Microsoft is optimizing Skype for low-end Android phones

Image: Skype

Microsoft is rolling out an updated version of Skype for Android that’s optimized for devices running older versions of the OS, providing better audio and video quality for lower-end devices.

The new update will optimize the app for Android devices running versions 4.0.3 to 5.1. Microsoft says that this version “is lighter on both disk and memory consumption,” and it’ll provide better audio and video for those devices, in addition to better performance when the connection isn’t so hot. The update will be rolled out worldwide in the coming weeks.

The approach looks a bit like what Google is doing with Android Go, a stripped-down version of Android that doesn’t require as much processing power, RAM, or storage. They’re phones designed to work in areas with limited internet connectivity, and they come with apps that are designed to operate on such limited specs.

This isn’t the first communications app to go this route: Facebook rolled out Messenger Lite for Android last October, which cuts some of the clutter from the regular app, while Twitter introduced a lite version of its mobile site that uses less data in September. The emphasis on apps and sites that require less data and performance power is useful around the world, especially in places where the latest models of phones either aren’t available or affordable.


Maybe Skype should fix its app first. The redesign seems pointless with superficial changes with added bloats and unnecessary animations. They really should really put the focus back on the audio and video conferencing with better msg syncing

The current design is so flawed on both phones and PCs it has become unusable. I’ve been looking for a replacement for a while. You can’t see who’s online anymore, when you dial someone you have to hear their weird music really loud, it’s full of bugs and crashes endlessly. Why WHY destroy something that works?

I do agree with you and I also love shawarma…

So every newer phone gets stuck with slow, bloated crap? I never understand this. Optimize your app to work on a minimum OS version number and give that to everyone. Faster phones will benefit too.

Just because there are more MHz, doesn’t mean you should try and consume them.

The Skype app has become worse and worse with every update, and now it’s a complete disaster. I don’t know what insane person designed the newest UI.

i have installed Skype over so many platforms – 2 phones, tablet, desktop, laptop, xbox and yet when a message comes in i’m not notified. what year is this?

Why isn’t skype redundant already for individual users? Every damn chat app these days do voice and video call anyway. I use Whatsapp all the time. Skype on top would require a Microsoft account.

So what is now the difference between this updated Skype client and Skype Lite?

Microsoft is redesigning Skype to be more and more irrelevant. There’s no question in my mind that they are trying to make it as toyish and "consumer" as possible to get businesses off of it and onto Skype for Business. Guess what Microsoft? If I have to migrate to a whole new platform, I might as well go to something more capable and open source.

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