Microsoft is still working hard to make its new cross-platform Skype app more consistent with the classic Skype desktop app. This includes how you manage your Skype status, as many users have been confused by the removal of the “Away” status in the new Skype cross-platform client.
As you may know, Skype Classic still lets you choose between different statuses like ‘Online’, ‘Away’, ‘Do Not Disturb’, etc. The modern Skype app has tried to move away from this old presence model, replacing the 'Away' status with a message showing when you were online last. The “Last active [n] mins ago” status was also displayed every time you minimized the app on desktop or mobile.
The first change that Skype has started testing with Insiders is that the desktop app will no longer mark you as inactive when in an minimized state. “Going forward, your contacts will see you as Active if the Skype app is running on your computer and you are either using the mouse or the keyboard,” the team explained today.
The second change will be a simplified presence model with two different states to choose from: ‘Active’ and ‘Away’. The ‘Invisible’ status will be replaced by a “Hide my Presence” option in Settings, and enabling it will also prevent you from seeing other’s presence. As for ‘Do Not Disturb’, it will be replaced by a new Quiet Mode feature that will silence all incoming calls and messages.
The Skype team is also planning to introduce a pre-defined list of status messages to let you share more about your current activity, especially when you're busy. New options will include “Working remotely,” “Not feeling well” and more. “We plan to make these status messages intelligent in future so that you don’t have to remember to remove an old status message,” the team explained.
The Skype 8 Presence model has been the biggest source of user feedback so far, the team revealed today, and it remains to be seen if the new model will be able to appease the complaints. It's not a full return to the Skype classic Presence model, but the come back of the 'Away' status should be good news for longtime users.