Microsoft has released the latest update for Skype, adding a feature we’ve seen pop up in a number of similar products: custom backgrounds. These images can be used during video calls to replace the user’s real-life background, obscuring the clutter, boring background, or simply offering a cleaner, neater background for distraction-free video chats.
The latest update started rolling out to users on April 16; it can be downloaded on Windows, macOS, and Linux. At the request of users, according to Microsoft, it has added custom backgrounds for video calls in the latest Skype release.
Users can set this background option by clicking the ‘More’ menu on a video call and choosing ‘Background effect.’ The software gives users the ability to add a new image, which will appear as a custom background, or to blur the background without applying an image.
This isn’t the only new feature in Skype version 8.59. According to Microsoft, this update enables Mac users, in particular, to directly share their files with their contacts in the software, a process that involves right-clicking on a file in the Finder, then choosing ‘Open With’ > ‘Skype.’ The user will be prompted to choose the recipient from their contacts to send it.
Finally, and in addition to various stability improvements and bug fixes, Microsoft says that Skype users now have faster access to call controls within the chat menu. These controls include the ability to toggle on and off the microphone and camera, end calls, and merge calls.