Just the other day we posted about the new GroupMe 4.0 launching on Android and iOS with an IOU about the Windows Phone version being "on its way". Well, it looks like it was only behind by a few days as GroupMe 4.0 is now available in the Windows Phone Store.

The jump from version 3.5 to 4.0 is indicative of some major changes and indeed, it is. The changelog is quite detailed and mostly focuses on the new UI and design, bringing Microsoft’s new group-chat service up to date with a more “modern” look.

From the changelog:

  • Windows Phone 8 Support
  • Brand new start screen with large, beautiful, animated tiles
  • A prettier chat interface
  • It’s a whole lot faster
  • And other smaller improvements

Surprisingly the Windows Phone 8 support does not include Lock screen notifications nor a double-wide tile. Baby steps, we suppose.

In addition they have made the app much simpler with no “fluff” as it refocuses exactly on what the app is meant to do: group chatting. Of course some of you may be wondering what is the advantage of GroupMe over the built in Groups or Rooms on Windows Phone? Well, GroupMe is first and foremost a cross-platform service tied to your phone number, but it (optionally) uses push-data first over SMS, thereby saving costs. In an example for Windows Phone Central, Rich and Rob can be a part of our group chat and I don’t have to worry about sending an SMS message to the UK or vice versa. 

Granted, if we’re all on Windows Phone together it’s probably better to use Rooms in Windows Phone 8 but for people on different platforms, GroupMe is quite a nifty solution to having group chats.

The 4.0 version shows Microsoft is still actively developing and promoting the service and we’re okay with that. Will it be folded into Skype itself someday? After all, Microsoft only came into possession of GroupMe because Skype bought them first. Maybe it will but for now, it’s clear that the service will remain separate.

Head to the Windows Phone Store to get 4.0 of GroupMe right here. Thanks, Wade K., for the heads up!

QR: GroupMe