Sep 04, 2015 12:03 AM EDT
Before there was FaceTime, before there was Viber, and way before Facebook thought it would be a good idea to add voice and video calls to Messenger, there was Skype.
Skype is probably the only other instant messaging solution to survive the Web 1.5 Instant Messenger clients’ slide into irrelevance. Who still uses Yahoo! Messenger? AIM? ICQ? Sadly, only a few still remember these instant messaging apps. Most now use Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts for personal use, while business communications are usually on Google Hangouts or Skype.
While some loathe the instant messenger for its notoriety for being resource-heavy, others are dependent on it, as their corporate ecosystem thrives on it. So it’s a good thing that Skype has been making major moves to ensure its relevance this year.
In June 2015, Skype rolled out its long-overdue web client. It’s the perfect alternative to its desktop app, especially if the user is just reliant on chat. This week, Skype is rolling out Skype 6.0 both for Android and iOS.
Inspired by Google’s Material Design sensibilities, Skype chucked the Windows Phone-styled navigation, in favor of navigation design and gestures more familiar to Android users. For the iOS camp, the iOS version also sports gestures familiar to the Apple ecosystem, as inspired by the Microsoft Outlook for iOS app.
The Verge wryly points out that Skype’s Windows Phone app seems largely “unloved,” as it has not received updates or even bug fixes for a while now. There are notes, however, that Microsoft and Skype are working on a new Skype for Windows 10 Mobile, and may release it, soon.
In a time when there’s a mad jostle to maintain relevance in the ever-changing tech landscape, it’s a good move on Skype’s part to ensure that it prioritized the two main platforms to date. It’s also a great move on their part to provide the web client alternative to its resource hog desktop application.
The other instant messenger to survive the fade out of the other services is Google Talk, which has evolved into Google Hangouts. Like Skype, it has been leveraged for personal and business use.
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