Over the summer, Microsoft introduced a new Skype app for iOS with a multitude of new features that seemed designed to maintain its relevance in a social media-dominated world. At the time, Microsoft also introduced a preview version of the Skype desktop app that incorporated some of the same features. Today, Microsoft announced that the desktop app has exited preview mode and is being rolled out across several platforms.
The new Skype desktop app includes a lot of new features, but one of the most fundamental that should be welcome to all users is the unification of messaging across platforms. That means messages you receive through Skype will be available whether you’re using the app on a Mac, iOS, Windows, an Xbox, or another device.
In addition, Skype now includes cloud-based file sharing of up to 300 MB of data, customizable themes, and different ways to organize your chat list. Notifications have also been centralized with reactions to your messages, @mentions in group chats, and instances where you have been quoted available in one place. To jump to the spot in the conversation where the notification appears, just click on it. There’s a chat media gallery where you can access all photos, links, files, and other items sent to you too.
Microsoft has added many other bells and whistles. Chat conversations can take advantage of add-ons like event scheduling, sending money to friends and family, searching for GIFs, and more. Video calls and text-based messages can include reactions to let others know your mood, status updates, Twitter-style @mentions, and bots from third parties too. If there was any doubt that Microsoft wants to expand beyond simple voice and video calling, the latest updates to Skype’s apps should put that to rest.
The new version of Skype has begun rolling out to users. If you don’t want to wait for the update to show up, you can manually download it from Skype.com now.