Say goodbye to Highlights: Microsoft goes back to basics with Skype redesign

In a recent blog post, Microsoft offered a look at the new face of Skype. If we had to sum up the basics of Microsoft’s new strategy for Skype, it would be back to basics. Over the past several years, Microsoft has added a lot of new features to Skype. Some of them were well-received while others simply didn’t catch on. With this new update, Microsoft is looking to trim some underused offerings and focus on Skype’s core communication features.

Goodbye Highlights

One of the features that we’ll have to say goodbye to is Skype Highlights. According to the blog post, the Snapchat-like feature “didn’t resonate with a majority of users” so it, along with Capture, will be removed. If you have any Highlights that you want to save, you’d better act fast. Users will have until September 3o to download their Highlights before the feature is permanently removed.

A simple clean UI

The removal of Highlights and Capture both serve a larger purpose aside from simply deleting unpopular features. One of the clear goals of this update is to simplify Skype and clean up the UI. On the mobile front, this means that the app will only have three buttons at the bottom of the app: Chat, Calls, and Contacts.

On the desktop side of things, the Skype team is looking toward Legacy Skype for inspiration. They are moving Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications icons to the top left of the window.

The team says that it is hoping these changes will make the app easier to navigate while maintaining the core communication features that users expect from Skype.

Beyond that, Microsoft is making a few changes to the app’s customization options. In addition to a new Dark theme, the company is also introducing a Classic mood with Skype’s standard light blue color scheme. The blog also mentions that the team has decided to remove some of Skype’s decorative options in order to keep the focus on the areas of communication and “getting things done.”

If you want to check out Skype’s new look for yourself, it is currently available on the desktop and mobile apps.

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.
Smart Home

Your office is a mess, and it’s making Marie Kondo cry. Here’s how to tidy it up

Here's how to "Marie Kondo" your office. If you've been inspired to remove clutter and create a minimalistic workspace that makes you happy and helps you focus on what matters, then we have ideas that you'll want to try.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Product Review

Packed with features, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired makes home security a breeze

With an integrated spotlight, crystal-clear video, and color night vision, this device makes home security a cinch. Here's why we like the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired as a great choice for outdoor home security.

Microsoft’s Presidents Day Sale cuts price of some Surface laptops by up to $200

It is a great time to save on Windows 10 laptops. Microsoft's retail store is running a sale on some of the best tablets and laptops, cutting pricing by up to $200 on the Surface Laptop 2 and more.

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.

New Chrome feature aimed at preventing websites from blocking Incognito Mode

A new Chrome feature will prevent websites from blocking Chrome users as they browse using Incognito Mode. The feature is supposed to fix a known loophole that allows websites to detect and block those using Incognito Mode.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.