Skype 3.0 For Android Gets Tablet-Focused Boost With Microsoft Log-In

November 22, 2012 0

Redmond, Washington – Released just after its debut on Windows Phone 8, Microsoft-owned Skype on Tuesday updated its Android app, and the update boasts a brand-new design for tablets, the ability to sign in and merge with a Microsoft account, and better audio.

The latest version of Skype for Android comes closer than ever to the desktop version, the video chat service lets users sign in with their Microsoft account, and boasts improved audio quality and a new design for tablets.

Although Google and Microsoft do not exactly get along amicably, but that has not discouraged Skype from updating its Android app with tablet support and improved audio quality.

According to TNW reports, Microsoft is retiring the Live Messenger product, an IM tool long in decline from previous heights as a key communications service. Also, more evidence of Microsoft’s integration with Skype is showing up with each revision of the program. Skype will absorb its contacts, users, and chats.

“With so many now using tablets to make video and voice calls with Skype, this latest version is optimized to scale to your tablet’s bigger screen, so you can experience Skype on a larger display wherever you go,” Derek Snyder, head of mobile product marketing at Skype, wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

As you move on to integrate Skype for Android, you can sign in with either an existing Skype account, or a Microsoft account – the latter of which can be used to also merge in any contacts from Microsoft Messenger. Users have until the end of the first quarter of 2013 – roughly – to get their acts over to Skype, or face a firm nudge in that direction.

Skype for Android 3.0, a popular choice for video chatting and messaging across the Internet for free, now supports the “most popular” Android tablets, including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2, Google’s Nexus 7, Acer’s Iconia Tab, Asus’ Transformer Prime, Sony’s Tablet S and Motorola’s Xoom.

In addition, the redesign has a two-column layout, with frequently used Skype options (such as contacts, calling and messages) on the left and an active call/video stream on the right. Also, the app makes use of the extra screen space by showing navigation tabs and recent communications on the left side of the screen, and thumbnail images of contacts on the right side.

Also, a set of menu buttons is situated in the top-right corner, including the dialer, search and settings. During video chat, users can keep the left navigation panel in view, or switch to full-screen mode.

Among other cool features, Skype for Android 3.0 introduced support for its own wide-band audio codec, called Silk.

“Silk was devised to capture the richness of human speech. It copes well with the often varying speeds of internet connections, ensuring that the audio quality is always the best it can be,” Snyder said in a blog post. “That way, Skype will deliver the best possible audio on your tablet, even with a shaky connection.”

For more on Skype 3.0 for Android, check out the video below.

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