Microsoft has unveiled a raft of new features for Skype that it’s planning to bring to the service over the coming months. Skype has been around for a long time now and has been refreshed a couple of times to keep up with the times; these updates are very much about staying relevant in the Zoom era. All the features mentioned here are what Microsoft has in the works, no availability dates have been publicised.
The most noticeable change in upcoming updates will be the new call stage. The updated version will feel at home in your Skype client no matter the theme you decide to use. The video feeds have also been redesigned to feel more natural, you’ll now see your own feed among the other participants to make you all feel more connected.
For people who prefer to be in audio-only mode, the upcoming updates will be good. There will be an option to declutter the call stage of audio-only participants and there will also be the choice of customisable backgrounds on the call stage for audio callers to make them appear more appealing to others.
Aside from the refreshed call stage, Microsoft has modernised the rest of Skype. Chat headers have got a new layout with button gradients and group avatars, the left side panel now has more balance and lightness, icons throughout the app use the fluent design, and new themes make your Skype client look more vibrant.
In the announcement, Microsoft has also made a song and a dance about how it will be improving support for Skype among ‘all’ web browsers so you can have a great experience no matter what software you use – that is, unless you use Firefox, which isn’t currently supported nor does Microsoft say it will add support.
Finally, two new features that are coming to Skype are TwinCam which allows you to pair your phone to act as another camera during a video call and PSTN Translator which allows you to communicate with others who speak another language on a landline or video call. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft has not given specific launch dates for each of these features but they should come soon.