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Skype's big v8.0 app update is live in the Play Store

Skype has been around for a long time and has gone through some big changes over the years. The new v8.0 update might be the biggest one yet, though. It brings some Snapchat-like features including "add-in" services and "Highlights," which are basically Stories. This feels a bit like one giant "fellow kids" meme.

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Skype's new update adds Snapchat-like Highlights and add-ins

Skype has suffered from feature bloat and poor performance for years. Instead of creating a leaner video and messaging experience, like Google has done with Duo and Allo, Microsoft today announced a brand new Skype experience with a mishmash of features from other apps.

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Skype Mingo is now Skype Lite, designed for low data usage [APK Download]

The Skype app for Android isn't great - it's often slow, with somewhat-awful call quality and the occasional crash. Back in December, Microsoft released Skype Mingo in beta, a new lightweight Skype client designed as a hub for all your communications. Now the app is out of beta, and it's called Skype Lite.

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[Updated] Skype for Insiders becomes Skype Preview, the beta app aiming to replace the regular sluggish Skype

Last November, Skype unveiled its Skype for Insiders closed beta program, where registered users would be able to try a test version of the Skype app that would get new features first, then send feedback and suggestions to the team to help improve it. The goal of the program was to enhance the ease of use and reliability of Skype.

Today, the Skype for Insiders app has been published on the Play Store, though still under an unreleased beta state and with a new name: Skype Preview.

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Microsoft is launching a 'Skype Insiders Program' with a standalone beta version of the app

Skype, for all its flaws, is one of the most popular VoIP and video chat services in the world. You can help make it a little better by joining Microsoft's new Skype Insiders Program. It's basically a beta program, but they don't call it that. There's also a separate standalone app that you can install alongside the regular one.

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Microsoft Teams, the company's Slack competitor, is now in preview

For companies neck-deep in the Microsoft ecosystem, Slack may not be the best option. To help solve this issue for its Office 365 customers, or perhaps simply to cash in on Slack's popularity, Microsoft has released their new Teams application. Now available in preview for Office 365 Enterprise/Business customers, Teams is tightly integrated with your favorite Microsoft services.

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Skype announces improvements to calls and voicemail

Skype is one of the most common ways to make video and VoIP calls, but there are a number of annoyances that seem to be carried over from traditional phone calls. It doesn't need to be this way, though, so Microsoft announced a few months ago that it planned to modernize Skype. Now, the first wave of changes are set to roll out, and they'll be coming to the Android app in the next few weeks.

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Lenovo partners with Microsoft to preload Office, OneDrive, and Skype on future devices

Microsoft is taking Android seriously, and that means more than sticking quality apps on Google Play. The tech giant is partnering with whomever it can to make its software the first you see when you power on your phone. Lenovo is the latest Android manufacturer to agree.

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Google Duo review: When video calls are this simple, I will surely use them more

Of the two communication apps that Google announced at I/O, Duo surely seemed like the less interesting one. Video calls have been done again and again, and by now, if you have someone you want to talk to and see at the same time, odds are you already have your preferred way of doing that. But my last few days with Duo have shown me another side to the story. Duo isn't trying to revolutionize video calls, it just wants to approach them from a more modern perspective, one that builds on our smartphone-carrying habits, our needs for immediacy, and our disdain for complexity.

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Microsoft Sells 1500 Patents To Xiaomi, Enters A Partnership For Preinstalling Skype And Office On The Company's Devices

Microsoft is about to hit it big with one of China's top smartphone manufacturers: Xiaomi. It has announced today a multi-faceted deal with the company including sales of patents, cross-licensing arrangements, and software pre-installation, expanding its OEM partnerships and its services' worldwide reach while also providing Xiaomi with the support it needed to enter more markets.

Microsoft will be selling 1500 patents to Xiaomi — it's not clear whether these came from the Nokia acquisition, its many other acquisitions, or ones that it originally filed for. Regardless, according to Wang Xiang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, this should beef up Xiaomi's arsenal of patents and should, theoretically, make it easier for the company to enter Western markets with lesser friction from other patent holders.

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