MICROSOFT'S SKYPE has announced an update to its iPhone app that it claims to have rebuilt from the ground up, but has since disappeared from the Apple App Store.
Skype announced the overhauled app in a blog post on Monday, saying, "You were waiting for this, even if you didn't know you were.
"Just like the redesigned Skype for Android app, we took the opportunity to rewrite this new version from the ground up and customise it to fit iOS best. The new Skype for iPhone is redesigned to put your conversation at the center of a faster, smoother and far more integrated experience."
However, since the announcement, Skype has disappeared from Apple's App Store.
Skype has told us this is while it prepares to release the new version, with the update app already arriving in some markets.
A spokesperson said, "Skype has removed the Skype for iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store in some markets, as we begin rolling out the latest version. Skype 5.0 for iPhone will soon be available for download."
The upcoming update will bump Skype to version 5.0 and sees the app get its biggest overhaul to date, with the firm boasting, "The new Skype for iPhone is the most refined version yet."
As well as having a "refined" new look, Skype 5.0 for iPhone finally brings notifications syncing to iOS, meaning that as you read messages on your PC, tablet or Xbox, for example, they will also be marked as read on your iPhone. It also introduces the ability to start group conversations straight from the home screen, which sees Microsoft looking to challenge Whatsapp in instant messaging.
According to Skype, the app is also "five times faster" than the present version, and it has redesigned it to have an all-round "smoother" experience, complete with new animations and transitions, along with performance and battery life enhancements.
Skype 5.0 for iOS will be available to download from the App Store in "about a week", with an iPad version to follow soon.
Once the app is available, it will be free to download. µ