Skype for iPhone gains improved calling and chatting features

Skype 4.8 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Skype 4.8 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Today, Microsoft-owned Skype has been updated on the iPhone and iPod touch (the latter sold 100 million units since its 2007 inception). The enhancements include a pair of features related to the application’s chatting and VoIP calling capabilities.

For starters, one-to-one chats now appear in the correct order. There’s also a new introduction screens for first-time users. More importantly, the VoIP application now lets you switch easily between headset, speaker or Bluetooth device, without interrupting call in progress…

Back in March, Skype apps for the iPhone and iPad got refreshed with a revamped UI and improved calling experience.

Microsoft yesterday said that Skype and Lync customers are now able to connect with each other from across these platforms. A unified communications platform for businesses, Lync is used by over 90 of the Fortune Global 100 companies.

The Windows maker two years ago snapped up Skype for an astounding $8.5 billion. Investors and watchers criticized CEO Steve Ballmer for unloading that kind of money on a VoIP platform.

However, Microsoft used the Skype purchase to raise the water level on its platform’s functionality across the board. For example, high-end Windows Phone devices from Nokia include deep Skype integration at the operating system level.

The same goes for the newly announced Xbox One console, which lets you receive and send Skype calls while playing games or watching live television.

Additionally, the firm recently introduced a Video Messages feature that lets Skype users send short video snippets to each other up to three minutes long, whether online or offline.

Skype for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad are free downloads.

By the way, Microsoft, isn’t it high time you finally unified the iPhone and iPad versions under a universal binary build?