Microsoft Updated Skype for Windows 8
Ever since Windows 10 launched, the preinstalled Skype has been quite terrible with its messy looks and slow processing. Though Microsoft has improved it a bit through updates, they never manage to lose the “unfinished” appearance that users experience.
The new app is now finally available for users who are running Windows 7, Windows 8, and other older releases of Windows 10. Skype finally left its XALM platform and is now based on React Naive. It’s still a true UWP app in that it can run across multiple different versions of Windows 10, including HoloLens, Xbox, and even the rumored Andromeda device.
Microsoft says that the new Skype app comes with new calling features and the experience is far better. One of the more interesting features regarding this new version is an improved flexible group call screen which allows you to drag and drop people around on screen when in a group call. It makes it possible to manage your group call experience and you can choose who appears in the main call screen.
Microsoft is also allowing users to capture images or screenshots (i.e. snapshots) within a call. The feature is useful for those who don’t want to forget special memories. You can also start screen sharing quite easily during calls.
The layout of the program has also changed with new themes, customizable colors, and improvements to the media gallery, notifications panel, and @mentions experience.
Regarding performance, the new Skype app did feel fast, though it does take a second or two longer to boot up, but once it’s running it seems much faster than the old app. It also seems to have a better set up, with more options in settings, especially surrounding hardware. The new app also has full My People integration, which is nice to see.
However, the new React Native app is not available for Windows Phone due to which Skype doesn’t support SMS Relay function. Users can, nonetheless, force the Operating System to use the old UWP app which will allow them to send SMS, but it’s buggy and doesn’t work well.
People in many forums are reporting the Skype Can’t Connect error, but no worries, this article has explained all the possible solutions to the issue. The other “issue” with the new app is that it utilizes more resources than the old one. The new app is a little heavier, meaning it uses more RAM and drains the battery more.
Microsoft promises to release updates more frequently to the new Skype app, hopefully, improving over time. Microsoft isn’t done testing the new React Native app so we can expect new updates soon. The company might restore the SMS Relay feature in the future, but for now, you can only see the notifications and not respond to them, yet.
In order to get the latest Skype updates, all you have to do is update your windows. However, if you do not have windows insider or Redstone 5, you need to sign up for the Individual preview program.
Here is how to sign up for the program:
- Open the Skype UWP app on your Windows 10 PC.
- Open Settings in the app.
- Scroll down to Skype App Preview.
- Push Join preview.
- Agree to the terms and select Join now.
- Hit Ok on the dialog screen.
- Go to the Microsoft Store and check for app updates.
The latest version of Skype Preview should download.