have added a bunch of new capabilities to make it even more delightful to use,” said the Skype Team in a blog post. “Whether you’re using an iPhone or iPad, or an Android phone, it’s the same Skype you know and love – but way better!”
First up is Skype 6.0 for Android, which has been enhanced to adapt the clean Material Design language introduced with Android 5.0 Lollipop (and continues with Android 6.0 Marshmallow). You’ll find a floating action button which makes it easy to initiate a new video call, chat or video message. Microsoft has also beefed up Skype’s search and messaging functionality.
As for Skype 6.0 for iPhone and iPad, it too has received a thorough redesign with a bottom navigation bar that iOS users should be more accustomed to. Microsoft has also added the ability to use swipe gestures to perform simple actions like making a call or deleting conversations. Microsoft has also made it easier to perform additional tasks like sharing photos or location data while you’re already on a voice or video call.
Overall, this is a pretty through update for iOS and Android users, and you’ll be happy to know that Skype 6.0 is already available for download from the iOS App Store and the Play Store. Likewise, Microsoft says that it is well underway with the development of a new Windows 10 Mobile Skype app which the company promises will “deliver a delightful Skype experience.”
I wouldn’t really describe using Skype as “delightful,” but further refinements to the app are always welcome (especially to diehard users like me).