The iPhone-centric version of Skype is about to receive a major update, adding a new UI, better functionality and significantly faster performance.
Alongside phone calls and FaceTime, Skype is most likely the third alternative you might use to chat to your family and friends, particularly if they’re on the other side of the world. Despite Skype’s long-standing support for Apple’s premium blower however, the most recent app was lagging behind on iOS compared to other platforms, but no longer.
Skype 5.0 is hitting iPhones this coming week and the development team have been hard at work rebuilding the experience from the ground up. Last year the company refreshed its Android application following 100 million installs on the platform and that brought with it a new look of its own too.
Whilst aesthetically, Skype 5.0 for iPhone now appears at first glance to mirror the current Android and Windows Phone apps, the company’s gone even further. Expect a tighter experience, which will launch and run faster and more efficiently. Up to five times faster in Skype’s own words apparently.
Navigation has been improved to offer slick swiping between screens and if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll also see a few flourishes of animation that really up the overall quality and feel.
From a usability standpoint you’ll soon be able to create group chats from the main screen, even if everyone in the group isn’t online at the same time. Asynchronous messaging means that a message will wait to be delivered next time the user logs on. What’s more the Skype notifications system has been overhauled so now, once you’ve read a message on one device, it’ll be marked as read across all your devices (finally).
We don’t have a fixed date just yet, but this new rebuilt-from-the-ground-up version of Skype is promising to deliver what looks to be the best mobile experience yet. iPad users will have to wait a little longer for their update, but we’ve been assured that one is coming and it’s not too far away.
Are you a Skype user? Excited about this upcoming update? Let us know what features you wish Skype had in the comments below.