Skype unveiled a new version of its iPhone app with 3D Touch, filters and better ways to manage your conversation.
Skype for iOS version 6.5 incorporates 3D Touch to let you access certain Skype features directly without having to navigate the entire app. Available in Apple's iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, 3D Touch recognizes different levels of pressure on the touchscreen. You can start by pressing hard on the Skype icon on your screen to open a list of quick actions, such as searching your Skype contacts, starting a call or chat or accessing the Skype dial pad.
Support for 3D Touch was initially limited but has been growing in recent weeks, with such apps as Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Dropbox, Twitter and Instagram jumping onboard. Still, Apple needs more apps to take advantage of 3D Touch, one of the few truly new features in the latest iPhone lineup. The company sold 13 million of its new phones in the first weekend they were on sale and needs to keep the momentum going through the all-important holiday quarter.
In the Skype app itself, you can press lightly to peek at a recent conversation or press harder to bring the conversation into the foreground. You can also press down to view video chats. If you're in a conversation with someone and that person shares a location, photo, URL or contact info, you can tap to peek at the information or press harder to bring it into the foreground.
Owned by Microsoft, Skype faces increasing competition from rival messaging apps such as Viber and WhatsApp. At this point, however, it remains one of the most popular services for making phone and video calls and texting people.
What else is new? You can now add filters to your video messages to create interesting effects, such as altering the appearance of your face to make it look rounder or longer, or turning your image into a negative to create a ghostly look for Halloween.
You can better manage your recent conversations, with options to delete your entire chat history or just hide it from your Recent list. You can also delete your chat history using the chat menu within a conversation. Finally, you can share one of your Skype contacts by selecting it from your contact list and then tapping the tick icon.
Don't worry, Android users, Skype hasn't forgotten about you. The latest version of Skype for Android also adds video filters and lets you share photos and files with an entire group of contacts.
You can learn more about the changes to Skype's mobile apps in a blog posted on Wednesday.