Skype for Android 3.0 brings tablet optimisation, improved quality, Microsoft sign-in

Skype has announced the latest update to Skype for Android, bringing with it a fresh new look, optimised to be much more efficient for tablet use.

The new Skype for Android 3.0 adopts a two-column system, with access to the major areas of the app on the left-hand side and the active window to the right. 

That means you don't have to return to the big empty front page to tap an icon and move on to your next task and multitasking feels more natural - replying to a message while in a video call, for example.

This left-hand column offers contacts and profile at the top, before running into your "recent" list, detailing your IM chats and calls. It's much easier to navigate.

Other context-relevant actions are found on the top bar. It's here you'll get access to the dialling pad for making calls to telephones, or the option to video call a contact, or add someone to an IM chat you're having.

Microsoft recently announced that Messenger was rolling together with Skype and in this version of Skype for Android you get the option to sign-in with your Microsoft account. You will get access to your existing contacts through Skype.

When it comes to call quality, Skype is pushing its wide-band audio codec, called SILK. The company claims this will enhance human voice audio quality, while catering for varying connection strengths. 

We gave Skype for Android a quick test and callers reported that the quality was better than expected on the Nexus 10 and that they couldn't tell it was from a tablet, rather than a desktop setup. 

Of course, the same app works perfectly well on smartphones too and we've been using it on the Nexus 4 for some time, with no sign of problems.

There has been a little controversy surrounding the popular IM and video calling service recently, following the discovery of a security hole relating to password resets. This has now been rectified by Skype, so you can get back to calling and messaging without concern.

Skype for Android 3.0 is free and available on Google Play now.



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