Version 7.0’s new design mirrors closely that found on Skype’s mobile platforms, and is designed to provide users with a more unified experience across all devices they use it on.
The most visible change is that photos now appear inline as large thumbnails as soon as they’ve been sent. The Windows version also increases the spacing between contacts and chats, and offers message previews for unread chats to make following multiple conversations simpler.
Users should also notice that certain file types – specifically Office documents and PDF files – are now displayed using file icons to make them simpler to pick out when scrolling through a chat history.
Skype also introduces a new dual-paned view that allows users to continue using the IM feature while engaged in a voice or video call, making it easier to share photos and other files during the call. Mac users can access this view via a single click.
Finally, the group video chat feature – recently made available for free to all Skype users – has also been redesigned to make it easier to use.
Skype for Mac 7.0 and Skype for Windows 7.0 Beta are both available now as freeware downloads. Also available are Skype for iPhone, Skype for iPad, Skype for Android and Skype for Windows 8.