Skype for Android redesigned to look more like Windows versions

Microsoft's Skype team updated the company's Android app today with a new design, though the interface will look familiar to anyone who's used the Skype apps on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

In a post on its official blog, Skype announced that it is transitioning the video calling and messaging app's appearance on various platforms to a "modern design" that's in line with the way the app looks on Microsoft platforms. Swiping is now a more prominent navigation technique in the app, as the gesture will take users to the contacts and favorites tabs. The design isn't the only change, however, as the blog post states the app was completely rewritten for improvements in almost every area.

"Skype for Android 4.0 has all the features you use and love, but is a whole new app … literally," wrote Derek Snyder, Skype's head of mobile marketing, in the blog post. "We didn't just give Skype a makeover, we rebuilt it from the ground up to be faster and more reliable. We went beyond design and fundamentally changed the way Skype was built, focusing much of our effort on stability, performance, and load time."

Snyder wrote that Skype plans on updating the Android app on a more consistent basis in the coming months to make it "more reliable, reachable, and mobile-friendly."

Last week, Skype announced plans to improve battery life, reliability and performance on mobile platforms, updates that were first released on Windows versions of the app, though it said the improvements would come to all platforms by the end of the year. Skype will continue to be a focus for Microsoft going forward, as the company reportedly plans to drop its Messaging app in Windows 8 for Skype.

Source: Skype

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16 Comments

We didn't just give Skype a makeover, we rebuilt it from the ground up to be faster and more reliable.

really? now do the same thing with the Windows Phone/Windows 8 apps.

I think skype has the potential to be one of the best IM systems out there, but they do need more interface work. It should be simple, clear, light weight, easy to use. It hasn't been that way in a while.

Please!!

ObiWanToby said,
It hasn't been that way in a while.

Wait... you mean that the awesome additions such as flat buttons and the three CPU-eating flash ads haven't actually improved the user experience?

ObiWanToby said,
I think skype has the potential to be one of the best IM systems out there

Since when did the best IM system use an annoying array of P2P network devices which eat more bandwidth and use more CPU time to get the data, plus only works if all intermediatry devices are online, ever become classed at one of the best IM systems out there?
It's buggy, it's slow, it lags like hell and it's certainly no-where near one of the best IM systems ever made.

n_K said,

Since when did the best IM system use an annoying array of P2P network devices which eat more bandwidth and use more CPU time to get the data, plus only works if all intermediatry devices are online, ever become classed at one of the best IM systems out there?
It's buggy, it's slow, it lags like hell and it's certainly no-where near one of the best IM systems ever made.

Skype dropped the decentralized supernodes after it was bought by Microsoft (for now even more obvious reasons).

Skype could be the killer app in all phones, because it is cross platform, and easy to use, but I think Microsoft has failing at deliver a simple but clear interface, latest updates on the iOS app seems like it takes forever to you to actually find the option that you're looking for. The IM is good, but could be improved a lot more, specially sending files, sometimes they don't reach the person you want or takes forever to deliver a message.
I think MS should put real attention on this. Now that win8.1 preview is out it's a good time to do a makeover for skype too.

You say "I think Microsoft...", you have to remember Skype unfortunately still operates separately from Microsoft even though they are owned by them. I think with the major restructuring going on, it will tie Skype closer into their eco-system. I mean Skype doesn't even properly integrate with all your Microsoft account contacts and connected services. So It looks like they have a UI all planned out, but they really need to be connected closer into the ecosystem and look on lightening up the resources so it doesn't drain phone battery and so it's faster.

Can you make group audio or video calls? I haven't tried in a while, but a few versions ago it definitely didn't work even though you apparently could with the PC client (at least audio calls).

It's really annoying that every IM/call app seems to have shortcomings that are only addressed on alternative services, no one is really "complete" right not:

-Skype: (AFAIK) no group calls.
-Hangouts: can't send files other than images (no videos or any other kind of file).
-Viber: no group calls.
-LINE: no group calls, no video calls and bound to one device and one desktop.
-Whatsapp: no calls of any kind, no desktop app, bound to one single device and no desktop app.

That means I have to keep at least a couple of apps installed in order to do different things.

In my opinion the new app is decent. It has a simple and fast UI and the basics work fine. However there are so many features missing it's a pain... Personally the biggest problem I have is that I cannot see my phone contacts in Skype. More often than not I want to dial a phone number which is in my phone's contacts list, but the person doesn't have Skype. Not possible apparently. How is it even possible? Do I have to manually readd all phone numbers to my Skype contacts? Skype-calling from the contact list works as long as one is happy not to set the dialer as the default phone app and has to choose phone/skype every time (not me).

"Skype for Android 4.0 has all the features you use and love, but is a whole new app … literally," - seriously? features?

Great, another app that despite being redesigned still doesn't follow Android UI guidelines. In my opinion, having one interface across platforms is not uniformity, it is laziness.

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