Jul 1st, 2013

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Skype has officially announced version 4.0 of its Android app that makes Skype unrecognizable, but in a good way. The app has been completely redesigned and rewritten from the ground up, with Skype combining some of the design language from the “Modern UI” (Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8) version of the application with elements of Android’s Holo.

Every bit of the application has been touched, from the standard home view to chat conversations, from profile pages to the call UI, and everything else that’s sandwiched in between. Your friends list is more lively with avatars being presented in nice, big, bold fashion. The chat view is no longer an endless stream of text — you’ll now see your friends’ icons next to their messages.

Skype 4.0 before and after

Skype before (top), and after (bottom)

You’ll be able to swipe between recent conversations, favorite people and your full contacts list with a swipe-based tab UI. And beyond all that, Skype’s eye-pleasing blue hue is represented quite well here, and doesn’t feel overdone at all. Skype tells us it was very important to make the base chat experience more pleasant to use, as they noticed a great deal of Android users lean on this feature just as heavily as they do voice and video calls.

Skype says the app has been completely rewritten from the ground up, with an entirely new code base. More than just the way things look, things are supposed to feel a lot faster, smoother, and better, as well.

This effectively makes Skype 4.0 the biggest update we’ve seen since the original version 1.0 launch we were treated to a few years back. The greatest thing about the redesign is that the app doesn’t lose any of the features we’ve already been enjoying, including the new video messaging capabilities that just came out of preview status earlier this week.


On the flip side, Skype 4.0 doesn’t add anything, either, but considering the team went into this overhaul with no previous code to lean on we understand why. We’re just happy we didn’t have to compromise the functionality we already had for good looks, and boy does this thing look good. Skype for Android 4.0 is available for download in the Google Play Store as of today, but don’t fret if you’re not seeing the update just yet — it’ll take a bit of time to make its way to everyone around the world.

[Skype on Google Play]