Skype 5.0 Beta has finally hit the Mac, bringing with it the group video calling feature that Skype for WIndows users have been enjoying for a couple of months now. The OS X version also gets some Mac-only perks, though, including a nice new single-window UI and Address Book integration.
The contact list (now attached as a sidebar to the main calling window) will grab all the Address Book contacts for whom you've added phone numbers, and let you call, IM or SMS them, even when they're offline. Meanwhile, a new call control bar floats above your other windows, so you can quickly pause, mute or hang up a call, even while you're in another app. Of course, the most-hyped new feature is group video calling, which will work with up to 10 people, but all participants must be running Skype 5 (on Mac or Windows).
One caveat about upgrading to 5.0, though: it breaks some Skype plug-ins, so you might have to downgrade again if you're running any hacks or add-ons you can't live without.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Skype 5.0 Beta now available for Mac, with group video calling and Address Book support