MICROSOFT HAS started to back-pedal on its Skype redesign that has been roundly hailed variously as "an Aphex Twin video in my phone" and "that nightmare I used to have that the testcard girl's clown would eat me".
The first update to the new Skype on Android and iOS has been released, where it is making its debut ahead of a full launch when its alienated enough mobile users.
At present, the app is chewing through its average rating in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store as people find more and more that the new app suddenly can't do.
And it's not helped that the accompanying video in the Play Store looks like some Jelly Spogs out-of-off-of Liquorice Allsorts.
"We want you to know we've been listening, updating, and responding to your feedback," said Skype last week. We can't help thinking that it's no substitute for thinking it through in the first place and actually not taking away core functionality to replace it with Snapchat wannabe features.
But hey, what do we know?
The new update allows you to delete contacts and conversations and you can now continue to use your phone when on a call which is kind of important.
Notifications, that weren't working, apparently now are, but the ability to check if someone is offline or online rather depends on going into their profile, something which will apparently be fixed in the next update.
Meanwhile, on desktop, some of the mobile features are creeping in, like the option to respond with and emoji directly from the chat window, without going into the emoji menu. It sounds more complicated than it is. This is, of course, for the Insiders right now.
Microsoft will be nervous about getting this right because Google's Allo is rumoured to be releasing a desktop client within the next few weeks, and thus bringing a potential army of both Chrome users and Android aficionados to the table. µ
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