Microsoft’s Skype client for iPhone has been looking a little long in the tooth; version that has been in the shop until today is still essentially the same client was launched in 2010, but full of incremental changes along the way. Not so with the new version of Skype 5.0, which has been redesigned from the ground up, with significant changes to the interface and navigation, and large improvements in performance that should have synchronization chats faster other clients on the platform along with smarter notifications.
The redesign focuses almost exclusively on user feedback, according to the manager of product marketing for Skype Eric Lin. Skype hairstyle by user feedback and usage data to figure out what was important to users of a mobile client, and given changes in the user interface that made it they were using front-and-center more all else being at hand thanks to a modern bar tape inspiration Navigation Windows Mobile / Windows on top of the application. Despite its modern appearance of Windows, Lin said it was also important that they come up with something that feels at home in iOS, and based on my short time with the new app, they have.
“This app is really remastered for you and how you use Skype,” Lin said. “We take our users and our user feedback very seriously here, and almost every decision we made when we created this application is actually based on the comments […] The new Skype for iPhone is rebuilt from scratch , is 100 percent rewrite, and all the time we were writing this, we had a laser focus on performance. ”
The performance was not the previous Skype for iPhone strength – and Lin is the first to admit it. The new version, but must take most of their conversations in the new kingdom of synchronized notifications and read the status, which means you will not have to wait years for Skype mobile client to catch up with each desktop time you start it. Some conversations still need time to sync, however, especially chat groups, and Lin says it’s because they are still in the process of changing all the new back-end system, which is to move all the conversations in the service existing infrastructure to the new.
“That’s a process of back-end users will see updated over the coming months. We moved some conversations with the new system before moving further discussions,” he said. “You just probably have hundreds of existing conversations, and then multiply that our more than 300 million monthly users and that’s a lot of talks to move forward.”
The Skype for iPhone team’s focus was on the user experience, however, and that is why they have done things like the focus on text conversations through video chat, and make it easy to start conversations group from the new chat window as the group chat was one of the most common use cases for the iPhone client according to his research. There is also a new feature that allows selectively edit how to receive notifications, so you can turn them off or within the application or just when you have it closed, which is designed to reduce duplicate across platforms notifications.
I’m already a fan of the new Skype and it changes to the previous version. Across the interface animations are well done and make it much more pleasant to use the application. It also feels comfortable with his role as a messaging application; I used to feel as a kind of afterthought added to the core functionality of video chat. I asked Lin if he thought that increased competition in the area of messaging application was a threat to Skype, and he told me that he really thinks that users have plenty of room for multiple solutions each offering different things. More than 300 million monthly active users, is not a pretty number WhatsApp, but a good result is at the upper end of market messaging and continued investment in the mobile is the smartest way to grow it.
The next stop is renewing Skype application for iPad, a project Lin says begins in earnest today, now that the iPhone version has been sent. They have just begun to analyze the data collected from user feedback and use, and he says it’s too early to tell what direction it will take them, but if the iPhone edition is any indication, it should be an improvement considerable.