Skype has announced that is it releasing a brand new version of its Skype for iPhone app with a new design and new features.

The app, which is expected to be available on the App store very shortly, includes the ability to start group chats directly from the home screen, instant notification syncing between devices, a streamlined UI allowing for easy navigation, and the promise of being five times faster than the previous version.

"Just like the redesigned Skype for Android app, we took the opportunity to rewrite this new version from the ground up and customize it to fit iOS best," explains the team behind the new app.

Perhaps the biggest new feature is one that will be enjoyed by multi-platform users. Now if you are using Skype on your Mac or Windows PC, your iPhone won't start buzzing away with notification messages because it knows that you are logged in on another screen.

"We know our users are using Skype on multiple devices, and we want to make sure your Skype notifications keep pace with your conversations, no matter where they happen. Now, as you read your messages on your PC, tablet, Xbox and so on, those conversations will be marked as read (or unread if new messages come in) on your iPhone too."

The new app will be available for the iPad and iPhone shortly.