The busy beavers at Skype have been busier than usual this week, shipping updates to the communications service on Mac, iPhone, Outlook.com and Windows desktop. Here’s what’s new.
Skype for Mac
Skype 7.8 for Mac is now available, adding the following new features:
Redesigned chat input field. Now you can send photos, files, contacts and video messages with just a single click, and you can drag and drop (or copy/paste) images directly into the chat input field.
Bug fixes. Microsoft says it has fixed a number of issues in this version of Skype, though a few known issues—occasional crashes on the new Macbook and performance issues when the app is minimized—remain.
Skype for iPhone
Skype for iPhone 5.13 is now available, adding the following new features:
Web link previews for chat. When you send or receive a web URL in a chat, Skype will render a preview of that page, much as it does for images.
Apple Watch improvements. The iPhone client also includes Apple Watch functionality, which has been updated in this version to support voice-to-text for chatting directly from the watch. It also includes prepared responses, emoticons, the ability to start new chats, and incoming call management.
Skype for Outlook.com
Microsoft announced a few weeks back that some major changes were coming to Outlook.com, among them an improved Skype experience. Today, we’re finding out what that means: Microsoft is completely redesigning Skype for Outlook.com and its starting to rollout to users in beta form today. But it will be months before it completely rolls out.
The new Skype experience for Outlook.com includes a new Skype button in the site’s toolbar, which opens a new Skype sidebar pane. From this pane, you can access your contacts, of course, and initiate and respond to conversations of various kinds. (Text works automatically, but you will need to install a plug-in for voice or video calls.)
Basically, this appears to look and work just like the old Messaging pane, but now with Skype branding and that new “people are circles” design.
Skype for Windows desktop
OK, there’s one more Skype for Windows desktop has been updated to version 188.8.131.52 too. This addresses a recently discovered critical issue that could crash Skype. Here’s the direct download link.