01
Jul
Skype

So here's the thing, Skype just received a major 4.0 redesign introducing a whole new look and feel that would feel at home on any Metro device. It just so happens that Metro's UI is pretty Holo-friendly. Windows Phone influence or no, the new version of Skype should still feel right at home on your Android phone of choice.

Skype-Redesign

The new release doesn't usher in a wave of new features along with the new coat of paint, but Skype does boast that it is much faster and reliable, with emphasis placed on improving performance and load times. Skype is supposedly easier to use thanks to tweaks to the interface placing recent conversations front and center, minimalizing the amount of time spent looking for the people you actually want to talk to.

Since Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011, the company has slowly integrated the popular VoIP service in with its Windows and Xbox offerings. Skype's website already dons an appearance that would look right at home on a Windows 8 desktop. Yet regardless of whether the Android redesign was inspired by work done on the Windows Phone version of Skype, it makes little difference. Android has sported flat-UI elements for a long time now, so this update doesn't look like the fish out of water it could otherwise have been. With the upcoming release of iOS 7, which is also transitioning to a flatter UI, Skype's interface can be largely consistent across all three platforms without stirring too much fuss.

Skype1 Skype2

The update is still rolling out to the over 100 million Android users who have installed Skype, so hold tight for now if it has yet to hit your device.

Source: Skype Blog

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • JonJJon

    I'm not liking only being able to choose "Available" or "Invisible" now, and singing out seems more awkward with more taps to get to.

    • andy_o

      To be fair, it's the same amount of taps (2) but it's more hidden now. Before, remember you had the pop up to confirm if you wanted to sign out.

    • http://www.PlanetThoughts.org/ PlanetThoughts

      And you may not realize, "Sign Out" does not stop the application. It still runs in the background and answers calls.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    It was holo... and now.... now... well now it's sh*t.

    • Android Telegraph

      Not really, I find it beautiful. Not everything has to be Holo to look good, Microsoft's apps prove that. But I guess if you don't like it, then that's your opinion.

    • Stacey Liu

      It's still Holo... there' an action bar at the bottom with an action overflow button and scrolling tabs along the top.

      Just because it doesn't match the default Holo theme/style doesn't mean it doesn't conform to Android design standards.

      Google encourages developers to use their own slick styles in conjunction with Holo design standards to get beautiful, intuitive apps.

      Not every app has to look the exact same. If every app I used was plain old Holo light/dark I'd go insane.

      • Chris

        Exactly. it will be much like how iOS is/was what ever. Same bottom bar.Same command/title bar. Who wants that?

        • ithehappy

          Look at the comments you made on this page. If you've still some brain left, which I doubt, you'll see how childish your comments are.

    • ocdtrekkie

      Actually, they had some very un-Holo elements in the last version that they nixed. For one, you used to have like a table of contents to select People, Recent, Favorites. Now it's just nice Android tabs you can switch between.

      It's a much slicker UI, and still feels right at home on Android.

      It's now my favorite IM client on Android, better than Google Hangouts.

  • andy_o

    Anyone knows if this uses C2DM or the Google Cloud Messaging platform? I'd like to be able to greenify it and still get notifications. Works swimmingly with FB.

    • Eli DeOliveira

      Greenify also does this to Whatsapp and it uses push. They have finally added the "Receive data from the internet" permission, but it's unclear if they are actually using it.

      • andy_o

        The donation version of Greenify has an option to let GCM or C2DM compatible apps be greenified and still receive notifications, that's what I was talking about. Just double checked with Whatsapp, and it does wake up, same as FB, which is pretty much ideal. Skype doesn't seem to be using GCM.

  • c00ller

    The "Sign out" button is now... much less convenient. In case you can't find it, have to go to Profile, Menu, Sign out. Before there was just a Sign out button from the main screen.

    • Chris

      most people keep their phones with them and never sign out of the apps on their phone.

      • c00ller

        I don't think you understand. It's not about signing out, per se, it's about stopping the app from running all the time when I'm done with it. Not all users want to keep Skype running 24/7; some of us just want to use it for that once in a while video chat.

        • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

          Skype should instead run off GCM messaging then. It's unloaded when Skype is not needed then

        • Floss

          Does it keep a service running in the background? Whether the app is still in memory is completely irrelevant if there isn't a separate service actually doing something.

          Edit: nm, you have a more complete reply further down.

  • andy_o

    So anyone getting the video messaging option yet? Not here.

  • Ben Lee

    The app is much worse than previously. It now forgets your details when you sign out, which is harder to find than previously. It still has no support for any sort of push notification system. MS just don't seem to be able to get anything right at present.

