Microsoft Issues First Skype Preview Build on Android

Posted on February 16, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Skype with 14 Comments

Microsoft Issues First Skype Preview Build on Android

Microsoft has issued its first Skype Preview app release to those who signed up for the Skype Insider program.

There seems to be some confusion around this as well. That is, many blogs are reporting that the Skype Insider program has “become” or “been renamed to” Skype Preview, but that is not the case. The program is still called Skype for Insider. The pre-release app provided to those in the program is called Skype Preview, just as it is on Windows 10.

You may also recall that Skype—because they can’t seem to get anything right—originally called its prerelease program “Skype Insiders” (with an “s”) whereas the rest of Microsoft uses the word “Insider” (no “s”). For example, Microsoft has the Windows Insider Program, the Office Insider Program, and the Xbox Insider Program. All were consistently named. Except for Skype.

Well, they fixed that. 🙂 And retroactively edited their original blog post announcing the program to use the correct name.

Anyway, Skype for Insiders—sorry, Insider—has just released its first pre-release Skype Preview build to the Google Play Store. I assume you have to be a member of the Skype Insider program, which you can do by registering here. (Update: As it turns out, Skype Preview for Android is open to everyone. Only iOS users have to register.)

Looking at the new app quickly, I see a nicely redesigned UX and some new features, too, including a GIF icon next to the emoticon icon that lets you send GIFs during a chat.

You can also swipe left or right to access the camera during a conversation.

Looks great to me.


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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Microsoft Issues First Skype Preview Build on Android”

  1. 3180

    Well this explains why I haven't had an update to Skype Preview on my Lumia 950 since December.  Maybe the next build will match the in message theme of the Android version.  I'm not a big fan of the puke green and not-so-puke green colors in the Win10 Mobile version. 

    Edit - Question Paul, does this bring SMS relay to Andriod devices through the Skype Preview app on PC? 

  2. 6701

    "I assume you have to be a member of the Skype Insider program, which you can do by registering here."

    Yeah, and registering requires... an Apple ID: I wonder how you can become an insider for Android...

  3. 10010

    Tried to sign up but it demands an AppleId which is unhelpful for testing an Android app.

  4. 9352

    After launching the app, I see a whole bunch of deleted contacts from years ago reappear in my contact list. :( and I'm also blocking the contact book integration. I don't like skype adding contact by itself (not well implemented like whatsapp)

  5. 1726

    Same for me. I read the skype insider page, and it says you need to join the skype insider group on google groups, but can't seem to find any link to join that group either.

    • 1726

      In reply to craigsn:

      Here is the link in Google Play. However, while it says that the version of Android is 4.4 and above, it won't install on my device, Moto Z Play with Android 6. 

  6. 914

    So, the registration link only links to the iOS version and you have to enter your apple ID. As a new Android user (still sick to my stomach after being a long time WP supporter) I can't seem to register. Although, the Google Play link does seem to let me download it. 

  7. Oubadah

    Have the morons added fundamental features like the ability to set your own notification sounds yet? Every time I've tried the Skype app on Android, I've been staggered by what a backwards piece of junk it is. Also amazed at how difficult they make deleting Skype accounts. What's wrong with them?

    Oh, and there's also the fact that you can't complete the profile without precipitating a deluge of spam. They need an option to stop random people from being able to contact you.

  8. jhoff80

    I actually hate the new interface so much.

    It's everything I don't want from a chat app and nothing I do want. Can't tell who is online. There are people showing up in contacts who I deleted from Skype on PC literally >5 years ago. Skype Translator shows up as multiple different entries in my contacts list. The quick Bing search is not a feature that belongs in a chat app (though it doesn't offend me that its there or anything, it's just an example of putting energy in the wrong place). Quick snapshot is nice I guess. But if SMS and W10 SMS integration aren't priority number 1 on the development roadmap, then the roadmap is completely misguided.

    • Fusciacastle

      In reply to jhoff80:

      Well, I agree about the online status and the contact management. As to the other features, they are intended to cater to those who use FB messenger, WhatsApp etc. In this, they are somewhat successful. The ability to find a movie, a restaurant or look something up in app is helpful. We can only hope that it gets flushed out and perfected.

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