After first redesigning its iOS app and previewing a new update for Macs and desktop computers earlier this year, Microsoft has announced that its new Skype desktop software is launching today. The next-generation Skype desktop software is built to emulate the redesigned mobile application, which launched in June with an emphasis on media sharing and social networking features, although the iOS app's Snapchat-like "Highlights" feature isn't on Mac at this time.
The new Skype Mac app connects across devices to the iOS app, and includes customizable themes, an organizable chat list, and cloud-based file sharing. A new "notification panel" lets users catch up on missed messages in one place -- including reactions, @mentions, and quotes -- and you can jump directly to these notifications by clicking on them.
A new chat media gallery has been implemented as a place users can quickly find shared content including media, links, and files. Add-ins can also be introduced into each chat, ranging from GIF-based applications to event scheduling, sending money, video sharing, and more.
When in a video chat or a text conversation, users can send reactions to express how they're feeling, and set status updates to let friends know when they aren't available. In total, Skype said that the goal for the new update is to help its users increase personal and professional productivity, while also unifying the Skype ecosystem across devices.
To download the new features, Skype said that anyone with automatic updates enabled on Mac, Windows 10 November Update (2016) and lower, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Linux will receive the update as it begins rolling out today. To download it manually, users can visit Skype.com.