    • Chris

      then don't sign out.

      • Ben Lee

        I don't want to be signed into Skype 24/7 for one. Second it does not use push notifications, meaning it's always polling for a connection, meaning it's a massive battery drain. It's just not viable to have on 24/7 with current battery technology.

        • enoch861

          I think Skype is geared for the general consumer, not you.
          And last time I checked, the general consumer does not sign out of apps.

          • Ben Lee

            Then why is it not designed to use any sort of push service? That is just bad engineering. Most of the general consumers I know stay signed out of things most of the time generally only log on on an evening, they are not connected 24/7 like I normally am.

          • enoch861

            I believe they're using push but I'm not sure. I haven't used Skype on my phone since I have a laptop... But when I used to, it never drained my battery.

            You know general consumers that sign out of apps? Impressive. Most people log into the app and forget. I don't ever see anyone logging out of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

          • c00ller

            Copy and pasting my response to Chris since you also don't seem to understand that Signing out from Skype is different from Signing out from other apps:

            "It's not about signing out, per se, it's about stopping the app from
            running all the time when I'm done with it. Not all users want to keep
            Skype running 24/7; some of us just want to use it for that once in a
            while video chat."

            It runs as a foreground process. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc don't.

          • joeljfischer

            The difference is that this one keeps an icon in the status bar, and afaik doesn't use Google Cloud push service, which means I have another open connection on my phone. Facebook, Twitter, etc. for one don't have a notification icon, and secondly I can turn off the push features.

      • ithehappy

        Lol, what are you? An idiot?

        • Chris

          Are you? most normal humans never sign out of their apps on their phone.

      • http://www.PlanetThoughts.org/ PlanetThoughts

        I am a software engineer, and I was surprised how ineptly the software is implemented in Android, until I just now learned that Microsoft bought it a while ago. To those who question why in the world anyone would sign out of Skype, i have two very good reasons: 1) the battery drain mentioned by many others, which is a MAJOR consideration, and 2) I may use Skype on my smart phone when away from my home/office, but when back at home/office I much prefer my computer to respond to incoming Skype calls. It is advised by Skype tech support not to have two copies running, for various reasons.

        This is simply a bad design, and feels like the aggressiveness that Microsoft so often shows despite what customers want.

  • HellG

    Skype is the worst piece of software i had to deal with (after IE of course) in both platforms, Android and windows,the quality is great no doubt but the app it self seem half baked and full of bugs,Even though i have a powerful PC machine and a note 2 so i dont have a lack of processing power,that app went down hill since Microsoft bought them

    • yahyoh

      thats true it become worse since M$ bought it :(

      and the funny thing viber an tango has really better call quality and the dont cut the call every 10 sec -_-

      • http://www.PlanetThoughts.org/ PlanetThoughts

        Microsoft has become a company that is good at ruining the quality of software. Skype indeed has gone downhill since they bought it.

  • yahyoh

    WTF the sign out button is hidden :{

    • Chris

      Right.... because who really signs out of apps on their phone?

      • PhilNelwyn

        Well, given how many times you've replied that in this thread, I'd say that a significant part of Skype users do.

      • Jorge Matos

        I've got two account one for personal business and one for work.. to log off and login between accounts is a nightmare... you can't even edit a contact phone number and does not sync with Skype desktop... really it is crap!!

  • Nasko Hristov

    Nice try Microsoft, nice try. Still a lot of nerve to lose on. And where the hell went the status except invisible and online? Also for tablet users it seems we are staying with the old one.

    • Benjamin Pavel

      Tried it on my tablet and there are still too many UI bugs (invisible buttons, awkward position) so i'm sure the tablet version will be ready in near future. =)

  • Pre86

    Incompatible with Droid DNA...uhhhhhhhhhh.......Big Improvement!

    • hldc1

      Serious fail here.

  • Eli DeOliveira

    I think you guys missed something HUGE. Push notifications. This update now asks for permission to use Google's Cloud messaging service. PUSH notifications! Before this update, skype would run in the background and poll for calls, draining battery. Still have to confirm if Skype is actually using that permission, but I wouldn't be surprised it that was (finally!) added.

    • Ben Lee

      There is absolutely no change in the application permissions and no use of Push or mention of push. I've just been through them again to check. Unless the permission being requested are worded differently in differ net locals.

      • Eli DeOliveira

        RECEIVE DATA FROM INTERNET
        Allows apps to accept cloud to device messages sent by the app's service. Using this service will incur data usage. Malicious apps could cause excess data usage.

