In a post announcing a minor upgrade to the Skype app for iPhone, Microsoft revealed something far more interesting: It is creating a new Skype pre-release program for iPhone so its most enthusiastic users can help shape future versions of the app on iOS.
Before you start complaining, Microsoft actually does have a similar program for Skype on Windows Phone, though it is currently closed to the public. Too, it’s worth pointing out that recent Microsoft apps on iOS—in particular, Skype—have been heavily influenced by the Windows Phone “Metro” user experience. So you guys are already ahead in many ways.
“We’re looking for enthusiastic Skype users who are interested in providing feedback that will shape and enhance Skype for iOS to join our new pre-release program,” Microsoft’s Lara Kingwell writes in a post to the Skype Garage & Updates blog. “If you’d like access to early versions of Skype and can provide us with regular feedback, read more about the program and application process here. Applicants must be 18 or over, have a valid email address and Skype account or Microsoft Account to apply. Places are limited. Terms and conditions apply.”
In the meantime, there’s also a new version of Skype for iPhone, version 5.9. The latest version of Skype for iPhone a couple of small UI improvements.
First, the dial pad will now suggest contacts with matching phone numbers when you start typing a phone number.
And the chat picker has been updated to make it easier to start new conversations: after you’ve chosen who you wish to chat with, just tap the phone or video icon at the top to start your call.