Skype team shares its mobile plans for the road ahead

When you ask people “What’s Skype?” the answer you’ll often get is, “It’s a free video calling app for your PC or Mac.” The Skype team likes that answer up to a point, but wants people to realize Skype is a great mobile experience as well.

Here are a few things you may not know:

• At certain points in the day, more people are using Skype from their phone or tablet than from a PC.

• Each month, the growth rate of new users coming to Skype on a tablet or phone is double what it was the year before. And those people now represent nearly half of the total new users joining Skype every month.

• Skype continues to be an essential app, ranked in the top 10 most downloaded apps of all time on Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.

To support this trend, the Skype team continues to evolve its mobile experience. Based on user feedback, Skype on mobile devices has improved markedly in the past year, with considerable investments paving the way for further progress in the year ahead. Expect to see enhancements in the following areas:

Increasing performance and quality. This is the team’s No. 1 priority and a key component of every update. Earlier this year, Skype started making significant changes under the hood to the way its apps work, specifically around reliability, battery life and performance. These enhancements are coming to all the devices you use Skype on.

Modern design, putting conversations first. To make all your interactions easier, Skype is putting conversations at the heart of a redesigned experience. Not only is this design bold and beautiful, it’s also simpler and easier to use. Doing this on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 dramatically reduced the time it takes to reply to a message, while making it even simpler to upgrade that conversation to a voice or video call. Skype’s aim is to make the experience and design of its apps as consistent as possible, while still respecting each device’s unique look and feel.

Completing the experience across devices. Skype has seen incredible response to its new capabilities including video messaging, picture sharing, HD video and more. The team wants everyone to have the same great Skype experience regardless of the device they choose. Some work remains in this area, but you’ll increasingly see a more consistent feature set across all Skype apps by the end of the year.

Skype will deliver regular updates, adapting its plans as customer needs evolve and change. Read the Skype blog post for more on the changes and how they’ll be rolled out.

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Steve Clarke
Microsoft News Center Staff