Microsoft has announced a complete redesign of Skype. The company provides the chat service with new themes, a renewed interface and ‘better performance’ on smartphones and desktops. These updates will be released in the coming months.
Microsoft writes that the company plans to “improve, make it faster, more reliable and modernize” Skype. The company indicates that it has listened to feedback from Skype users and reports that it will release new features for the chat service in the coming months.
Skype will get a new interface for voice and video calls, among other things. The service will have several display options, including a grid view that should display all participants of a conversation side by side, regardless of whether they are using a webcam or not. Users can also choose to only show conversation members who do use a webcam. The user’s own video feed is also displayed in the grid. The service also gets a speaker display, which only shows the participant who is speaking. The Microsoft blog also mentions a “large gallery” and an improved together mode.
Images via Microsoft
Microsoft is also adding new themes and layout options to Skype. For example, buttons are provided with new color gradients. In addition, the icons in the service are provided with Microsoft’s Fluent Design design. Users without a profile picture now also get a colored image with their initials, instead of blue letters on a flat background. The company also claims that the service performs up to “30 percent” better on desktops and “up to 2000 percent” on Android in “key scenarios”, although the company does not clarify what it is basing these figures on.
The tech giant also talks about an improved Meet Now function, which allows Skype users to invite people for a conversation, even if they do not have an account. The company also comes with a TwinCam feature, which allows users to stream video from two cameras simultaneously. Users can scan a QR code on the desktop version of Skype with their smartphone, after which they can use their phone as an additional camera. The Skype translation feature now also works for Skype-to-phone calls. Previously, that feature only worked within Skype conversations.
Images via Microsoft