Skype plans updates to calling experiences, rolling out over next few weeks

Back in July, Microsoft announced that it was busy transitioning Skype from a peer-to-peer based architecture to a cloud based one, a shift that is expected to improve several aspects of the service including call quality and overall reliability. While this transition means that some legacy Skype apps such as the old Windows Phone 8 app will soon be deprecated, the ubiquitous messaging app will soon be able to bring new features and improvements to users on currently supported platforms.

Indeed, the Skype team has announced today several improvements to the calling experience that will roll out to users in the next few weeks. The first one will allow users who join a group call to continue talking even if the person who initiated it leaves the call. “The call will carry on smoothly no matter who leaves or joins the conversation,” explained the team.

Next, the “Call Phones” tab on iOS and Android devices will soon become the “Calls” tab, bringing a simplified experience to place Skype-to-Skype calls, calls to phone numbers or purchasing Skype Credit. “You’ll benefit from being able to call any group or individual from a single place, with a single tap,” notes the blog post. It’s not clear if these improvements will also come to the Skype UWP app on Windows 10, which currently uses a different UI.

The new Calls tab, coming first to Android devices.

The new Calls tab, coming first to Android devices.

Lastly, a new voicemail experience will allow Skype users to leave a video message or a Skype message to persons or groups they tried to call. Once the feature is rolled out, users will see the following screen when their calls get no answer.

Who needs voicemail when you can leave video messages to your contacts?

Who needs voicemail when you can leave video messages to your contacts?

For those of you who still prefer Skype’s traditional voicemail delivery, the service will continue to work though the company will deprecate custom voicemail greetings, email notifications, and SMS transcriptions. Let us know in the comments what do you think of these upcoming improvements to the Skype experience.

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