- Includes Skype’s SILK codec, offering not only 12KHz audio bandwidth for clearer voice calls but reduced Internet bandwidth demands. Effectively with this release SILK calls can be cross-platform between Skype’s Windows 4.x and Mac 2.8 clients.
- Screen sharing: using the Skype video channel, Skype’s screen sharing feature allows a user to share a portion or all of his/her desktop with one other party. No, it’s not a threat to Skype’s partners offering managed multi-party web conferencing services. Once again it’s simply an additional communications mode supporting a one-to-one Skype voice and/or chat conversation. Since it uses Skype’s video channel, it does not work during a Skype video call; nor can the call involve more than two participants. But three comments, having now used this feature several times in both Skype for Windows 4.1 and Skype for Mac 2.8 beta:
- It’s very handy for complementing voice and chat conversations; simply click on the desktop sharing icon and the other party sees (a portion of) the desktop in his/her Skype client – but it can be expanded to a separate window or full screen.
- It does allow sharing of streaming video services, such as YouTube, running on the desktop
- It’s really driving awareness of the potential to do screen/dekstop sharing to a much broader user base than any of the web conferencing services have reached. These services see Skype video as an awareness generator for the potential of managed, multi-party desktop sharing services.
- Skype Access: if you’re on the road and desperate for an ad hoc WiFi connection, Skype Access provides per minute access services via Boingo. But if there is no free service in your hotel, restaurant or coffee shop and you don’t already have a Boingo account, then it becomes an alternative when you really need to connect. Charges are made against your Skype credits.
- Other new features now available to all Skype for Mac users include:
- Follow friends’ and your own Mood Messages through a Mood Message chat session
- Create “notes” for each of your Skype contacts – useful as a very basic customer relationship management tool, for instance.
- Prioritization of your concurrent chat sessions in the Chat window; especially useful when you have more than ten concurrent chat sessions going.
- Quick Add for adding contacts to a chat session; simply type a name into the Quick Add search bar and it’s there. A feature I hope we can also soon see in Skype for Windows.
- Hidden avatars for incoming contact requests. Peter Parkes says it most discretely: “A small minority of Skype users have profile pictures which others may find unpleasant, and so they’re now hidden by default in contact requests.”
Amongst PC platforms I find Skype is most intuitive and most easily accessed via the Skype for Mac client; these features certainly enhance the management and versatility of options during Skype conversations.
- Peter Parkes, Skype for Mac blog: Skype 2.8 Gold for Mac out now.
- Raul Liive, Skype Garage, thanks the volunteers who translated Skype for Mac 2.8 into multiple languages.
- Release Notes for release build 188.8.131.529
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