Microsoft Adds 3D Touch Support to Skype iOS App

Skype now supports Force Touch, one of the new signature features in Apple's new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Skype for iOS

Apart from the expected spec bump, one of the most noteworthy new features Apple packed into the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is 3D Touch. Similar to the Force Touch technology found the in latest MacBook, 3D touch enables new app experiences by pressing a little more firmly on their screen.

For example, pressing down on the phone icon will sprout a list of frequently called contacts along with the option to create a new one. Pushing down on a message in the Mail app inbox will generate a pop-up preview, or a "Peek" in Apple parlance, without requiring the user to switch screens. Pressing harder causes the message to open, or "Pop."

Microsoft has extended that experience to its updated Skype 6.5 app for iOS, the company announced today.

"Force Touch the Skype icon on your home screen for quick access to our most used features—search your Skype contacts, start a call or chat, and access the Skype dial pad," blogged the Skype Team. "Clicking any of these options takes you to that task in Skype instantly."

Once in the app, users can use 3D Touch to peek into the most recent instant messages or live video within a list of recent conversations. Pressing harder pops the selected conversation into the foreground. Within Skype conversations, 3D Touch support makes it possible to preview photos, shared contacts, Web links and locations.

Skype 6.5 also improves on chat and contact management on both the iPhone and iPad. "Over the last few weeks, many of you asked how you can hide and completely delete chats and for a way to share Skype contacts with others," stated the blog post.

"Hide and delete chats from your Recent conversations by swiping the contact or tapping Edit, then choosing if you want to delete the entire chat history or simply hide it from your Recent list," Microsoft instructed. "You can also delete the entire chat history from within the conversation using chat menu."

Sharing contacts is now possible by tapping a contact card icon during a Skype conversation. "Then simply select the contact you want to share, tap the tick icon and you're done," wrote the Skype group.

New to Skype for Android and iOS are video message filters. Skype video messages are short recorded clips users can send their contacts in lieu of a text- or emoji-based message.

With the new filters, users can layer visual effects onto their clips. "Get started by tapping the filter wand at the bottom left of the video message window. Choose a filter to see it in action; then, when you're ready, hit the record button," Microsoft said.

Options include festive balloons and distortions that can make a face appear rounder or longer. And in time for Halloween, users can "add some ghosts or use the negative filter to set a spooky mood," suggested the company.

The latest versions of the Skype apps for Android and iOS are available for free in their respective app marketplaces.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...