Skype Unveils Redesigned and Improved Android and iOS Apps

The improvements are aimed at making the mobile Skype apps easier to use and more intuitive, while adding new capabilities.

Skype, Android, iOS, mobile apps, Skype 6.0 for Android, Skype 6.0 for iPhone and iPad

Skype has redesigned its Android and iOS apps to make them easier to use and more intuitive for mobile users who want to contact friends, family members and business associates on the go.

The reworked apps, Skype 6.0 for Android and Skype 6.0 for iPhone and iPad, were announced in a Sept. 3 post on the Skype Big Blog.

The key updates in the Skype for Android app include a redesign inspired by material design practices, making its user interface simpler and more elegant, according to Skype. An all-new floating action button makes it simpler to start a new conversation with another user, whether through a video call, audio call, chat or video message, while the app's enhanced search capabilities help users find their most important contacts and conversations much faster.

Also getting improvements are the Android app's messaging capabilities, which now let users get an easier view of how many unread messages they have waiting for them. The updated app makes it easier to distinguish between messages that have been read and those that have not been read.

The redesigned iPhone and iPad app includes improved navigation that helps users get to their conversations faster, according to Skype, including swipe gestures for making calls and for message management. Also simplified and improved are procedures for sharing photos, Web links, emoticons and the user's location while on a voice or video call.

In addition, the iOS version incorporates enhanced and improved search using the new "recents" tab to search messages and find contacts and groups. For iPad users, the latest version of the app brings the newest capabilities of Skype on iPhones to the popular tablet platform. Messaging on iPads has been improved, allowing users to share their location, send large emoticons, see Web link previews, and easily send and receive photos, according to the post. Skype for iPad also now lets users stay in touch with their groups by starting a group chat or a group voice call straight from an iPad.

Skype for Android can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store, while the Skype iPhone and iPad versions can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store.

A new Windows 10 Mobile version is also being developed for release later for Windows Phone users, according to Skype. More details will be announced in the future.

"We are really excited to get all these improvements into your hands," the post said. "We are dedicated to continuously making Skype the best way to connect, and can't wait to hear your feedback on Skype 6.0!"