Microsoft’s Skype gets a new updated UI

Skype just announced a major UI overhaul is coming to its appearance in a blog post, with a focus on the “call stage,” or the screen where call participants can see each other. Themes, accented by colour gradients, can be used to customise chats.

With new layouts, themes, and features, Skype claims to have “designed the most beautiful call stage in the world.” Skype aimed to modernise its look and feel while remaining familiar to its long-term users. It also discusses how to make the user more inclusive during the call stage.

Here are some of the key changes to look out for

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The New Call Stage 

Skype mentioned it is upgrading and modernizing the most important part of Skype, the call stage. It is adding new layouts, beautiful theming, and other ways to help everyone connect more closely on the call. Skype says with this call stage users will get to experience the best video calling in the world. Be sure to give it a try and let us know what you think!

Skype now allows the caller to find themselves on the main view during a call. It also adjusted the way the video feeds are rendered into a more natural grid, and no one will be left alone on the upper tray again because we bring you all together. 

On the calling stage, all participants will now be visible, even if they aren’t sharing the video. Previously, when someone shared their screen or activated Together Mode, the video previews in the top bar were too small to be engaging. However, Skype will now display larger video feeds in the top bar, so you don’t have to make any compromises.

Skype claims that it has improved performance in key scenarios by 30% on desktop and over 2,000% on Android, with more improvements on the way as it continues to modernise its media stack.

Skype has made the update more suitable to be used in different connectivity environments. Users will get an option to disable the video stream and hide audio-only participants from the calling stage.

Skype is also bringing audio-only participants into the game, providing them with their own backgrounds on the call stage. There will be no more grey, uninteresting phone calls. Besides that, these are the same images that are used for background replacement in video calls, so that all users appear familiar whether they are sharing video or not. If a user wishes to change the background, they can do so during the call.

 

Modernizing the App outlook

Skype says it has implemented some subtle design changes to its look for making it look modern and fun. 

Skype has upgraded chat headers with a changed layout, added a group avatar, and button gradients

Skype also introduced a new set of fluent icons

It has also overhauled the theming experience by refreshing its themes with new vibrant colours and the beautiful gradients that come with them.

This will complement some of the fun features skype had brought earlier this year, like the ability to customize the meetings with a name and an emoji, called Fancy Titles

 

Meet Now

Skype has made it easier for users to get past annoying requirements like downloading an app, remembering a password, signing up for a new account or keeping your call under 45 minutes, with a feature called Meet Now.

Meet Now is a powerful tool to create and join Skype calls without the need to log in, create an account nor have the Skype app. With 1 link you can join a call as a guest and connect online.

Skype says it has been redesigning the Meet Now lobby as well. Now it’s lighter weight, easy to use, and much better looking. It will keep updating and improving to make the experience easier and faster. Skype will also bring previews of join links filled with the User’s call name and avatar of the call.

To make the experience seamless, accessible, and reliable no matter what browser or device you are using, Skype is extending the support for all browsers. This will be available across all devices, platforms, or browsers anyone is using.

TwinCam 

Skype now allows users to add a secondary camera to their call. Users can do this easily by getting the additional mobile phone or whatever device they have handy and scanning a QR code to add it to the call as another camera. Skype will match the user with their video stream.

Additional features

With customised notification sounds, now users can customize their notification sounds! It’s as easy as that. Skype says it was one of the top requested features.

With new in-call reactions redesign and super reactions, users will be able to choose any emotion and react within two seconds. Skype has also added search, organized the reactions by feeling category, and added pinned items to keep users’ favourite reactions just a click away. 

Skype Universal Translator is a feature that will allow users to communicate with anyone in any language, on a landline or a video call. 

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