Android users stuck on older versions of the OS will soon receive a new version of Microsoft’s Skype Android app. Today, the company announced the upcoming release of an updated Skype app for Android devices running 4.0.3 to 5.1, which will replace the “classic” mobile app on these old handsets.
“This update is lighter on both disk and memory consumption, allowing for greater speed and better audio and video quality on lower end Android devices, as well as increased performance in challenging network conditions,” the Skype team explained. This new Skype app looks really similar to the Skype Lite app that Microsoft released for the Indian market last year.
As you may know, Microsoft released a redesigned Skype app on all platforms last year, which introduced Reactions to messages, Snapchat-inspired Stories on mobile and more. This new version (v8) requires Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow or higher, which is why Microsoft is now offering a separate update for older versions of Android.
The Skype team says that this new version of Skype for older Android handsets should start rolling out in the next few days. To be clear, Microsoft now has three Skype for Android apps to maintain: this new app for older handsets, Skype v8 for recent handsets and Skype Lite for the Indian market. It’s almost as complicated as the situation on Windows, where we have “classic” Skype (v7), new Skype (v8) and Skype UWP for Windows 10 PCs. Yes, that is probably too many different Skype versions for consumers to keep track of.