Skype for iOS completely redesigned, now looks more like Windows Phone

Microsoft's Skype team today announced a massive redesign of its app for iOS, which the company says is now its "most refined version yet". The app is more than just an update - Microsoft says that it has completely rewritten this latest version "from the ground up".

At first glance, given the new design of the iOS app, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were looking at a Windows Phone screenshot. Microsoft isn't playing coy about this either - it says that the new UI for its iPhone app has been introduced to ensure that it "shares a consistent look and feel with the Windows Phone and Android apps, while still optimizing for iOS's unique strengths."

Compare the old UI with the new and you can see that this latest version is quite a departure from what came before, but the changes are more than skin deep. Microsoft says that Skype 5.0 for iPhone is now five times faster than its predecessor, and considerably more fluid in its animations and transitions. It adds that its new UI pop-ups, smoother scrolling and improved animations have not come at the expense of overall performance or handset battery life. 

Users can now start group chats from the hub too, and you can send messages to offline users as well, which they'll be able to pick up the next time they can connect. 

Perhaps most significantly, Skype says it has made improvements to the notifications system - a point of some contention for many users (and not just on iOS). Microsoft assures users that its notifications are now "smarter", adding that "as you read your messages on your PC, tablet, Xbox and so on, those conversations will be marked as read (or unread if new messages come in) on your iPhone too."

Skype 5.0 for iPhone launches worldwide "in about a week" and a new version is also in the works for iPad - although Microsoft hasn't yet announced when that is expected to arrive. For now, check out the video preview for the new iPhone app below: 

Source: Microsoft Skype 

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44 Comments

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Probably a good idea to change the programmers of skype and start developing a stable program... something that should have been done, let say 2 years+ ago

Way to go Microsoft with your "consistent look across platforms" bullcrap. That's exactly what Google did with its hideous crippled scrollbars in Chrome.

agtsmith said,
Way to go Microsoft with your "consistent look across platforms" bullcrap. That's exactly what Google did with its hideous crippled scrollbars in Chrome.

So... You would rather have a disjointed and crappy UX?

Dot Matrix said,
So... You would rather have a disjointed and crappy UX?

We already have it with this latest Skype update.

Dot Matrix said,

So... You would rather have a disjointed and crappy UX?

I'd rather have a UX that is consistent with the platform I'm using, because one of the reasons I choose a particular platform is the UI it has.

Know what I want? Besides stability and bug-fixes... I want Skype/Windows/WindowsPhone to work like texts and phone calls in iOS8 and OS X Yosemite. I want to be able to make real sms texts and phone calls from my tablet or desktop (through my phone), answer calls on my tablet or desktop when my phone rings, start a conversation on one, and transfer it seamlessly to another device (all tied together by my MicrosoftID, which should just be my Skype address, meaning there's no set-up pain).

I want it to be easy to use, intuitive, integrated, fast, efficient, and NOT ANNOYING.

I want it to be as easy and obvious and simple and pain-free as face-time, texting, or any of the other solutions out there.

And I want it to work across platforms, but work BEST on Windows.

There's no reason that Microsoft can't out-Apple on this. They have ALL the pieces, but none of them are working together, and the UI needs a fair amount of work yet.

It angers me Apple did this first, because Microsoft was first to integrate IMs with texts, and then they boycotted it with Skype. Google was well on its way to introducing Google Voice support into Hangouts, and then nothing since then. I honestly thought the idea of having Windows 8 so much like Windows Phone, would allow both to work together deeply, like being able to customize your start screen on your phone from Windows, and being able to go through texts from your phone on your Windows 8 tablet. Zune and iTunes both had so much to offer with control of your phones. Instead we just got a crappy app, and with 8.1, the phone is independent of the PC altogether and soon with OneDrive support for Xbox Music, we won't need to sync anything at all.

It's just sad because, most times people don't want to use their tablet or PC because they can already do it on their phone, but it is up to Microsoft to be able to make an easy transition to the big screen. If I'm on the Internet and messaging someone, I should be able to easily continue that on my Surface, snap the conversation on the side, while my Internet session is passed right over. Turn it off, and go somewhere and everything synced back to the phone seamlessly.

If I'm on my phone, and I wake up my Xbox One, everything should carry over to the Xbox, and if I'm lazy, I should be able to scroll through the page on IE not SmartGlass and see it scroll on the Xbox. SmartGlass is an extra step, just like Skype, or OneDrive. It should all be built in and come with the Windows experience to be able to drag anything I'm seeing on a screen to another screen, Office file, contact info, song, movie, IE tab, phone/VoIP/video call, picture, video, anything, pinch it and throw it to another screen. I should be able to take a selfie with the back-facing camera, and be able to see the view of the camera on my Xbox so I don't have to fuss around 10 times or use my ###### front facing camera. Windows should be everywhere. I should be able to talk to Cortana on my Xbox to pull up that last Office document from my phone, "Ok sir, I'm looking in your phone for that right now, give me a sec." "Ok, I found this, is this what you are looking for?"

This is what we should have in the near future with Windows 9...but we might never see it with the way these companies backtrack.

I stopped using Skype on my iPhone long time ago, it was buggy, ugly and crashed a lot. Facetime works great. There are other alternatives to skype, believe me.

dingl_ said,
They already said its coming for WP8.1 launch... if you're paying attention

I'll believe it when I see it. They've been promising "fixes" for eons and it still hasn't happened.

It's ######. There's no reason why iOS users can send photos and I can't. If you find that acceptable you're a bigger fanboy than I am.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I've given up using it, as it's a massive battery drain and is unreliable.

Never crashed here, not even once.

Worst chat software for android. if it wasn't for the pc, I would have stopped using it a long time ago. Messages sometimes take 30m to synchronize between platforms.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's not that it crashes, it's that messages often don't come through properly.

I dont know what year you used Skype for iOS, but i am using skype on my iPhone from past 6 months and i have yet to see a problem.

The problem I'm having is that I have to open the Skype app manually everytime after I restart my Android phone, or I miss calls. But on my wife's iPhone, it seems to run in the background fine. It must have been one of the latest Android app updates because it was fine before.

simrat said,
I dont know what year you used Skype for iOS, but i am using skype on my iPhone from past 6 months and i have yet to see a problem.
This discussion is about Skype for Android.

Richio said,
Simrat jesus christ read my first comment before commenting, now you jut look stupid.

Cheezuz christ i stopped commenting after i realised it was about android. Took you ages to say that. now you just look stupid.

dopydope said,
yes and put it right in the middle like on the windows metro app !

I don't think it's actually that bad compared to other ads placement. It doesn't really intrude on anything, it doesn't take up half your screen, and usually the ads aren't absurd or anything that would ruin the experience.

dopydope said,
yes and put it right in the middle like on the windows metro app !

Umm.. you're obviously not using the latest version since it's not there anymore.

Antoine Prince said,
non metro UI looks cluttered and claustrophobic.
How I feel whenever I have to work on iphones and android phones. Modern just seems easier on the eyes.

They copied the Windows Phone UI to the iPhone app so they could go back and redesign the Windows Phone version to later redesign the iPhone version!

RadishTM said,
Good stuff, especially the notifications being smarter (Y)

// out of subject // Radish! May be me, but it's been quite a while since I've seen you around!

einsteinbqat said,

// out of subject // Radish! May be me, but it's been quite a while since I've seen you around!

I'm more of a lurker these days :)