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New UWP Skype app released for Xbox One

Microsoft today announced the release of a redesigned Skype UWP app for the Xbox One. The app has been designed to put gamers first, has a new dark look, is simpler to use, and makes it easier for you to jump in and out of calls, and so much more.

According to Microsoft, if you already have Skype on your Xbox One, the app will automatically be updated to the latest version. If you don’t have it installed, you can head to the Xbox One app store and search for “Skype.” To get started with Skype on Xbox, you will automatically be signed in using the Microsoft account from your Xbox One, but you can also sign in with a different account as well.

The Skype app has been redesigned to put gamers first. The UI has been updated with a new look and feel, making it simpler to use, and letting you easily jump in and out of a call. It also has a new dark look that is easier on the eyes and is in line with the look and feel of other Xbox apps from Microsoft. We’ve added controller shortcuts, giving you quick access to Skype commands with the tap of a button so you can quickly jump from a video call to a background call and vice versa. Finally, we’ve added a manual zoom option that gives you control over the Kinect camera during a call, a feature you have been asking for.

Once you get started, you will notice that with the new calling video calling experience, you will be immersed. When using Kinect, You will be able to video chat with friends naturally and comfortably, just as if you were in the same room with the person on the other end. You also will be able to use your standard headset to make audio calls. For an enhanced experience, you can make a free group video call (5 people) or audio call (25 people.) And, if you’re already on a call but need to multitask, you can switch to your favorite game or show and the call will continue in the background, though video will stop and you will only receive audio.

Other features of the Skype app on Xbox one include auto zoom, where the Kinect camera instantly focuses on the callers in the frame and will pan and zoom automatically.  Just as on PC, you also can add a contact from your Xbox by tapping on the “Y” button to bring up the search bar, then entering their name or Microsoft account into the “Search Skype” window.

Rounding out the list of features is the ability to send instant messages using Cortana. You can now head into the instant messages, Select the mic on the keyboard and then dictate a message. Cortana will convert your audio to text, check the text, and then send it. Cortana can also be used to open the Skype app to answer calls.

If you already have the Skype app open, you’ll be able to see and hear when you have an incoming call and you can quickly answer or decline it. If you don’t have the app open, you’ll get a system notification when you receive calls and messages, even if you’re playing a game or watching live TV. Tapping on the Xbox button or saying “Hey Cortana, open that” will open the Skype app and answer the call. If you get a message, you can also quickly reply directly in the notification without having to open the app.

Skype Chat on Xbox One

The release of this app to Xbox One comes as the Windows 10 Skype app received a significant update that brought the UWP app out of the preview stage. As always, the Skype team constantly improves on the app, so you can submit your feedback by holding down the Xbox button on the controller and select “Report a problem” from the power menu. Have you updated to the new Skype yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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Have you used Skype on your Xbox One?