Skype has revealed that its new apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT will be available alongside the launch of the new OS, featuring a new design and integration with new Windows apps and features.
From 26 October, Skype for Windows will come pre-installed on Windows 8 devices or can be downloaded from the Windows Store. Now that the VoIP service is owned by Microsoft, the Skype team has been hard at work optimising its latest iteration for the parent company’s big day: the release of Windows 8.
Firstly, Skype for Windows has been designed for always-on connectivity without draining power on mobile devices. Notifications of calls and messages will pop up on the display even if users have another app open.
Users can also ‘snap’ Skype to one side of the screen alongside another app, keeping it open and continuing to chat while they work away on something else.
On the start screen, the app appears as a ‘live tile’, which means this icon not only launches the app but also provides a window into what’s happening inside, displaying missed calls or new messages.
Microsoft’s new People app intends to be an all-bases-covered address book connected to the cloud. Contacts are listed alongside their social activities and photos, featuring integration with Facebook, Twitter and, of course, Skype.
On the Skype home screen, the people users contact most often using the app and their favourite contacts are there and waiting, alongside recent chat messages and calls.
Skype for Windows also features a new dial pad for calling landlines and mobile phones directly, displaying users’ Skype credit, active subscriptions and recent calls in one view.
Overall, Skype for Windows takes advantage of the new Windows OS and appears to integrate seamlessly with the look of the UI, taking on the appearance of the updated Windows apps.