News / Software

Skype is Here to Stay, Gets Major Redesign And New Features

  • Besides a new theme, there are plenty of new features that will make it into the next version of Skype.
  • With Teams being the default chat app in Windows 11 Skype was thought to slowly die, as with many Microsoft purchases in the past.
  • Microsoft is instead working on a big refresh for Skype, which means the app won’t disappear anytime soon.
skype redesign

I’m not a big fan of using multiple apps that do basically the same thing, so I’m kind of annoyed to be using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Signal, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype at the same time.

Yeah, there are no less than 8 chat apps that I use. If I were an Apple user Facetime would be the ninth app. I thought that integrating Teams into Windows 11 meant the retirement of Skype after Skype for Business was already retired earlier this year.

It was not mean to be, so Skype will continue to live on our computers. Not only that, but Microsoft announced big plans for their still popular chat app. By the way, Skype is nearly two decades old. Time flies so quickly in the tech world.

New Skype Features

The declared goal of the new Skype app is to make it faster, more reliable, and modern. It’s pretty generic, but here’s what Microsoft says to expect:

  • Modernized looks, probably in line with the Windows 11 theme.
  • A new call grid layout when you chat with a group of people.
  • A few extra options to change the call window layout.
  • New “fluent” icons.
  • Redesigned left side panel.
  • Multiple themes, not just for dark and light modes.
  • Meet Now – a new way to join a call without loggin in and without needing a Skype account. This is actually cool.
  • Support for all browsers.
  • Office Lens – some sort of gallery app to create albums, scan documents & business cards, store whiteboards. This needs clarification.
  • Twin Cam – you can add a second camera to the call (example: from your mobile phone). It’s like B-roll for video chats.
  • New reactions that can be now searched and come organized by feeling category.
  • PSTN Translator – not new, but I expect this to be an even better feature. It’s the Skype Universal Translator that translates speech on the fly. I find it extremely useful when it works.
skype colors

As expected, a lot of the new “features” are actually graphical tweaks. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do hope Microsoft is working under the hood, not just polishing the looks.

My Skype for Android experience is less than stellar, and needs serious work, at least on the notification side. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the new app will look and feel like when it will be released.

Also read: How to remove Teams from Windows 11

Avatar for Ionuț-Alexandru Popa
I'm a writer and Editor-in-Chief at BinaryFork. I am passionate about technology, science, space exploration, and movies. I started writing about tech more than 20 years ago, after graduating in Computer Science.
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