You may remember the redesign of mobile Skype Microsoft released a few months ago, and likely not in a positive way. Admittedly, the client looked better, it was missing many features and ease of use requirements.
Microsoft soon acknowledged the issues with its update, and now the fruits of its efforts have come to bear. A new user experience update is rolling for the Skype for iPhone preview, and first impressions are positive.
“It was a big change and we received a lot of great feedback from the Skype community,” said support engineer Ellen Kilbourne. “We want you to know we've been listening. We're committed to providing you with an amazing experience and appreciate the time you've taken to share your thoughts.”
Skype for iOS Menu Changes
One of the main components of the update is changes to primary navigation to bring it more in line with previous versions. The navigation bar has returned once more, complete with easy access to chats, calls, contacts, and highlights.
However, there are also some more minor changes to the navigation that will be greatly appreciated:
- “We added numeric badges in the navigation bar for chats, calls, and highlights
- Your selected color directly affects the navigation bar
- We separated the notification screen which can be accessed by tapping the bell icon on the chats, calls, highlights, and contacts screens
- Tapping your avatar on the top bar opens your profile directly
- Settings can be found in the profile screen on the top right
- We reduced the size of the search bar to increase the number of message you can see at once”
Chat and Messaging Changes
Other complaints surrounded Skype's chat and messaging functionality – arguably the most important aspect on mobile. Microsoft has made a few minor tweaks that should improve the experience:
- “Chat headers are reduced in size to increase the number of messages you can see at once
- Chat headers have presence indicators
- The compose bar was redesigned
- You can use the plus button on the bottom left to easily add things to your chat like photos, your location, money, and one of the many add-ins
- Emoticons and emojis are combined for easier access”
Of course, these changes are still in preview, so there's likely some tweaks still coming. If you're eager to ditch the old UI, however, you can join the Skype Insiders Program and update to the latest version.