Skype for desktop is getting a bevy of new features that would appeal to the younger audience and encourage more people to join the platform. There will be no design changes in the interface so users will be sailing within a familiar territory but will have more elements to play around with.

Skype users can now drag and drop any photo, audio or video file from the desktop to the app and won’t have to go through the length process of searching and attaching a file. Also, users still can now share files of up to 300MB at a time. This is a lot more than what you get on WhatsApp, where one can share files of up to 16MB in one go.

Users can now respond to individual members in groups chat by using@ symbol followed by their name. The feature is already available on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

All the files, links and photos shared with user on Skype will now show in a separate section called gallery. This will save time as users won’t have to scroll through an endless stream of chat to look for an older photo or link. Also, during Group chats on large screens, users can see every participant in HD resolution.

Version 8.0 will be rolling out on iPad soon and many of these features will be available on it too.

Features to watch out for

Some of the other features of Version 8.0 such as Read Receipts, Private Conversation and Call Recoding will roll out later. Read Receipts is similar to the green tick feature in WhatsApp and will highlight the messages which have been read by the recipient or other members in group. Private Conversation is an attempt to keep all communication hidden from interception by ISP, hacker or government agency. Every call and message on Skype will be protected with end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp also encrypts all communications while Facebook Messenger offers optional encryption through Secret conversations feature.

Most messaging and calling platforms do not have call recording built into them by default. Skype will be the first platform which can record a conversation and save it in Cloud.

How to upgrade

Updating to version 8.0 won’t delete any of the existing chats or contacts. All communications from last one year will be restored as it was, while older data will be saved on the PC in a local file. Users can export this data on their personal cloud if they want. Updating to version 8.0 is free of cost and is available to all in Help->Check for updates in Skype app.

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