In the face of rampant negative feedback for its new Skype mobile client, Microsoft today unveiled an update on iOS that addresses many concerns.
“[The new Skype] was a big change and we received a lot of great feedback from the Skype community,” Microsoft’s Ellen Kilbourne explains. “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.”
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Microsoft unveiled the new Skype back in June, with the first versions shipped on Android and iOS. But the reaction was so negative, that the firm has since stepped back from its plans to bring the new UI to Windows and Mac. And it quickly reached out to the userbase to find out what they can do to make things right.
The changes it is highlighting this week are a preview only, meaning that they are only available tothose in the Skype Insiders Program, and then only on iOS. Assuming this goes well, they will be rolled out more broadly in the future. (If you’re not a Skype Insider, you can sign-up here.)
Anyway, new features in Skype for iOS build 220.127.116.11000 (and newer) include:
Navigation bar. The navigation bar is back at the bottom of the screen where God intended it, offering quick access to Chats, Calls, Camera, Highlights, and Contacts.
Badges. Numeric badges are also back so you can see how many missed calls, chats, and highlights you have waiting.
Notifications. The Notification screen is now separate and accessible by the bell icon in the top header on the chats, calls, highlights, and contacts screens.
Profile. Now, you can access your Skype profile by tapping your avatar in the middle of the top header.
Settings. The Settings screen is now available from your Profile screen.
Search. The Search bar at the top has been made smaller so you can see more chats.
Chats. The Chat screen has received a number of updates, including a smaller header, a presence indicator, a redesigned Composer bar, simpler attachments, and a combined emoticon/emoji interface.
<p>Skype needs to work like WhatsApp if it is ever going to get used. Of all my contacts – no one has Skype – couldn’t call/message them with it if I wanted to</p>