Perhaps the most bloated and sluggish mobile application that I have used in recent times is the Skype Android app. Even on high end hardware, it was a constant pain using it. It was sluggish in every way and I tended to avoid it. Thankfully, after over a year of complaints, Microsoft says they have fixed the bloated Skype app.
Bearing in mind my personal experiences with the app on a flagship device like the LG G6, I can only imagine how painful an experience it must be on mid-range and cheap smartphones.
A Year Of Complaints About The Bloated Skype App
While I never put up a blog post about the painful user experience with Skype for Android, I did tweet about it. Here are two such tweets:
— 📱 Mister Mo (@moverick) December 13, 2016
The new Skype app for Android appears to be very heavy. Microsoft needs to understand and deploy software for mobile better.
— 📱 Mister Mo (@moverick) December 30, 2017
I was a lover of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and what finally ended my relationship with it was how it ground my smartphone to a sluggish crawl once installed. Skype app for Android never got that bad, but in use was sluggish enough to make me set it aside.
Skype Lite To The Rescue
I had to use Skype Lite in place of the regular app. Skype Lite is designed to provide a smooth user experience for users of low-end smartphones and of slow network connections.
The Updated Skype App Is Lighter and Faster
Microsoft’s official statement says that the new Skype app is “lighter on both disk and memory consumption, allowing for greater speed and better audio and video quality on lower end Android devices”. Sounds sort of like Skype Lite all over again. Which is not like a bad thing.
The optimized app will also run on Android for 4.0.3 to 5.1 smartphones. All these sound good on paper. I hope it works as good in usage. Bloated, sluggish apps are a bad idea in every way, whether the devices in question are high end, mid-range or cheap smartphones.
The update isn’t rolling out yet as at the time of publishing this, but Microsoft says it will happen “in the coming weeks”.
We hope that the Skype development team got it right this time. I might not be able to have a go with it though, as I have stopped using my Microsoft account and Skype totally. You can get the full story behind that in this Forum conversation: Why I dumped and deleted Skype everywhere.