If you’ve updated to Skype on PC or Windows Mobile recently, what you’re using is a Universal Windows App version of the popular conferencing and collaboration tool. Now, Xbox One users are getting that same UWP app, but with tweaks made especially keeping the needs of gamers in mind.
What’s New in Skype for Xbox One?
The first thing you’ll notice is the new dark look, which Microsoft says is more in line with other Xbox apps and easier on the eyes. That makes a lot of sense because you don’t want a sudden splash of white and blue when you’re engrossed in a dark-themed game.
Another significant change is the ability to do a manual zoom with the Kinect camera, something Microsoft says users have been asking for.
They’ve also brought in Skype command shortcuts for controllers so you can switch between Skype and your game without letting go of your controller.
The update is automatic, but if you haven’t installed it yet, just search for “Skype” on the Xbox One app store and it will show you the latest version. You can switch accounts by signing out and in, just in case you have a different Skype account you want to use for ‘gaming only’ purposes.
This new Skype UWP app that’s been tweaked for Xbox One gaming consoles marks an important shift for Microsoft because the company is actively listening to the community, and has a finger on the pulse of what gamers really want rather than what they think gamers want.
And it’s been so heavily customized for Xbox One that they’re justified in calling it the “All-new Skype” for Xbox One. Controller shortcuts, auto zoom that can now be turned off or controlled manually, simple IM interface with Cortana converting your audio into text, easy ways to open or initiate a call, the ability for anyone in group call to add another person and many other features make this version of Skype very unique.
Microsoft’s recent heavy focus on the gaming community with Beam and Game Mode on Windows 10 Creators Update, and now this new version of Skype for Xbox One, are all part of an attempt to unify the gaming experience across PC and console platforms, while preserving the experience that is native to each of these devices. Not an easy thing to do, but Microsoft has started off on the right foot with these initiatives.
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