Skype Gets Redesign with New Themes and Features
Skype has colorful themes, a better call interface, and more. Microsoft is also adding new themes and layouts to this view, offering much-needed customization for the main calling interface in Skype.
Skype has had more redesigns in the last five years than I have had biryani, but Microsoft is still ready to try to tweak things one more time. The software maker is advancing plans for an "improved, faster, more reliable and super modern-looking Skype." Microsoft says it has been listening to feedback and will begin rolling out changes to modernize Skype over the next several months.
The most important part of Skype, what Microsoft calls the calling stage, is receiving the most attention. The grid displayed during calls will soon include everyone in a call, regardless of whether they have enabled video or not. This puts all the participants next to each other, including their own video on the main interface.
Microsoft is also adding new themes and layouts to this view, offering much-needed customization for the main calling interface in Skype. You'll be able to choose from speaker view, grid view, large gallery, together mode, and even a content view, with options to only show video-enabled people.
New colorful Skype themes will be available soon, with button gradients, an improved side panel on mobile devices, and Fluent Design icons across all apps. Skype users without avatars will also get color gradients to make it easier to differentiate chats.
However, it's not just about design changes. "While we love the design changes, we knew they weren't enough," admits the Skype team in a blog post detailing the changes. "We needed to focus on performance to make the experience enjoyable." Microsoft claims that it is increasing performance on the Android version by more than 2,000 percent in "key scenarios" and by 30 percent on the desktop versions of Skype.
Microsoft is also committed to supporting all browsers with its future changes to Skype. "We believe the Skype experience should be seamless, accessible, and reliable no matter what browser or device you are using, so we are adding support for all browsers," says the Skype team. "We would like to make sure that no matter which device, platform, or browser you're using, Skype will always give you a great experience."
Some of these enhancements are already live, while others will be rolled out in the coming months. Custom notification sounds are part of the new out-of-the-box features, while a new TwinCam feature that lets you add your phone's camera to a call appears to be available later.
Microsoft is certainly focusing on a wide range of improvements for Skype. This is the latest Skype redesign since Microsoft initially started tweaking things in 2014, followed by a Snapchat-like design in 2017, another 2018 redesign that removed the radical Snapchat-like changes, and many changes to the desktop and desktop apps, mobiles since then.