Skype has undergone many changes recently, most notably on Android and iOS, where they were met with strong opposition. Since then, however, Microsoft has been tweaking and refining and has decided its time to bring the new experience to the desktop.
After a lengthy insider period, the new Skype for Desktop design is available to all users, and it brings plenty of changes. Windows, Mac, and Linux users will get not just the new UI, but features like themes, chat lists, and more.
New Skype for Desktop Features
According to Microsoft, its new version makes staying in touch easier, both professionally and personally. Part of that is thanks to the simplified interface, but some new features also heighten the experience. Here are the major additions:
- “Chat list—Organize your contact list by time, unread, or status. Pin people or groups to have them always close at hand. To see more on your screen, change your view from standard to compact, or collapse the chat list to focus more on your content.
- Notification panel—Grab a cup of coffee and catch up on what you’ve missed by clicking the bell icon to access your notification panel. From this central place, you’ll see reactions to your messages, @mentions in group conversations, or if someone quoted you.
- Chat media gallery—Looking for that link your bestie sent a few weeks ago? Quickly find shared content in the chat gallery.
- Reactions—Easily express how you’re feeling by reacting to messages in conversations or during video calls. Simply click the reaction icon so everyone knows how you’re feeling.
- @mentions—If you’d like to get someone’s attention in a group chat, type the @ symbol followed by their name to send them a notification so that they can easily respond to the message.
- Status updates are back—Let your colleagues, friends, and family know when you are and aren’t available to chat by changing your presence, or set a mood message to share what’s going on.
- Bots—Scoop, Hipmunk, and many more bots help you make plans and stay informed.”
If you have automatic updates enabled, you should have these changes shortly, but you can also download the latest version from the Skype website.