Today, Microsoft has released a new version of Skype for Mac and a preview for Windows. The changes unify the UI across devices. The unification is evident in the icons and the photo thumbnails. These changes enable the desktop programs to share and view images easier with mobile apps.
Previously, there was a different technique for sharing images on mobile apps than on desktop programs. Users had to follow a link to view an image sent from a phone to the desktop Skype. Now that is going away with images on the desktop showing up in-line with messages. In addition to images showing thumbnails, Skype will recognize common document formats such as PDF and office documents, and display the relevant icon making it easier to spot different documents.
Messaging has been a major focus of this release. It is easier to track multiple conversations with spacing between contacts and text preview of unread messages by the name. While in a call, it is easy to chat at the same time. The chat pane sits on the right of the video enabling document or picture sharing while in a call without obscuring the video.
Finally, these desktop apps are easier to host and manage group video calls. Previously, Microsoft had made group video calling free in order to stay competitive and now it is easier to use that functionality. All of these improvements were a long time coming, because Skype has been updating the mobile apps while the desktop programs began to lag behind.
Further reading: desktop, Mac, Microsoft, Skype, Windows