A brand-new version of the Skype desktop app is now available
The new Skype for desktop client is rolling out from today across macOS, Linux and (some versions of) Windows.
‘Beyond the gaudy colours and large typography there are useful new features in this update’
If it looks a little familiar it’s because this update was released as a preview back in August. Today that preview goes stable, and is being pushed out to (almost) all Skype desktop users.
New Look Skype Also Has New Features
“The [new Skype] improved the way you connect with your contacts and added expanded capabilities such as personalized themes, chat list, and @mentions to the Skype experience,” say Microsoft of its arrival.
“It’s all built on brand-new technology that scales to billions of people on a reliable platform.”
From the hands-on look we had in the summer, we weren’t terribly enthused about the new look. In fact, we described what Microsoft call the “most expressive version of Skype ever” as the ‘version of Skype that the internet hates‘.
But beyond the gaudy colours and large typography there are some useful new features available with this update.
For example screen sharing works on Linux!
Spoiler: It’s not actually that bad
If you’re hesitant to let Software Updater force this update on you I’m here to say don’t be.
This new version of Skype is a little vivid and youthful for what has hitherto been a rather serious, reliable bit of software. Visually speaking it looks like it was created during a 2-day task on The Apprentice.
But the “Snapchat-ification” of Skype isn’t all bad. And in this era of WhatsApp, Telegram and Snapchat, Skype has to keep pace.
Beyond the visual rejig you’ll find the following new features:
- Customizable themes
- @mentions, emoji reactions, etc
- A notifications panel for mounting reactions, @mentions
- Conversations now have a media gallery
- New message list sorting options
- Working screen sharing from/to Windows, macOS and Linux
If you already have Skype for Linux installed you will receive this upgrade via your distribution’s standard update mechanism (e.g, Software Updater on Ubuntu).
If you don’t have Skype for Linux installed you can download it from Skype.com/download.