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Briefly: Skype pulled from App Store; Soccer Fever section added

updated 12:16 am EDT, Wed June 11, 2014

Skype removed from App Store in prep for all-new 5.0 for iPhone version

Although Skype continues to be a popular and widely-used service for Apple device owners, there is no shortage of complaints about the look of the app -- particularly the Mac version, which didn't cease when Microsoft took over development when it bought Skype. The company has now begun pulling the current version of Skype out of the iOS App Store as it begins to roll out the all-new version 5.0, which has specifically been created for iOS and the iPhone.

"We have removed the Skype for iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store in some markets, as we begin rolling out the latest version," a statement issued by the company says. The new interface has been designed to offer continuity with the redesigned Windows Phone and Android versions, but is written specifically to take advantage of iOS. A new Favorites tab provides quick access to the people most frequently called, group chats can more easily be created and messages to offline users will be delivered when they return. The iPhone version should appear over the next week, and an all-new iPad version is also being worked on (with no specific release timetable).

Soccer Fever section added to iOS App Store

In celebration of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament, Apple has launched a new "Soccer Fever" section in its App Store. The new section groups not just official and unofficial World Cup-oriented apps, but also general soccer team apps, social chatting apps, soccer game apps and apps showcasing the country of and travel to Brazil, which is hosting the games this year. There is also some cross-promotion, with sections for soccer-related books, Brazilian music and movies that prominently feature soccer, such as Bend it Like Beckham.

The cross-promotion page has rarely been done on this scale before, and integrates many of the iTunes stores' differing departments, offering everything from more education about Brazil to ways to get there. While some apps have only a tangential connection to soccer (or "football" as it is known outside North America), the apps are connected to form a larger experience for those who cannot be at the games themselves. The FIFA World Cup will kick off (pardon the expression) on Thursday, June 12 and run through July 13.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Inkling

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 07-25-06

    I had been happy with Skype. But when Skype was courting Microsoft, they changed the UI for the Mac version to what was easily the most gosh-awful UI on the Mac. I quit using it. Claiming the new iOS version's "new interface has been designed to offer continuity with the redesigned Windows Phone and Android versions" won't bring me back either. The problem with Skype is that it doesn't have continuity with the Mac/iOS world. They're apparently making matters worse.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I agree, Inkling...if I wanted the look of a Windows Phone or Android, then I would've gotten one of those phones!

    I don't understand the thinking here, especially for the leading smartphone app market, until I remember this is now a Microsoft-owned product. That is a history littered with the 1990's mantra of "sure it looks like Windows but just be glad you have that much, Mac boy!"

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Microsoft is following their UI template. They don't care about others. Everything from them is the silly tile template.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Actually, the team have commented that they spent a lot more time on the iOS version to be sure that it conforms to the iOS 7 design language. Metro and iOS 7 aren't really that far apart, I think most people are (willfully?) misinterpreting MS's comments. We'll see next week, I guess, but the screen images look pretty good to me. If Skype will add direct access to Contacts, I think I'll be pretty happy with it.

  1. FastiBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-17-05

    You know what's really funny? It showed up in the app update notification in the app store, but when i tapped update button, it said it was no longer available in the app store! Skype was getting better till msft got involved. They all ready had MSN messenger, why do they need skype too? Creepy, and failing at the same time.

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