Skype 3.0 for Android gets tablet-focused boost

Microsoft-owned Skype has released version 3.0 of its app for Android, which includes a brand-new design for tablets.

"With so many now using tablets to make video and voice calls with Skype, this latest version is optimised to scale to your tablet's bigger screen, so you can experience Skype on a larger display wherever you go," Derek Snyder, head of mobile product marketing at Skype, wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

Thanks to the new user interface, Skype 3.0 will look great on "the most popular Android tablets," like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 , Google Nexus 7, Motorola Xoom, and Acer Iconia.

The update also lets you sign on and merge Skype with your Microsoft account. In addition, it brings improved audio quality thanks to support for the wideband audio codec, SILK, which was "designed to capture the richness of human speech," Snyder wrote. SILK can handle fluctuations in the speed of your Internet connection, to ensure audio quality always sounds as good as possible.

Skype 3.0 for Android is available for download in the Google Play app store.

Meanwhile, Skype recently launched a launched gift card scheme, which can be used for making Skype calls to mobile phones and landlines, or sending text messages to mobile devices anywhere in the world. The gift cards start at £10, and are available at select retail locations, including WHSmith and Sainsbury's. If you don't have access to one of those stores, you can make use of Skype eGift cards, which are delivered online to friends and family, and can be purchased through the Skype Shop or on the Skype Facebook page.

Microsoft earlier this month said it is retiring Windows Live Messenger and encouraged users to switch over to Skype.