Microsoft has gone on a Skype update spree over the last two days. The company has issued updates for the service on Windows, iOS, Linux, and some Android devices. As each Skype is different, the changes are not all the same, so some users will get new features depending on their platform.
Incidentally, you may remember earlier in the week we discussed possible ambitions for Skype. Microsoft is reported to want to unify the experience across all platforms. The company has already done that on Windows 10 form factors. A unified Skype for everything app would certainly make days like this smoother.
Essentially, everybody with Skype would get the same update no matter their platform. We will see if Microsoft does explore that avenue in the near future. For the time being, though, let's tackle the updates the company rolled out yesterday and today.
Skype for Android
The latest release for Skype for Android is now available in the Google Play Store. The release brings the app up to version 7.18 and comes with some minor changes. One of them is focused on Android's largest OEM. Users of Samsung devices will see improved readability on their handsets after this update.
In general, Microsoft has also cleaned up contact discovery, making it simpler. In terms of fixes, version 7.18 addresses a problem with screen orientation when users are making a video call. Users with an existing Microsoft account will now get an easier sign-in process.
Skype for iOS
Microsoft has also rolled up an update for the service on Apple's iOS platform. This is version 6.25 and it is available now from the App Store. As we reported yesterday, the adoption of CallKit means iPhone users can now accept calls as they would any normal phone call, without needing to access the app.
It is worth noting that the above feature is exclusive to iOS 10 users. The iOS app now supports the SiriKit as well, which means users can make voice calls with the voice assistant. Both SiriKit and CallKit support will arrive for Skype for Business in October. Other changes in version 6.25 include:
- Seamlessly store your Skype contacts into the contacts list built into your iPhone
- Pay for Credit in Israeli Shekels
- Invite your friends to Skype directly from the contacts list
- More easily differentiate between your contacts and bots in the contacts list
Skype Preview on Windows
Skype Preview is Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app for Windows 10 Mobile and PC. The company sent out an update for all users running the Anniversary Update. This non-Insider release brings the service up to version 11.8.190 and is all yours on the Windows Store now.
Windows Insiders have, of course, been playing with some of the new features for a few days. Some of the changes include the ability to hide conversations for a cleaner list, and a new add contact button. Check out the full changelog below:
- Clean up your recent list by hiding conversations.
- Hear people better with loudspeaker improvements.
- Easily add new contacts with the add contact button.
- Support for Skype URIs, a simple way for people to start Skype calls and chats directly from websites, desktop and mobile apps.
Skype for Linux Alpha
Microsoft's recently launched Skype for Linux solution continues to gather pace on its way to full release. The preview service has scored version 1.9 today. The company has been racing through versions in recent weeks as the feature-set gets fleshed out.
This latest release makes more changes to the UI and adds more options. For example, a new dark theme is available for those who want to change the look of the app. Also on board version 1.9 is mute notifications from specific conversations. For those who don't like emoticons, it is now possible to mute them completely.
Version 1.9 changelog:
- Added the ability to mute notifications from specific conversation
- Added dark theme support (Settings-> Personalization-> Dark theme)
- Option to disable emoticons completely
- Added support for / me command
- Added support for system HTTPS proxy
- Improved message quoting – now works even with Ctrl + C
- Hovering message time reveals the full date / time as a tooltip
- Electron update to 1.3.6
- Logger performance and security fixes