Microsoft has released an optimized version of Skype for anyone running older Android phones. Specifically, handsets running on Android 4.0.3 to 5.1. However, this optimized version of Skype is completely separate from Skype Lite. Which isn’t confusing at all.
The Rise of Lightweight Apps
With more parts of the developing world coming online, tech companies are bending over backwards to appeal to this influx of new users. However, people in developing countries are likely to own low-end Android phones incapable of running the latest apps.
My mom gave me her old iPhone and I DON'T KNOW HOW ANYTHING WORKS. I've been living with a six-year-old Android phone that has seen me through good times and bad times and I'm feeling so very fragile right now.
— Cheekie Albay (@cheekiealbay) February 21, 2018
The answer is to launch smaller, lightweight versions of these apps. Google has even developed a lightweight version of Android called Android Go. In February 2017, Microsoft launched Skype Lite, but the company has now optimized Skype to work on old Androids.
Optimizing Skype for Android
Microsoft claims that this new version of Skype is “lighter on both disk and memory consumption” and offers “increased performance in challenging network conditions”. But beyond that you won’t notice any differences between the old and the new versions.
This is very different than Skype Lite, which offers the same core functions as its bigger brother, but with more limitations and shortcuts built in. Skype Lite has been built with India in mind, while this new optimized version of Skype is available worldwide.
Microsoft is rolling this update out over the next weeks. And only Skype users whose phones run on Android 4.0.3 to 5.1 will receive it. Everyone else will have to continue using the regular version of Skype complete with its foibles and faults.
Let’s All Lose the Bloat
The influx of these lightweight versions of apps suggests the developers are admitting the originals are a little bloated. And I would personally like the option to download the lightweight versions without having to be resident in a developing country to do so.
Still, I guess Microsoft should be applauded for taking the time and trouble to optimize Skype for anyone unfortunate enough to own an old smartphone. If more developers did the same thing perhaps less of us would feel the need to upgrade every two years.
What version of Android is your phone running? If it’s an older version of Android are you making use of the new lightweight apps being released? What do you think of this new optimized version of Skype? Please let us know in the comments below!