Skype’s much-debated redesign hits the desktop


In June, Microsoft launched a very revamped model of its Skype app, designed with a heavier deal with media-sharing, and different social expression instruments, like emoji, reactions, and even a Snapchat-like tales characteristic. Now that new expertise is rolling out to desktop customers, however in a extra restricted trend, Microsoft introduced this morning.

The brand new desktop app introduces an up to date consumer interface that’s meant to offer Skype a younger really feel. Group chats are multi-colored. Shiny, squiggly traces are used to point when contacts are typing or to separate out unread messages, amongst different issues. Chats are given extra distinguished billing. Emojis can be utilized to ‘react’ to what others are saying whereas in video calls or in textual content conversations.

These modifications, when Skype’s replace arrived on cell, have been too radical for a lot of customers. The app suffered from poor opinions on the App Retailer and Google Play, with many accusing the corporate of getting Snapchat envy.

However there are some additions that can be helpful within the new Skype desktop, regardless of all this social app envy. For instance, a brand new media gallery might be considered on the suitable aspect of a gaggle chat, which makes it simpler to find shared information, like paperwork, spreadsheets, photographs or different media, that had been posted into the group.

Nonetheless, this gallery is a bit too jazzy…when it’s empty, it has a busy, squiggly line-filled background that appears totally pointless.

Group calling has gotten a makeover too, with help for real-time display screen and photograph sharing, and naturally, emoji reactions that pop up as a brief overlay on the display screen. (Which you in all probability shouldn’t use throughout work calls, okay?)

Skype can also be including help for @mentions – one thing that’s grow to be a conference in social and communication apps, whether or not work-related or not. Most main apps at the moment – like Twitter, Instagram, Fb and Slack, and many others. – help this performance, so it is smart to carry it to Skype, too.

Whenever you first launch the brand new app, you possibly can choose between a light-weight or darkish theme – the latter which has grow to be a preferred selection for social apps as of late, with darkish themes showing on companies like YouTube and Twitter.

Whenever you need to begin a chat, group or name, you now accomplish that from a plus button on the highest left. Right here, you can even discover Skype’s record of accessible bots, like these for journey, work, leisure and gaming.

Yet another distinguished characteristic that was a key a part of Skype’s cell makeover, nevertheless, is lacking: Highlights.

This was Skype’s Snapchat-like tackle Tales. The concept is that customers would snap a photograph or video, embellish it with textual content and stickers, then share it by posting to Highlights, the place your followers can view it at any time.

However don’t get too excited when you have been hoping to keep away from the Tales takeover of social media. Microsoft tells us Highlights remains to be within the works for the desktop app. It and different new options, will arrive in future previews, a spokesperson says.

The desktop app is rolling out at the moment as a Skype Preview for Mac customers and people with non-Home windows 10 PCs. Home windows 10 customers already obtained among the newer options in final month, Microsoft notes.


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Désiré LeSage


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