If you don’t look closely, you just might confuse an Android(s goog) handset for one running Windows Phone(s msft) thanks to Skype. The Microsoft-owned company announced both a subscriber milestone and new version of software for Android devices on Monday. More than 100 million Android owners use Skype software, which has been rebuilt from the ground up and is now available in the Google Play Store.
After installing the latest update on your Android, Skype should perform faster and be easier to use for quick conversations; both with text chats and video calls. And if you’ve never seen the Metro user interface of Windows Phone, the all new Skype client will surprise you because that’s what it looks like now.
Instead of tapping around different screens for functionality — common in most Android apps — you swipe left and right in the new Skype client, much as you would for any Windows Phone app. I find it to be a refreshing user interface when using Windows 8 or Windows Phone, but we’ll see what Android device owners think after they upgrade their Skype client.
From a branding and user experience standpoint, I think this is a good move for both Skype and Microsoft. Skype is used as a service across multiple platforms and many devices: Having a different look for each can be frustrating when controls or settings are found in different places on different devices. Now, when will Skype do the same for its other clients? Perhaps iOS(s aapl) will be next to be “Skypified” with Microsoft’s Metro interface.