Check out what's new for the still-updated Skype in this emoji-filled change log

Skype on Windows
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Skype Insiders have a new update to install that includes a handful of new features.
  • Many of the improvements on the way to Skype center around PDFs.
  • Microsoft also made it easier to share GIFs and other enhanced media through Skype.

Microsoft rolled out an update for Skype Insiders to wrap up January. The update includes several PDF features, makes it easier to share enhanced media such as GIFs, and adds options for customizing your video preview.

The update also comes with the usual spread of bug fixes and general improvements. Skype Insiders will receive the update gradually, so you may not see changes just yet. When you do receive the update, it will bring Skype Preview to version

Skype Insider Preview | Free at Microsoft

Skype Insider Preview | Free at Microsoft

While not as popular as Zoom, WhatsApp, and Teams, Microsoft's Skype is a powerful communication app that supports calls, video calls, and messaging. A recent update for Insiders adds PDF previews and a few other handy features.

Why does Microsoft update Skype?

Many of my articles about Skype updates or preview updates draw some giggles. I understand the humor in Microsoft keeping Skype up to date and working on new features. The company systematically drove Skype into the ground for over a decade, rebranded it and redesigned it at the drop of a hat, and ultimately left it for the most part in favor of Teams.

Microsoft Teams has over 320 million users and is commonly used in education and in professional environments. I'd argue that Microsoft doesn't care that Skype lost the general user space to Zoom and other communication apps. Education and enterprise are where the money is.

With Teams receiving so much love and attention, why does Microsoft work on new features for Skype? I suppose it could simply be to deliver the best experience for the hundreds of millions of people who still have Skype accounts, but I think there's more to it than that. Microsoft can use Skype as a playground to work on design changes and features that it later rolls out to Teams.

I imagine that PDFs are more important in Microsoft Teams than in Skype. The recent Skype Insider update includes a ton of PDF-focused features. Microsoft can test these out on a large scale, receive user feedback, and then use that data to shape the future of Teams, all while not changing Teams before having loads of feedback.

The above is just my theory, of course, but Microsoft would be silly to not use information gathered from millions of live users to improve its new prized pony Microsoft Teams.

Skype Insider Release Notes

Introducing PDF Thumbnail Previews in Skype! 📄✨

Skype's latest update enriches your chat with the introduction of PDF thumbnail previews on all platforms. Now, you can get a glimpse of your document before you dive in!

  • 👀 Quick Preview: No need to open to know. Get a sneak peek at the first page of PDFs directly in your chat stream, especially when you have auto-download enabled.
  • 📚 Efficient Workflow: Identify and differentiate your documents at a glance, streamlining your conversation and collaboration.
  • 🔍 Clarity in Context: PDF previews provide a visual reference point within your chat, keeping you in sync with the discussion.
  • 🔄 Seamless Sharing: Sharing PDFs is as easy as ever, but now with the added context of a thumbnail, your chats are more informative and engaging.
  • 🛠️ A Heads-Up: Spotting a quirky preview? A fix is already in the works and will be polished to perfection in our next update!

Get ready for a smoother, more visual Skype experience where PDFs are no longer just an icon, but a clear, identifiable part of your conversation! 🌐💼

Supercharge Your Chats with Skype's Enhanced Media Composer on Android! 🎨📲

Elevate your messaging game on Skype for Android with our latest update that introduces native rich content features in the message composer!

  • 🎉 Instant GIF/Sticker Fun: No more tedious media sharing dialogues—now, add GIFs and stickers to your chats directly from your keyboard with a single tap!
  • 📋 Effortless Media Copy/Paste: Seamlessly copy and paste images and videos right into the composer. Perfect for quickly sharing content from the web.
  • 🖖 Drag & Drop Delight: Enjoy a desktop-like experience on your device by dragging and dropping media into the composer, ideal for multitaskers and power users on tablets and foldables.

Get ready to make your chats more vibrant and fun with Skype's Android update—where sharing your favorite moments is instant and intuitive! 🌈✨

Personalize Your Skype Calls with Adjustable Video Preview! 📲🎥

Customize your one-on-one Skype call screen like never before! Our latest update introduces flexible video preview controls for mobile users, ensuring your calls are just the way you like them.

  • 📍 Drag & Drop Positioning: Effortlessly move your video preview to any corner of the call screen.
  • 📐 Pinch-to-Zoom: Get up close and personal by scaling your video preview with a simple pinch.
  • 💾 Auto-Remember: Skype now remembers your preferred video position for your next call.
  • 🔄 Instant Camera Swap: A quick tap on your video preview switches between the front and back camera.

Get ready for a tailored call experience on Skype, where you're in control of how you're viewed, call after call. 🔄✨

Stability improvements & Bug fixes:

  • Audio Message Accessibility: Improved the drag functionality of the progress bar for short audio messages, ensuring easier navigation on Desktop.
  • Android Stability: Fixed crashes related to the display of certain GIF images within the app.
  • Background Reliability on Android: Addressed a sign-out bug that occurred when the app was running in the background.
  • iOS Chat Interaction: Corrected a freeze issue where users couldn't interact with the chat after saving a draft reply and the conversation continued on another platform. Users can now scroll, access the composer, and manage drafts without disruption.
Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at