Skype revamps Android app, eclipses 100M installs
Skype released a revamped version of its over-the-top messaging application for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, integrating some design hallmarks first introduced in its app for parent firm Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8.
Skype for Android 4.0 closely recalls Microsoft's typography-based Metro design language: "We've completely redesigned Skype for Android to be faster and easier--especially when you're trying to fire off a quick message. Everything is at your fingertips," explains Skype Head of Mobile Marketing Derek Snyder. "As soon as you open the app, you'll notice the clean new look listing your recent conversations--just tap on one to catch up and reply. When you tap or swipe over to the Contacts or Favorites tabs, tapping on a person brings you right into a messaging window so you can start a conversation. And from there video calls, voice calls and everything else are just one tap away."
Snyder adds that the Skype app is completely rebuilt from the ground up, with Android engineers focusing on improving stability, performance and load time.
Skype for Android is now installed on more than 100 million devices worldwide, Snyder said. In addition to messaging, the app offers free voice and video calling, photo sharing and file sharing. The application supports both Wi-Fi and 3G.
Close to half of all smartphone owners now use some form of instant messaging or over-the-top messaging app in addition to or instead of traditional SMS, according to a survey conducted in late 2012 by Analysys Mason. In addition, 20 percent of consumers use a VoIP app, and 20 percent within that segment use it more than conventional voice services. Analysys Mason notes that Skype dominates the VoIP market, with 79 percent of VoIP app users/16 percent of all respondents embracing the service.
- read this Skype blog post
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