Skype starts testing revamped desktop experience

A couple of months following its revamp on Android and iOS, Skype has now announced its redesigned experience is now being tested on desktops. The only catch? The new Skype Preview is only available for Mac and "non-Windows 10 PCs" — which, somewhat confusingly, indicates the preview is available for the standard desktop Win32 app but not the UWP app on the Windows Store.

The revamped desktop app carries over much of the same aesthetic seen in the new iOS and Android apps, but "specifically designed with desktop in mind," Microsoft says. That includes a bright theme with plenty of color accents abound. Microsoft also lists a few new features it has started testing alongside the redesign as well. Here's a look:

  • @mentions, message reactions and a new notification panel—Stay on top of your day with help from the notification panel. Quickly jump back into conversations where you were @mentioned to see how people reacted to what you've said.
  • New chat media gallery—Finding shared content—such as links, documents, or media—in a chat has never been easier with the chat gallery.
  • Enhanced group calls—Customize your group call experience with drag and drop ease. Say it with an emoji using our new in-call reactions, too!

It's worth noting that this is the very same sort of revamp that received quite a bit of backlash with its debut on mobile. It will be interesting to see how the design fares on desktop.

Again, this preview is currently only available for Mac and the standard Win32 desktop app for PCs. Microsoft points out that it has already started testing out some of the new features in the UWP version of Skype on the Windows Store, but the design revamp hasn't arrived there yet. In any case, if you want to try out the new Skype Preview, Microsoft says you can get started at Skype Insider.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl