Together Mode Comes to Skype

Posted on December 18, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Skype with 11 Comments

Skype 8.67 is now available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and the web, and it includes one of Teams’ best features: Together Mode.

“The latest Skype is out and we have prepared cool new features in this release like Together Mode and Large Grid Mode during a Skype video call so you can enjoy being in touch with your friends and families during the holidays,” the Skype team reveals in a Microsoft Community post.

Here’s what’s new on desktop and web:

Together Mode. As it does Microsoft Teams, Together Mode rearranges the display of group video calls to make it look like the participants are together in a virtual environment like a classroom.

Large Grid Mode. Another feature borrowed from Teams, Large Grid Mode offers a more traditional group video call display, but now you can see everyone’s video stream at the same time.

Add another participant with a phone number. Skype has long supported the ability to add additional participants to a call, but now you can do so using a phone number as well.

More backgrounds. Microsoft has added more predefined backgrounds and more background categories, and it will add more going forward. This is in addition to adding your own custom background, of course.

Meet Now. With Meet Now integrated into the Windows 10 version 20H2 taskbar, Microsoft is now bringing this feature to Skype as well.

Bug fixes and stability improvements. As expected.

In addition to those improvements, Microsoft has also added some additional new features on Android, like adding participants with phone numbers and support for Chat bubbles, Priority Conversations, and Conversation Space on Android 11. The update is rolling out gradually over the next few days, so no worries if you don’t see it immediately.

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (11)

11 responses to “Together Mode Comes to Skype”

  1. gregsedwards

    Another great feature coming in version 8.7... they'll change the name from "Skype" to "Teams."

  2. gregsedwards

    In reply to proftheory:

    Microsoft Live Skype Pro Plus Personal Edition powered by Teams™

  3. bluvg

    Cue the "who uses Skype anymore?!" chorus. I do, and I find WhatsApp, LINE, Viber, FB Messenger, etc. pale in comparison.

    Hey, it's the guy from The Social Dilemma.

    • jgraebner

      In reply to bluvg:

      We still regularly do calls with family using Skype on the Xbox One with Kinnect. I guess that's really old school. :)

      I've been looking to see if there is a better option, but not really finding one that is likely to work as well. There are other options for living room conferencing on the TV now, but most are still pretty immature and a USB webcam that would even come close to the quality of the Kinnect would be rather expensive.

      • stevem

        In reply to jgraebner: I agree. Skype on the big TV via XBox and Kinect is great. Shame Microsoft didn't make more of this.

      • Rob_Wade

        In reply to jgraebner:

        Plus there's virtually zero support for webcams on Xbox for any substantive feature set that the Kinect can still do. Just one of the many reasons we're sticking with the original Xbox One and see no value in buying a newer model. Newer ISN'T always better.

  4. vhaakmat

    I thought they were replacing Skype with Teams

  5. jgraebner

    In reply to proftheory:

    How about "Microsoft Windows Live Skype"?

  6. ph-sth

    I frequently try and go back to Skype, and within a week or so it's let me down, on device after device, app, desktop, web... So many years of development and it's still utterly unreliable. Together Mode is laughable, it was tried in Teams at work recently (IT department) and was quickly and widely lampooned. Just wish they'd fix the core product, I'd really like to use it!

  7. Rob_Wade

    I'm sorry, but the "together" feature has got to be one of the dumbest things ever.