Skype for iOS and Android get online status indicators, dark theme and more with latest update

Laurent Giret

Two months ago, Microsoft started to roll out the new Skype experience to iOS and Android users, and most of them hated it. The backlash forced the company to communicate, and the Skype team announced last month that it will be “building the next generation of Skype together” with the community.

Well, the team apparently took the time to listen to feedback, and Skype users will be happy to learn that online status icons are making their comeback. This latest update on Android also brings a dark theme and other welcome UI and UX improvements. Here are some screenshots below:

Online status icons are finally back, but you’ll only see a green dot when your contacts are online.

According to the team, Android & iOS and will roll out gradually over the next two weeks. We’re already seeing the update on Android but it’s not live on iOS yet. You can find the detailed release notes below:

You asked, we delivered

  • Online status is back!!! Due to MASSIVE popular demand, customers want to see when their friends and coworkers are currently active in Skype. It is super easy! Your green dot will automatically show when your status is Active Now. Learn more.
    You can also filter your Chat List by Active, try the filter icon in the search box.
  • Want to be invisible? …turn off the new green dot. That was another popular request, so we added that too! Go to Settings > Privacy > turn off “Show my presence to others”. Learn more.
  • Dark theme. No need to describe this one. If you are one of the many who asked for it, you got it. Enjoy! Learn more.
  • Monochromatic theme. was added for those who requested less gradients or a more professional color scheme. Learn more.
  • Managing blocked contacts is much easier. Go to Settings > Privacy > Manage blocked users. Learn more.
  • iOS share charm has been added, so you can share those important things with your friends and family.
  • Notification bugs fixed. Missed a call because it didn’t ring? We’ve fixed one bug in this area, but let us know if you experience more notification issues.
  • Top crashes. We are always focused on these, let us know if you hit a problem!
  • Make phone calls more easily – You can now make phone calls to non-Skype users when you search for them in Skype. Just tap on their name in Search and select the Call option.
  • Reduced squiggle lines in the Chat list. Based on feedback the lines were a little too distracting, we’ve reduced the use of them in UX.
  • Setting icon got a refresh. We heard the icon looked like a sun, we updated the icon to look more like the traditional gear icon.
  • Problem playing videos? People reported they could not play videos, we found a bug and fixed it.

Upcoming cool stuff

  • Mood messages…it may take another update or two, but they are coming back!
  • Tired of calls answering in Speakerphone? We’re working on that, hang in there.
  • and so much more…

If you’re not a fan of the new Highlights feature (which is heavily inspired by Snapchat Stories), the Skype team teased the return of the popular Mood messages, something that many users have been asking for. The app is also still missing the ability to send SMS messages using Skype credit, but it’s coming back too.

Last month, the team asked Skype users to give their feedback on the feature on the company’s community forum. “Our engineers are currently looking into SMS and what our customers used it for, to ensure when we bring it back our solution meets the needs of as many of our customers as possible,” explained the team.

It’s good to know that the Skype team is hard at to work to fix its new Skype app, though it’s still hard to understand how the company launched it with so many missing features in the first place.  The iOS and Android app should now be slightly more usable for old-school users, though we hope the team doesn’t completely lose some longtime users along this bumpy road.

Developer: Skype
Price: Free
Price: Free+