Microsoft has now redesigned its Skype Preview application to bring it more in-line with Google's Material Design standards and to change the way users interact with compositions through the introduction of SuperComposer. For those who aren't already aware, Skype Preview is an opt-in program offered by Microsoft in order to garner feedback from users without altering the primary Skype application. Although the changes in question are also expected to roll out to the official Skype app at some point, if they are well-accepted, users shouldn't be too surprised if they haven't hit their devices yet in the Skype Preview app, either. That update is also on a scheduled roll-out and could take some time to arrive.
In the meantime, and as mentioned above, the update itself brings two big changes. First, navigation of the application has been moved to a bottom-oriented bar, which Microsoft says is adheres to Material Design standards. There are five buttons along that bar, including Chats, Calls, Camera, Highlights, and Contacts, making it easier than ever to navigate one-handed. That includes a new contextual floating action button (FAB), which corresponds to what the company calls "key actions," depending on which page a user is on. The FAB effectively makes taking certain actions within the app a much quicker and more intuitive process. Meanwhile, the header and search icon has also been updated to fit in better with the Android OS and the core design standards currently followed by Google and other developers. Upon tapping that FAB in Android, users will be presented with a brand new screen layout that shows a recent contacts list. It also provides quick access to actions a user might be looking to perform. For example, from there, the user will be able to start a new group, search bots, add a contact or invite a contact to join Skype, or make a call through the app.
The new features should eventually make their way to the standard Skype application installed by most users, pending any further changes inspired by feedback from the Skype Preview release. For now, however, anybody wanting to check out the features will need the Skype Preview application installed to participate in Microsoft's Skype Insiders program. It may also still take a few days or longer before the update has rolled out completely. Anybody interested can go ahead and hit the Google Play Button below.