Why it matters to you
In August 2016, Microsoft launched the Universal Windows Platform version of Skype on PCs and mobile devices alongside the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Now, as the Creators Update is being rolled out to Windows users, the company has brought the UWP Skype app to the Xbox One.
The app has undergone some changes to ensure that the console experience is just as good as using Skype on a PC or a mobile device. Its user interface has been simplified, and outfitted with a dark color scheme that’s more in line with other Xbox One utilities, according to a post on the Skype blog.
Users can take advantage of various shortcuts that have been mapped to the Xbox One controller. A single button press can send a video call to the background, turning off the camera feed but retaining the audio while the user boots up a game or begins watching a television show.
The new app also brings some improvements to the way Skype utilizes the Xbox One’s Kinect camera peripheral. The camera can use auto zoom to focus in on the caller, panning and zooming as necessary, but there’s also a new manual zoom option that allows users to fine-tune their camera positioning by hand — the triggers of the controller zoom in and out, while the right stick can be used to pan around.
While the focus of the Creators Update has largely been the PC, Microsoft hasn’t been ignoring the Xbox One. As well as this new version of Skype, the company has introduced a swathe of new features to the system as part of the update, like its budding gameplay streaming platform, Beam.
Anyone who has already installed Skype on their Xbox One should find that the app updates to the UWP version automatically. If you don’t already have the app, it’s available now via the Xbox One app store.