With the wide variety messaging apps adding video calls, Microsoft has been steadily rolling out improvements to Skype to keep up with the competition. Starting today, Skype users can help test a few new beta features that should make video calling and messaging an even more enjoyable experience on mobile devices.
First up on the video calling side: Skype is testing in-stream reactions that work similar to livestreaming services, allowing users to add emoji, text and photos in the middle of video call. Meanwhile, Skype Chat is getting an integrated camera and Slack-like messaging reactions: the former lets users quickly swipe from the side of the screen to bring up the camera, snap a selfie and drop it right in the chat window. The latter works similar to Apple's own iMessaging reactions and lets everyone in the chat weigh in on an individual message with emoji.
Finally, Skype Chat is also getting a new "Find Panel" that works as a quick search hub for finding and sharing links, movie times, gifs and other tidbits from the web. Swiping from the left side of the chat window, brings up a handy search bar so users won't have to swap apps to find that important sports score or restaurant address.
The new features are currently available through Skype Preview on Android and iOS before they roll out to all Skype users in the main app. In order to test them out, users will need to either download Skype Preview for Android on Google Play or apply to be a Skype Insider on iOS to get the app through Apple's TestFlight beta testing program. And, of course, keep an open mind if you run into any bugs.