The Skype Team at Microsoft has recently announced an array of new features coming to the Skype Insider build 8.99. These updates, aimed at improving usability and overall user experience, reflect the continuous commitment of the Skype Team to incorporate user feedback and evolving needs into the development of the popular communication platform.
Weather Information At Your Fingertips
In an interesting twist, Skype now offers real-time, location-specific weather updates directly from the application’s desktop platform. Users can view the current weather conditions in their locale and click on the weather icon for more comprehensive information via a dedicated weather webpage.
Clear Differentiation Between Call Types on Mobile
Skype has introduced distinct tabs for Skype-to-Skype and Skype-to-Phone calls on its mobile platforms. The Calls tab now focuses on initiating Skype-to-Skype calls and creating Skype links, while the Phone tab offers quick access to Skype Number, credit balance, available international call subscriptions, and Skype credit recharge options.
Prioritized Skype Contacts
In a move to streamline user accessibility, Skype has rearranged the Contacts tab, leading with Skype Contacts followed by the rest of the user’s contacts. This change, aimed at facilitating quicker access to frequent contacts, is available across all platforms.
Interactive Bing Chat Prompts
Skype now features interactive Bing chat prompts in the Bing 1:1 chat, offering users the opportunity to engage with Bing and enhance their experience. The prompts are reshuffled randomly after each interaction and every time the Skype client starts up.
Bing Toolbox For Diverse Usage Scenarios
The Bing 1:1 chat now hosts the Bing toolbox, which offers examples of diverse Bing usage scenarios including Education, Social Media, Travel, Creativity, Entertainment, Language, Sports, Technology, and more. This addition aims to help users maximize their usage of Bing.
Immediate Access To Bing Chats
First-time Skype users no longer have to wait to access Bing chats. The platform has removed any initial waitlist, enabling instant access.
Auto-play for Consecutive Audio Messages
Skype has improved the audio messaging experience by introducing an auto-play feature for consecutive audio messages across all platforms, providing users with a seamless listening experience.
Revamped Landing Page Illustrations
The landing page has undergone a makeover, with fresh and engaging visuals for desktop users. The team has also added a link to the ‘What’s New in Skype’ blog and simplified the process of setting up meetings via MeetNow.
The team has also worked on stability improvements and bug fixes, including resolving the issue of the search bar blocking visibility of the top chat in the conversation list on the iPad.
As with all new Skype features, these will be rolled out gradually over the next few days. Users are encouraged to provide feedback about the latest changes either via the Skype community or directly through the Skype app.