March 2, 2021

Microsoft launches ‘next-generation’ Skype with overhauled UI and new features

Microsoft, in a bid to make its Skype VoIP platform more competitive against the likes of Google Duo, WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat, has launched a new version of the messaging service with improved UI and features. Called the ‘next generation’ of Skype, the new VoIP messaging service will soon start rolling out worldwide on Android devices first, followed by iOS platform. The Windows PC and Mac versions of the platform will arrive “over the next few months” said the company in a blog post.
The new Skype, as Microsoft claims, is built from ground up. The VoIP messenger now makes it easy for users to chat with groups and in a more lively and expressive manner. “With the new Skype, you’ll have countless ways to share life’s moments together, every day. Wherever life takes you, Skype allows you to seamlessly create, play, share, and do more with the people you care about most,” says the post.

You can now personalise Skype with ‘colours’ and can also react to every single message in a chat, a concept widely used by Facebook in its Messenger standalone app. In addition to chat, you can also react in a video call. While all this can be done under the ‘Chat’ tab in the app, the company has launched a new ‘Highlight’ tab as well.

The ‘Highlights’ tab lets users create a ‘highlight reel’ of their day with photos and videos to share with others in their list. To post a ‘Highlight’, users can simply swipe to access camera, take a photo or video, then post it. Contacts can then see your ‘Highlights’ and react to it. There is a third tab called as ‘Capture’ to take images and videos for posting it on a chat.

The new feature called ‘Find’ lets you search for content across the web. The feature also includes bots to help users search exactly what they want. You can search for concert tickets, gifs and more to attach it in a chat thread. “New add-ins and bots will continue to be added, making your Skype experience even more rich and robust. With the ability to connect to your favorite businesses and brands from within the app, the simplest conversations can pave the way to lasting memories,” says the blog post.