Microsoft has released Skype for iPhone 5.0, a major new update to its voice, video and chat messenger for iPhone and iPod touch users. Version 5.0 sports a major new redesign, more in-app options and drops support for iOS 7.
The update has been released separately to the iPad version, with Microsoft claiming to be “hard at work on a new version” for iPad users.
Skype for iPhone 5.0 represents the most significant revamp of the iOS client since the original version launched back in 2010. Dropping support for older iterations of iOS has freed development that has – among other things – helped to deliver major performance improvements.
These include faster start-up times and more fluid animations, plus users should notice less of a lag when chats are synced from other platforms.
The redesign has been led by user feedback, and attempts to bring most-used features front and centre. This can be seen with a new modern hub centric design, which places recent conversations at the front – users can then swipe left to view favourite people and contacts using the Windows-like ribbon navigation bar.
Despite the Windows inspiration, the new app fits in nicely with the flatter design of iOS 7, so Apple users shouldn’t feel too alienated by the redesign, which Microsoft summarises as a “new simplified, modern voice and video calling experience.”
The messaging tools have also been revamped to add more functionalty, with users now able to create messaging groups, plus share photos (even with offline contacts) and video messages.
In-app features have also been strengthened, with in-app notifications for quickly switching conversations implemented alongside in-app controls to manage those notifications.