        From https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.raider&hl=en

        • Ben Lee

          That's just normal data, nothing to do with push services. It's always had this permission.

          • Ben Lee

            The push service one reads as follows:

            EXCHANGES MESSAGES AND RECEIVES SYNC NOTIFICATIONS FROM GOOGLE SERVERS.

            Used for server cloud to device messages and for sync notifications. Google Talk uses this service to exchange messages and to synchronize presence status. Malicious apps could use this service to transmit excess data.

            (excerpt taken from Hangouts app permissions)

          • Eli DeOliveira

            Absolutely not. That is the permission for notification sync between devices that was just announced at I/O. "Receive data from Internet" has ALWAYS been the permission for Google's cloud messaging service since its inception in android 2.2. The permission is new for Skype. I saw it personally when I updated my own app earlier today.

            Look at whatsapp, for example. It does not list that permission you mentioned. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp&hl=en

            Same for Twitter https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twitter.android&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS50d2l0dGVyLmFuZHJvaWQiXQ..

            ... and others.

          • Ben Lee

            My bad, your right. Though if that's the case, Skype has had this permission for a while then. It's not new for this update. So why is it such a battery hog.

          • Eli DeOliveira

            Again, it's new. Check AppBrain's listing for skype that has yet to be updated. (Version 3.2.0.6673 from end of Feb.) It doesnt list "Receive data from the internet" yet.

            http://www.appbrain.com/app/skype-free-im-video-calls/com.skype.raider

            It's a new permission for sure, i'm not even doubting it, i've seen it with my own eyes lol.

  • Bookworm

    There also seems to be a new font type in new interface, or it is just my imagination? Can anyone, please, tell me what is the name of this font that is being used?

    • Raymie Humbert

      Segoe UI. It's Microsoft's standard UI typeface (debuted late in the life of XP, made its first splash with Vista, very noticeable in the Metro era).

      • Bookworm

        Thanks a lot, this font looks surprisingly nice on my device. I am going to give it a try.

  • nsnsmj

    I'm not seeing the Metro here. It just looks like a stylized Holo.

  • ronnie

    Wanted to skype on cam while browsing the web with little preview box of friend on call

  • fatguy

    OMG! Please Microsoft don't f..ck this up like you did in win 8!

  • DJtized

    All I want to know is does it perform better, and does it not drain battery.

    • Djtized

      As in actually work properly, rather than just allegedly doing so.

  • googlre10

    how can i stop showing the skype icon in my notification bar from this new update??

    • Thomas Gladdines

      Go to App Info (same screen as where you fore stop stuff) then uncheck show notifications :P

      Sadly it also removes the other notifications :/

      I guess the0os will make a modded version with customizing options for such things on xda ^^

  • Erwin Litonjua

    You can't turn off the skype icon in your actionbar anymore. Put that function back! I don't need that skype icon in my bar, useless and space taking!

  • ay4m

    Hated this update... now I cant quit Skype unless I restarted my Note 2... double tap home button to close app wont help either...

  • Chuck

    Probably a stupid question, but where is the profile button? I have recent, favorite, and people across the top, and phone, message, and menu across bottom. Nothing on the app leads me to profile to get to menu then sign out.

  • puchu

    heck!! my skype can't receive any calls but ims after this new update

  • Kam

    Thanks for writing the on new UI of Skype 4.0.

    First of all, yes UI looks nicer than before, as this has always been Microsofts priority, making a good software into a bloated shit.

    1. It sounds ringing in caller side - but other end do not ring!
    2. When it rings, for unknown reason, busy tone!
    3. When somebody wants call me same problem
    4. After thousands of rings, when caller gets bored, annoyed and helpless he hangs up! but still buzzing ringtone.
    5. When you are on head set, caller hears the ringtone in loud speaker!!!
    6. When you receive a skype message, it doesn't wake up the screen.
    7. video call sucks!!!

    etc. etc... please fix it, any android beginner programmer can fix these issues.
    Don't mess around, employ good people, don't bring another Windows 8!!!

    Microsoft should by now realize a lot learning not making mistakes and mistakes over and over. Purchasing cutting edge software is not a pride, rather not managing it well is a burden.

    Hope the above helps.

  • Mustafa Yilmaz

    Why does this stupid app have to restart each time I switch from it to another app then back.if all the other messaging apps can handle app switching why can't this bloated piece of crap? O I forgot its Microsoft owned. Unfortunately work forces us to use this piece of dog poo so no effing alternative....